May 13, 2017 at 2:25 pm #1202092046This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.May 13, 2017 at 9:39 pm #1202092291
Master of None made a strong case as Netflix’s strongest series with a first season run of ten episodes.. Each outing is chalked with observations and jokes on millennial adulthood, as well as an undercurrent of pathos that came to a head by the finale. Meshing auteur forebears in the form of Girls and Louie, Master of None captures Lena Dunham’s penchant for humiliation and humanity, while indulging in Louis C.K.’s absurdist flights of fancy. Master of None proved to be a witty, well-defined voice unlike most anything else on television.
The arc of Aziz Ansari’s and Alan Yang’s story of the former’s small-time actor Dev Shah slowly forced into moving forward with his life. His friends are getting married and having kids, but Dev can’t even find a satisfying professional life. So, once Dev is cut out of a film he works on for the better part of a season, and once he breaks up with his live-in girlfriend (Rachel, played by Noël Wells), Dev hops on an airplane to Italy to make pasta.
If Master of None’s first season is an exercise in self-discovery, the second opens its borders on every front. The opener, a send-up of Vittorio de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves, serves as the thesis for the curiosities Master of None will divulge in the next nine installments. In “The Thief,” we see Ansari and Yang telling the story of an electively solitary Ansari in a country where he barely knows the country, struggling to meet others, with the homage serving as a both a love letter to Italian neorealism, and to set the stage for the subtler cinematic ambitions Ansari and co. will embark on in the next nine episodes.
Master of None is also even more interested in familial relationships than before. Season one’s Emmy-winning “Parents” is a poignant story, one that contextualizes so much of the callous selfishness young people display towards their mothers and fathers, no matter how much the latter group sacrificed. This time around, we get “Religion” and “Thanksgiving.” “Religion” is a more direct sequel to “Parents,” examining how the newer generation forsakes the faith they were born into, for better and worse, and specifically Dev’s relationship with Islam. “Thanksgiving” places Dev on the side to give time for Denise and her family, and the tightrope they walk to respect each other’s standards and sensibilities. Master of None recognizes that our families can be a drag, but that we’re often just as selfish and embarrassing to them.
The show also explores the many ways we interact or reach others. The editing miracle that is “First Date” is the more conventional of the two, intercutting a succession of underwhelming dates and hookups, as artificial as the love of a computer. “New York, I Love You,” arguably the best episode of the season, and maybe the series, is a Slacker-esque loop that accomplishes so much, and is as self-referential as a story can be without saying much about our main stable of characters. The episode, so astonishing in its inventive storytelling, is a domino effect of working class men and women bogged down in their day-to-day interactions, surrounded by privilege and luxuries that they can never experience for themselves. Master of None used first season episodes like “Indians on TV” and “Ladies and Gentlemen” to tackle social ideas quite directly. Here, the show demonstrates a keen understanding of societal mechanics that are far less polemical, but are every bit as revealing.
This being Master of None, however, the main thrust of the season’s arc comes from the budding romance of Dev and Italian compatriot Francesca. Save for a handful of moments, previous conquest Rachel doesn’t have much of a presence this season, and Dev’s movement away from her is kept low-key. Dev and Francesca are friends during his stay in Italy, and as her significant other’s tile business brings her stateside, she and Dev become closer as the season unfolds. This is a throughline that has a bevy of charming moments, but never quite works as well. “Amarsi Un Po,” an hourlong episode dedicated to Dev and Francesca doing everything together never quite matches the heights of “Nashville” and “Mornings,” but Ansari and Alessandra Mastronardi have enough chemistry together to make the plot work.
Master of None arrived with such a strong sense of purpose, and with a point-of-view unique even to the series influences. Season two ups its own game with a number of experiments and ideas that are, for the most part, well-executed. Sure, the show can never figure out how to make any scene with text messaging work, and the moments with Bobby Cannavale’s faux-Anthony Bourdain, Chef Jeff, fizzle near the end–prescient, though they may be. In fact, this season’s finale, far less decisive than last, doesn’t quite land as well. And, given the news that Ansari might not do a third season of Master of None, this would be an unorthodox way to end the show.
If this is the last we see of Master of None, this is a show that, unlike so many modern series, Master of None isn’t spoiled by an ambiguous conclusion. So many of the show’s best episodes stand independent of one another that they’re worth referring back to as demonstrations of what makes for forward-thinking, insightful, fearless show. Ansari and Yang have made a show that has a clear identity, but is always willing to try on any number of masks to tell a great story. Season two may not function as a whole quite as solidly as season one, but in every other sense, Master of None is better than ever.
Tapes: “The Thief,” “Religion,” “First Date,” “New York, I Love you,” “Thanksgiving,” “Amarsi Un Po”May 13, 2017 at 10:22 pm #1202092297This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.May 13, 2017 at 11:07 pm #1202092305
I’m almost finished with season 1, and I like it but definitely don’t love it. Most people seem to think season 2 is better, if I didn’t love season 1 could I still love season 2?
#FreeTheBannedFourMay 13, 2017 at 11:16 pm #1202092306This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.May 14, 2017 at 12:36 am #1202092310
Seen the first half. It is not quite the improved show that I was expecting. It flips between being inspired and being awkward with bad acting/casting. Hopefully it sticks the landing at the end like last season. I was not a fan of “Parents”, but at least it was better conceptually and stylistically than “Religion”.May 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm #1202092869
WOW! What an amazing season! Even better than the first! Words can’t describe how much I loved it! Give this show all the Emmys!May 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm #1202092873This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.May 15, 2017 at 10:08 am #1202093643
Master of None S2 is winning three Emmys, or should win three Emmys:
Directing (The Thief or Amarsi Un Po)
Writing (That one is tough, they could go with Thanksgiving, Religion or New York, I Love You)
And Angela freaking Bassett.May 15, 2017 at 5:56 pm #1202093945
Beginning the binge soon! Just watched the season 2 premiere. Such a charming outing! This episode shows such an artistic leap and maturity on Aziz Ansari’s part that honestly I didn’t think he was capable of reaching. Loved season 1, so I’m greatly anticipating where this all goes.May 15, 2017 at 8:28 pm #1202094056
I just finished it and holy cannoli did I love this season. The penultimate episode in particular, though not without its shortcomings, hit me hard.
Also, after noticing that Mozart in the Jungle season 3 and Master of None have been two or my favorite shows of the year, I’ve realised that I am much more of a sap for emotional artsy comedies than I ever thought.May 15, 2017 at 10:02 pm #1202094120
That was so good, weirdly, that same shit happened to me, but the girl was a bisexual and ended up with her girl. So that fucking moved everthing inside me. Emmys for writing , directing and lead actor.May 16, 2017 at 8:03 am #1202094441
Does this have a chance to win? It won Writing last year, so it wouldn’t be out of nowhere. If they are smart again, they will get Directing and Writing nominations again. With Veep, Transparent, and Silicon Valley with somewhat weak reception at the moment, its only main competition is Atlanta. It’s definitely a contender at this point.
Big fan of Better Call Saul, Sex Education, Barry, BoJack Horseman, and, especially, SurvivorMay 16, 2017 at 8:20 am #1202094462This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.
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