The last time I binged a show all the way through was when the first season of Netflix’s Daredevil came out. The second time I ever binged a whole season of a show was another Netflix original, but it didn’t have crime, superheroes, controversial plots, or anything of that nature. Instead, the show that I binged was charming, abnormally genuine, and refreshingly original. That show was Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang’s love child simply titled Master of None. Season 2 of the show dropped at midnight PST and being in California meant waiting until midnight for the show to drop and oh was the wait worth it.
For those unfamiliar with the show’s premise, I encourage you to watch Season 1 right now. The story follows Dev (Ansari) an actor in New York whose diverse group of friends and almost too relatable dating experiences drive the show’s premises, but not only does the show deliver humor and diversity in a way that sticks with you, but is presented in ways that minorities of all types can relate while non minorities can also appreciate and realize said topics. That doesn’t go anywhere in follow up season and instead enhances and embraces diversity like a child you want to nourish.
The season starts with a beautifully shot black and white episode that gives a clear homage to iconic black and white foreign films of the past, but specifically The Bicycle Thief (1948), which perfectly drops us into where Dev is in life after the events of Season 1. Not only does the charm return just how we’d hoped, but the direction of the episode and the other nine that follow shows a level of maturation in the art of creating television. Beyond all the characteristics of the show that we love, whether it be the humor, the heart, or the social commentary – which is nearly flawless – the show’s directors (Ansari, Yang, Eric Wareheim and others) proved that characters should be growing and changing as should the directors and writers.
I was constantly enamored by the choices each character made and how genuine they all felt throughout each episode. The arcs with Dev and his friends or love interest(s) maintained and focused in on real life people problems to a point that I found myself reacting out loud because if those things happened to me I would have reacted the same way. BUT, I’m sure you’re all wondering which episode was the standout for me, right? Well, look no farther than the first two episodes for some of the most enjoyable overall episodes (in my opinion of course), but the clear winner and absolutely breathtakingly beautiful work of art in this season was Episode 6 titled “New York, I Love You”.
Now, I won’t spoil the episode, you know me better than that, but I assure you folks that you will know which episode and why I loved it so much. “New York, I Love You” was the episode that made me realize that this show is special in more ways than one. If Netflix shows are eligible for Emmy’s then this show should expect some serious awards and nominations. If not, f**k it, watch the show anyways.
My only gripe with the show is that it wasn’t longer. Not only could I have watched the show in black and white, but I could have happily engulfed myself in Dev’s life while living in Italy as you’ll see in the first few episodes. New York is great, but there was something about Dev living in a different country experiencing new people and a new culture that really spoke to the wanderlust in me and probably many others. I hope the show expands on the finale of the season and if it does, take it back to Italy for at least half the season. It would be a crime for Ansari and Yang to not explore the endless potential of what was given to us during this season. The richness of the stories that naturally unfold are worth taking the time out to tell in full.
And yes, every character you know and love from season one returns… even Dev’s parents aka Aziz’s real life parents, but only for one episode. I think you know my grade for Master of None Season 2…
p.s. The show didn’t rely on stupid low hanging fruit that dealt with politics or our current U.S. President… And it was still great!