When Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang produced the first season of Master of None, there was no bigger fan than me. As a young adult and person of colour, I identify wholly with the narrative and themes. And when I read that the reason behind season two taking so long to release was due to the show runners wanting to invest more time into their product to create something better than the prior season, I was all for it. I was also curious as to how their show was going to get better. We have a great cast, every episode touches on a very meta theme, and I think everyone could see a bit of themselves in Dev Shaw. But what I didn’t realize that season one did not have, that season two did have, was an emotional pull that was strung between it’s 10 episodes. Season two of Master of None proves to be an absolute emotional force. It combines Ansari’s signature of witty comedy, a more critical look into romance, and improves on what the show runners accomplished in 2015.
The first season of Master of None revolved around Dev stumbling into many beneficial situations that he did not know how to react to. In a sense, during the first season Dev needed all of season one in order to mature and finally be a grown up. It is quite apparent that in season two that Dev had become more mature while in Italy. Ansari stated in an interview that this season was about Dev knowing what he wants but can’t have. This is the theme that this season is based upon. From the first episode, viewers can tell that the show was going to be different from the past season, as it nods to the iconic Italian film Bicycle Thieves (1948). Dev is in Italy learning to create pasta (which he’s apparently not great at), he meets a great woman named Sara (who he never sees again), and struggles to find love (which makes not seeing Sara all the more painful). Although Dev is on his own path, he’s not getting the breaks he did in season one. Very different from the first episode of season one, where Dev is living this bachelor’s life where he’s inseminating a woman that he casually met at a bar (who is really chill with being inseminated), plays with his friend’s children (who he has fun with, until he shifts the burden back to the mom/friend), and attends a children’s birthday party (in which the parents of the children are getting divorced, leading Dev to realize that having children would not suit him). This is a very dramatic change in narrative. This first episodes lets the more casual fans of the show know, that this show is no longer just a casual viewing experience, this show is a passion project for Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang.
If you’re watching season two and you’re thinking “this is way too serious”, it’s probably due to the show not being made for you. This show was tuned to the extreme, making it more entrancing for those who loved season one. I’m not looking down on anyone and their taste in fiction, but this season is really for individuals who have a hard time with romance, who feel like they are constantly being shat on, it’s for people who wake up everyday and kind of hate themselves. You know what kind of person would love this show? A person who peaked in high school and/or post-secondary education. But on the real though, I think that a lot of people will go into this season thinking that it’s as light hearted as the last season or like Ansari’s other works but I want you guys to emotionally grip yourselves for this roller coaster of emotions that you’ll be taking with Dev through these ten episodes.
If you couldn’t tell, I love the series. The entire time I was watching it, I thought about my blog and how many articles/poems I seem to write about romance or the lack thereof in my life. I decided a couple months ago that I would just stop reading, writing, watching, listening to anything within the romance genre because, I’m not going to lie, that stuff puts me in a very foul mood. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to be in love and all that but there is something seriously wrong with me, when negative thoughts creep into my head every time I hear that someone I know just got into a relationship. If I’m associating romance with grief, then there’s a discussion that I have to have with myself on how to feel. I also failed to reach a lot of my personal goals this year which made me more upset and tore me up even more on the inside. So I had to also just stop reading, writing, watching, listening to more depressing content. But this season of Master of None was really good for me. It expressed to me that it’s normal to feel this way. But it doesn’t seek to answer your questions or question your feelings, it’s just there for you. It’s also not telling you to “buck up chum” or “it gets better”. This was a very personal viewing experience for me and I’m very glad that Ansari and Yang are doing what they do. Master of None is a masterpiece and I hope you took something away from it as I did.