The following is a review of the second season of Master of None. Available now on Netflix.
At the beginning of the second season of Master of None, Dev Shah (played by Aziz Ansari) has traveled to Italy to learn about a different culture but mostly to become a better pasta chef. He is still trying to get over his relationship with Rachel (played by Noël Wells), but whenever he meets someone new that he likes something always gets in the way.
Whether it’s a thief in Modena who steals his phone, engagement rings on the hand of someone he has a crush on (played by Alessandra Mastronardi), or unsuccessful Tinder dates, Dev’s difficulties in his love life are always pretty relatable. Just like last season, there is an extensive amount of social commentary mixed into episodes with a lot of comedy.
This mixture of universally relatable observational social commentary on racially or sexually specific situations with comedy is one of the reasons why this show works so well. Another reason why is that Master of None is one of those comedy-dramas that is unafraid of experimentation.
Dev’s parents (played by Aziz Ansari’s own two parents Fatima and Shoukath Ansari) always manage to put a smile on my face, and, specifically, his father often times manages to crack me up. Although it isn’t a ‘laugh-out-loud’ kind of show, it does have incredibly humorous moments, which are often brought about by Dev’s good friend Arnold (played by Eric Wareheim).
Again, I must emphasize how refreshing it is that Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang’s show is so willing to experiment with episodes instead of forcing in filler episodes. One of the highlights of the season, is the black-and-white episode The Thief, which is essentially an episode-long homage to Italian cinema (specifically Vittorio De Sica’s Ladri di biciclette).
The season has entire episodes dedicated to Tinder dates (First Date) and religious customs (Religion), as well as an episode about different types of people in New York, which includes a section about a deaf woman (New York, I Love You). It is all very well done and mostly includes very intelligent humor and storytelling
But the one episode that everyone seems to talk about — and for good reason — is Thanksgiving, which, you guessed it, is about Thanksgiving. Specifically, the episode focusses on Dev’s friend Denise (played by Lena Waithe), and the episode deals with a young Africa-American woman ‘coming out’ to her mother. It is an exceptional portrait of a complex and sometimes rather uncomfortable experience for the LGBTQ community.
I bingewatched the season right as it was released back in May, but I didn’t have time to rewatch and review it until now. So most of you have probably already seen it. But, in case you haven’t, I suggest you say ‘buongiorno’ to the second season of Master of None whenever you have the chance. It is one of the best shows of the year.
– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen