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Master of None Season 2 Review

by Cole Greenberg, Reporter

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The majority of attempts to capture the modern world through film and television are all largely the same – overused trends and music, poking fun at old people and technology, and, of course, the never ending, stereotypical jokes about young people and their phones. It always seems as if the writers, producers, and studios behind these are just trying to make easy money by throwing ideas on the wall and seeing what sticks, trying to hard to please their audiences. But, Aziz Ansari’s Master of None is an exception. The 34-year old, returning for his sophomore season of the show, has crafted something wholly unique, smart, hilarius, cosmopolitan, and surprisingly moving.

Season 2 finds Dev, New York actor turned up-and-coming pasta-making phenom, living in Italy following the crestfallen ending to Season 1. The entire first episode is shot in black and white, a homage to classic Italian noir films. We’re immediately introduced to a very different tone from the first season, but the lively spirit and witty humor is still great as ever – perhaps better. As we continue throughout the series, a friendship first introduced to us in Episode 1 slowly becomes something more, and it soon blossoms to a romance for the ages. Dev’s love interest Francesca is played impeccably by Alessandra Mastronardi, and her performance gets better and better throughout each episode.

Despite this overarching storyline, Master of None jumps around to different themes and topics as it did last season. Religion, sexuality, and city life are all captured perfectly – and I mean perfectly. The simple beauty that lies within these episodes allows the show to be incredibly candid and spoken, such as in Episode 5, New York, I Love You. Following the lives of multiple city goers in a single day – a doorman, deaf couple, and a Burundian cabbie, – you can’t help but be charmed by its palpable humaneness. Ansari is additionally able to portray modern social patterns in such detail and honesty that it’s so incredibly easy to relate to the characters and their emotions, dealing with the same problems we face everyday that Dev and Francesca face throughout their journeys.

But, even despite the show’s huge modern appeal, there is also something primitive that doesn’t need a setting or time.

I think the best example of this comes in the final scene of The Dinner Party. After spending a fun (subtly flirtatious) night together, Dev and Francesca are taken in an Uber to her stop. As the car parks, a moment of awkward silence ensues between them, both unsure of what to do. Francesca then decides to leave, thanks Dev for the night, smiles, and leaves. The Uber then leaves to take Dev back to his place, and we stay with Dev in the car with him for nearly three minutes, only music playing. We can literally feel his angst, disappointed for not acting upon his feelings – the same raw emotion that hits us throughout life just as it Dev. Perhaps we’re all Dev, sitting quietly in a car ride to some uncertain destination, trying to figure out all these jumbled, messy, head-in-the-clouds, surging feelings.

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Master of None Season 2 Review