Thursday, May 18, 2017

Master of None Season 2 Netflix Series Review

Master of None (2015-)
Season 2 - 10 episodes (2017)
Watch Master of None Season 2 on Netflix
Created by: Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang
Starring: Aziz Ansari, Eric Wareheim, Lena Waithe, Noël Wells, Eric Wareheim, Kelvin Yu, Alessandra Mastronardi
Rating: TV-MA

Aziz Ansari stars in this comedy as Dev, juggling acting and dating in New York.
In season 2 he returns from Italy, lands a reality show hosting job, and is stuck in the friend zone.

This is one of Netflix's best comedies. It's endearing and heartwarming, but also really funny. This season is creative and takes risks. While most episodes are half an hour, episode nine is a full hour. The first episode is in black and white, and another doesn't even focus on Dev.
Episodes have a lot of heart and feel real. There are many great episodes this season, and this show manages to really capture the family dynamic. This show is on another level artistically, yet always retains the comedy.
The production values are more like film, and it's clear the creators are fans of film, adding similar nuances and directly referencing Italian films. This is an absolute great season.
Watch it.

From the first episode it's clear this is crafted by people that love movies. It's apparent in the shots and the presentation.
This manages to tackle sensitive issues and still remain funny. Each episode is a delight. The biggest reason for this is the writing. That is the foundation for everything this show does.
Master of None takes risks and it pays off. The first episode is black and white and subtitled. Who would go artistic on a comedy show?
Dev has been in Italy for three months. He's picked up the language and has a job making pasta. By episode three he has returned to the states.
Episode three tackles religion. Dev isn't as devout as his parents. While he's Muslim, the denomination doesn't matter. This episode crosses all those lines, exploring what religion at large means from one generation to the next. Sometimes it's not about being who you are, if that's eating pork as a Muslim, it's about respecting your parents. They know what you do, they just want respect when you're around them. Dev's parents, and all parents, see it as an affront when you defy how they raised you in front of them. I thought this episode would be the easy best episode of the season, much like the immigration episode of season one, but the next episode, while not as serious, was also impressive.

Episode four has great editing, splicing multiple dates together. It's not often I praise editing, but the story this tells and even the splice points are well done. It helps that the writing is solid. In half an hour we cover the current state of dating. It's easier to find a date, but still just as awkward when you go on the first date.
Dev's professional life is comfortable. He hosts a cupcake challenge show. His producer is played by Bobby Cannavale, who guests on a few episodes. This doesn't spend much time on this job. Before you realize it, he has the job and the show has moved on.

I love how daring this show is. We get multiple minutes of Dev riding in a car with just musical backing in episode five. That scene works. Episode six "New York, I Love You" contains vignettes of different characters we've never seen before and likely won't see again. It has a hint of Woody Allen, but that could just be the fact this episode is an ode to the city.
Episode eight might be the best example of how good this show is. It depicts multiple Thanksgiving meals Dev spends at Denise's house. It chronicles growing up, Denise coming out, different girlfriends, and how she and her mom find common ground. It balances that with one of the funniest scenes this season when Dev continues to ask Denise's girlfriend her Instagram handle, gleefully excited to repeat the handle.

The final two episodes set up plot lines for Dev's personal and professional life. Dev met Francesca in Italy, and she appears throughout the season with their friendship reaching the precipice of whether it should be something more.
Dev's professional success hits a huge pothole in the final episode. While he transitioned to cupcake host rather easily, his current next job on a reality travel show could be a larger plot point next season. Hopefully we won't have to wait until 2019 for the next season.

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