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Our Take on "Master of None" Season 2

May 23, 2017

Master of None made its debut in November 2015, making a name for itself from the beginning. Viewers were quickly pleased with its realism, its ability to present social issues without trying to convince, and possibly above all else, its distinct artistic style. The show’s second season was released on Netflix (as a Netflix original) on May 12, and it has already been critically-acclaimed. Receiving 100% on Rotten Tomatoes by critics and 96% by viewers, the second season not only lived up to its expectations (based off the first season, which was also a 100% critic score on RT), but also surpassed these expectations, “delivering an ambitious batch of episodes that builds on the show's premise while adding surprising twists”, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

A few SA staff members watched the second season together this weekend and wanted to share some thoughts on their favorite Master of None episodes on the blog today. If you haven’t watched the show yet, be aware, there are a few spoilers in this post!
 

Kay
Favorite episode: E1 - “The Thief”
Explanation:

“Master of None does its best at avoiding the “sophomore slump” with a comforting reintroduction through the season premiere, entitled “The Thief”. It plays like a black-and-white Italian film which finds Dev (Aziz Ansari) living in northern Italy, spending his days making pasta with friends. Dev is once again the charming and funny young food-obsessed millennial, whose broken Italian only adds to his charm.

Not only the premiere, but also the series as a whole, is a love letter to the food and the culture of Italy. It is a bit of a preview into the development of Dev as he spends the season trying to find himself. The opening episode leads you to binge through the short ten-episode season, continuously immersing yourself, like Dev, in constant self-discovery.”

 

Erin
Favorite episode: E2 - “Le Nozze”
Explanation:

“The second episode of Master of None, season two, stands out as one of my favorites from the series. In the episode, which is wholly lighthearted, Dev is living in Italy and is visited by his best friend from New York, Arnold. “Le Nozze” is translated as “The Wedding” in English, which is exactly what the episode is about on the surface – Arnold is attending a wedding for his ex-girlfriend of 11 years. Yet, there are a thousand deeper messages about the wedding, including but not limited to long-term love, the crossing and separating of paths, the importance of letting go, and so many others.

After watching the episode, I caught myself reflecting on my own life, my relationships and my path – aspiring to be true to myself and the ones I love while realizing how detrimental it can be to expect more than they can/should give to you. It’s an episode that could be watched repetitively and still possess undiscovered important themes, as are many episodes from the series.”

 

Clay
Favorite episode: E6 - “New York, I Love You”
Explanation:

“One of the most creative elements I have seen on TV came in episode six of the second season of Master of None. This episode follows three separate groups of New Yorkers as their paths cross throughout the city. Following a doorman at a luxury apartment complex, a deaf convenience store clerk, and a Rwandan taxi driver and his roommates, the stories are independent of one another and yet flawlessly tie, lending a creative insight into how different people’s lives can be from one another.

This episode blew me away for two reasons, the first being the unique manner in which the guest characters were presented. This presentation is unlike anything I have seen in any show or movie before. The second reason was simply the fact that in a show about Aziz’s character, Dev, and his friends, they only had about a minute of screen time. The entire episode was about the people of the city that Dev loves.”

 

Drew
Favorite episode: E10 - “Buona Notte”
Explanation:

“My favorite episode from the second season of Master of None is the finale, “Buona Notte”. Tension between Dev and Francesca rises to a point of inevitable conflict when the two are in Dev’s New York apartment. Coming off a helicopter date where Dev explains why he doesn’t understand people who stay in lukewarm relationships, the pair contemplates whether or not they would have the same connection if they were both single when they first met. The scene cuts to Dev walking up to Francesca, sitting at the kitchen counter, as if the two of them were meeting for the first time.

After a little more dialogue, the two have their “first dance” with the scene lit on one side with a fiery red contrasting with an icy blue on the other. Dev and Francesca are found dancing in between the vivid colors, in the lukewarm area. The powerful imagery in this scene is why this episode is my favorite in the season. Both characters are currently in lukewarm situations; Francesca, in a relationship with her fiancé and not knowing what she wants anymore, and Dev, with his current relationship and job status. The dreamlike daze seen in both characters’ expressions shows the yearning for a deeper connection with somebody. The quest to really connect with someone is put in jeopardy when Dev kisses Francesca and she leaves his apartment, causing him inevitable confusion and frustration. This scene depicts a deeper theme threaded throughout the season, which is that of finding purpose and passion in relationships and jobs. “Buona Notte’s” combination of excellent cinematography and acting is what makes the episode a step above the rest.”


 

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