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Master of None: Season 2 - Review

Matser of None Season 2

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

IF THE first season of Aziz Ansari’s Master of None was an unexpected comedy treat, then the sophomore run – for many people, including myself – bettered it to establish the series as a major comedy force.

Divided between Italy and New York, the second season built on the success of the first, while also stretching the drama and the creative elements to include nods to some of Ansari’s biggest influences.

Hence, the first two Italian based episodes of the second run adopted a self-consciously Fellini-esque quality, being shot in black and white, and embracing that legendary Italian filmmaker’s trademark style.

Unfolding in Modena, the first two episodes are among the show’s most enjoyable, as Dev (Ansari) gets to indulge his passion for food – and, in particular, pasta making – while finding a possible new romantic partner in Francesca (the enchanting Alessandra Mastronardi), even though she has a boyfriend.

As with the first season, Master of None provides both a witty dissection of modern relationships and identity, while also offering an endearing dramatic arc. Given the hurt that Dev suffered at the end of season one, you can’t help but root for a change in fortunes here.

But things – inevitably – don’t go as planned and Dev returns to New York, where he attempts to get back on with his life with the help of his friends and family – upsetting some in the process, while all the time trying to establish his own sense of identity.

In doing so, there are plenty of great episodes to savour… perhaps the bravest of which, New York, I Love You, departs from the show’s principal characters almost entirely to offer a snapshot of life from a group of ordinary New Yorkers. It’s brave, bold television, demonstrating the show’s growing confidence, as well as its ability to have something to say.

Thanksgiving is another gem, featuring a guest appearance from Angela Bassett, which confronts the sexuality of one character (Denise) over a series of Thanksigiving get-togethers. It’s both amusing and touching.

While the series’ final two episodes, which feature the arrival of Francesca in America, are genuinely affecting.

As yet, there are no plans for a third season, which would be a shame now that the show has really found its feet. Netflix is open to another one, so long as Ansari can bring something together.

On the evidence of the first two seasons, he really must.

Master of None: Season 2 is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Monday, May 27, 2019.

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