Season 2 of Master of None improves upon the depth and authenticity crafted in season 1.
This is where the spoiler lite review starts. Read at your own risk!
A lot has happened since Dev’s (Aziz Ansari) breakup with Rachel (Noël Wells) in season 1. He moved to Modena, learned Italian, began a pasta making apprenticeship with “a grandma” and reclaimed his room illuminating smile. Ansari, doubling as director (and, of course, Executive Producer) uses the classic Italian film black-and-white to invite us into his life for this globe spanning adventure.
The show seems to hyper aware of last season’s criticism of lack of Asian women and women of color by introducing charming Brit, Sarah (Claire-Hope Ashitey) in the first episode and awkwardly placing another half dozen women throughout the season.
Diversity is a theme woven throughout this series and season 2 goes all in during the brilliantly written New York, I Love You episode (ep. 6). The main cast takes a break while we meet random New Yorkers throughout the episode. Writer, Cord Jefferson, spends 30 minutes introducing, humanizing, and drawing us into the lives of people we meet once and never again. It is a masterfully written and directed episode, exhibiting what stories can be told from the tables of a diverse writer’s room.
This season is filled with vignettes into the lives of, primarily, minority characters. Dev’s parents (Shoukath and Fatima Ansari) return to their reprise their real life roles as Dev’s parents. They, clearly, are not actors which makes for natural and consistently hilarious scenes.
The Religion episode (ep. 3) deals with Muslim problems that (thankfully) have nothing to do with terrorism. A refreshing idea in a culture that only seems to want to portray Muslims as jihad obsessed criminals. Dev and his family navigate the challenges of sneaking bacon, piety, and generational views about religion. It is written, like so much of this show, to show that this particular ‘other’ group is not that different from everyone else.
This season follows in the tradition of Insecure, Atlanta, and its own first season, to provide a long overdue, honest and fair treatment of people who often do not see themselves represented in film (even when the characters look like them).
This is 10 episodes of beautiful humanity. Watch it. Now!