I take my TV shows very seriously. I will watch them religiously, and, until they hurt me, I will not complain about them. With Sherlock, for example, everyone always complains about how long we have to wait for seasons, but I just quietly sip tea in a corner and anxiously wait.
That’s what I did for season two of Master of None. But after this season I must warn everyone that this season was painful, to put it nicely.
The first season followed a logical story line that everyone could follow. This season was all over the place. The main storyline was abandoned part way through the season to be picked up right at the end so that once again fans were not given a whole, satisfying story to sit with while they waited for the next season.
Aziz Ansari writes and stars in this Netflix original series. He’s typically funny and relatable but in this season of the show, it was hard to keep listening to him whine.
Bustle does a good job of outlining the kind of guy he is in the first season: “In the first season of Netflix’s Master of None, Dev Shah is a consummate nice guy. He’s particularly a good ally to women: He exposes a subway masturbator, he calls out a TV commercial director for casting women in stereotypically feminine roles, and when he accidentally potentially impregnates a one-night stand, he makes the extremely gentlemanly gesture of treating her to Plan B and two bottles of Martinelli’s apple juice.”
Something changes in Dev though, as most people do when they go through a bad breakup, but this change moves him from Good Guy to Grade-A Asshole. He goes as far as falling for someone who is engaged and when she won’t uproot her whole life for him, he tells her that she used him. Which isn’t fair because while they like each other, she is making the mature decision to take her time with anything that could end up ruining her life.
His friend Arnold (Eric Wareheim) was an awesome part of the first season. And stayed that way for this season too. At least something worked for this season.
There were two very important episodes that could have been the whole season but were squished into 30 minutes with no real direction.
The first one was episode three, called “Religion.” Dev’s family is Muslim and the episode did a good job of highlighting the issues that some children experience when trying to come to terms with who they are in the country they live in and the culture/religion they are supposed to be following.
The second one was episode eight, called “Thanksgiving.” Dev’s family doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, so he’s spent every Thanksgiving he can with Denise (Lena Waithe) and her family. When the episode started, it was weirdly disconnected to the rest of the series but the point quickly becomes clear. It’s Denise’s journey from realizing she’s attracted to women, to telling her mom, and the acceptance that her family shows her once she’s open with them – which could have been a season on it’s own.
By the time I got to the seventh episode I wanted so badly for it to be the end of the season. It was like pulling teeth to get through to the end – which once again was not a real conclusion and should have had its lead-up shown on screen.
The first episode was filmed in Italy and had the potential of being a beautiful episode, but it was done in black and while – which I truly didn’t understand. I am all for a strong insta-aesthetic game but it added nothing in terms of production value, nor did it advance the plot in any way.
Ansari made it clear after this season that the wait for the next one would be even longer as he felt like something drastic would have to happen, such as having a kid, before he could come up with more material to write about.
I’m not sure I’ll watch the next season, or even wait for it in any kind of anticipation, but it would make for some good background noise.
Better Than: Santa Clarita Diet
Not as Good as: Season 1
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