It has been a long time that I wrote a review on a TV show but, because of the second season of Aziz Ansari’s show Master of None on Netflix, I felt obligated to write a quick one. Aziz Ansari has produced a show that is not only perfectly in tune with the world today but completely relatable as well. In Season 2, Ansari somehow manages to outdo Season 1. This season provides a full spectrum of emotion, from scenes that will make you bust out laughing to heartfelt melancholy. The storyline and directing are phenomenal, and the episodes “Amarsi Un Po” and “New York, I Love You” are absolute gems.
Season 2 is remarkably more cinematic. Aziz Ansari implements his influences into the series in a way that feels nothing less than organic. The episode structures (that resemble everything from Vittorio De Sica to Richard Linklater) feel retrospective to say the least, yet the show is also spot-on with its insights on contemporary culture. Satirizing areas such as online dating and the media to full aplomb, while also acting as an intimate character study for its protagonist, Master of None is a subtle explanation of what loneliness really feels like in today’s world, and like many of the great arthouse films that Master of None emulates, it can be heartbreaking in the most subdued way possible.
It seems the writing and direction have fused to insist that two potentially contrasting places, like an ancient Italian village and your friend’s cozy childhood room, do in fact belong in the same breath. This type of juxtaposition renders varying isolated sentiments to have unifying emotional relevance. The narrative continues with melodic pace, and at times, the narrative can feel a touch over simplified, in comparison to the complexities the cast deals with. Now and again you may even feel there are matters that Aziz’s character, Dev, glances right over just to dwell on others. One can argue this detracts from the experience, though you could also contend that such priorities allow the show to be more light-hearted and approachable. Undoubtedly, this genial disposition gives viewers the option to get enjoyment out of one stand-alone episode, or vignette, without needing to commit to anything long-term.
The finished product is something you can presume was not made for any studio, or even for a certain audience. Without question, the end result transcends what television used to be. Like the characters in L’Avventura, Dev the romantic is in existential limbo. Such a parallel suggests the point isn’t to arrive at any absolute destination, but to gain meaning from the adventure.
‘Master of None’ (Season 2) gets a 9.0/10
Shot on 35's Rating Sheet: 9.5 – 10.0: Excellent! 8.5 – 9.5: Fantastic, but with minor flaws 7.5 – 8.5: Great, but with issues 6.5 – 7.5: Okay, but with major issues 5.5 – 6.5: Had potential, but falls flat hard. 4.5 – 5.5: Disaster!
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