(SPOILER WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Master of None seasons one and two)
Master of None is a Netflix original series created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang.
The show focuses on the life of Dev (Ansari) as he searches for love while working as an actor in New York City.
The first season of Master of None was met with wide critical acclaim.
It holds a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a nine out of ten on Metacritic and was nominated for four primetime Emmy awards, winning one for outstanding writing in a comedy series.
As far as plot is concerned, season two picks up, right about where the initial season left off.
Dev has been living in Italy since breaking up with his long-term girlfriend Rachel.
The first episode of the season gives a glimpse into Dev’s day to day life, as he spends time enjoying the cuisine and culture of the small Italian town of Modena.
He’s made new friends, learned how to make pasta from an old Italian lady and eaten nearly every food imaginable, however he still seems to be hung up on Rachel.
One key staple of the first season was Ansari and Yang’s approach to the unique problems many young adults face in society today.
Season one featured episodes centered around everything from diversity in television and mortality, to the perils women face walking home alone from bars at night.
One of the most widely celebrated and critically successful episode of the first season, ‘Parents’, focused on what it’s like being a second generation immigrant.
Season two is no different, with a lot of adventurous and experimental episodes tackling topics such as confronting your parents about religion, coming out as LGBT and navigating online dating.
One of my personal favorites, ‘New York, I Love You’ follows multiple different New Yorkers throughout their day and offers interesting perspectives into the lives of other communities within the city, such as immigrant cab drivers, the doormen at an upscale apartment complex and the deaf.
In this I find Master of None has its greatest strength.
Although Ansari is for the most part charming and entertaining, the show seems to be at its best when he is interacting with one of his more veteran co-stars.
While not exactly an ensemble cast, the supporting characters in this show are charming and interesting and often compliment Ansari’s demeanor and comedic style, most notably in his two best friends, Arnold, played by Eric Wareheim, and Denise, played by Lena Waithe.
Episodes that feature these characters more prominently tend to stick out, and are easily the most entertaining.
In season two Ansari and Yang were able to hone in on what made the first season so popular, being genuinely relatable and in-touch with its core audience.
Season two spends a lot more time focusing on Dev’s romantic pursuits, to the point that it can be a bit agitating if you weren’t particularly a fan of those episodes in season one.
As stated before, Master of None seems to be at its best when it can draw from its diverse and intricate cast of characters, yet we spend a large amount of time with Dev either on his own or with a new, unestablished character that is often overshadowed by Ansari’s personality.
Another issue I found was that Ansari didn’t quite have the same level of chemistry with his main romantic interest this season as the previous one.
It can be slightly jarring at times because certain plot points require the interest be charmed by Dev, however the dialogue wouldn’t quite match up, yet the love interest was charmed anyway.
In truth, Master of None season 2 was great.
While obviously not flawless, it managed to hit on many of the themes and characteristics that made the first season so successful without feeling like a repeat of what we’ve already seen.
In addition to being entertaining, heartfelt and genuine, this season took its cinematography to another level as well.
Many of the shots in this season are simply breathtaking and the show runners took full advantage of the wonderful scenery and imagery both Italy and New York had to offer.
All in all, if you enjoyed the first season of Master of None, you’re sure to find this one equally entertaining, but if for some reason you didn’t, you’ll probably find more of the same here.