Friday, May 19, 2017

TV Show Review: Master of None (Season 2)

Aziz Ansari returns to Netflix with his hilarious and insightful series. Food is central to this season, more so than the last. I've been hooked on Aziz's comedy and his performance in Parks and Rec for a while now and this was a nice surprise to see popping up on Netflix again. The story picks up a short time after the first with Aziz's character Dev in Italy exploring the culinary art of making pasta. In Modena, Dev trains with a family including Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi). There are small signs of attraction but Dev is still single and Francesca has a boyfriend. Dev meets a cute British woman on his lonely birthday dinner but loses his phone to a thief and is unable to contact her.

Dev's friend shows up in Italy in the second episode Arnold (Eric Wareheim) who wants to go to the wedding of an old ex-girlfriend and brings Dev along. They eat their way through the country and get stuck in an alley with their rental. Arnold crashes the wedding but everything works out. Dev returns to New York reintroducing his hilarious father Ramesh (Shoukath Ansari, Aziz's actual father) who hopes that Dev will pretend to be a pious Muslim for Dev's Uncle and Dev's mother Nisha (Fatima Ansari). Food clashes with his religion as well as Dev introduces his cousin to pork and they skip prayer to go to a BBQ festival.

Dev has an encounter with several dates after interacting with them on a dating app. This episode was hilarious and is put together in a very interesting fashion. One date with Priya (Tiya Sircar) gets to the second but Dev can't find a true connection. Another episode turns away from Dev's story and shows other tales of New York including Eddie (Frank Harts), Maya (Treshelle Edmond), and others. Dev looks to his career as he meets with Chef Jeff (Bobby Cannavale), a loudmouthed cook. Jeff encourages Dev's career moves as he works on a cupcake cooking show as a host.

The Thanksgiving episode with Denise (Lena Waithe) and her family shows her growth as Dev is invited since a child. This episode is considered one of the best of the season and I enjoyed it a lot. The last two episodes explore Dev and Francesca's relationship as he woos her in New York but watches as she continues to stay with her fiance. Dev tries to convince her to stay but she struggles with the decision. Meanwhile, Dev's career is derailed by accusations of sexual harassment against Chef Jeff.

Master of None had a solid first season and though I think the second doesn't quite match the freshman run, it's still a funny show with decent romantic comedy. The episodes are never fun and Aziz's humor propels the stories forward. The chemistry between Dev and Francesca helped the central romantic story and the constant food made me really hungry throughout. I look forward to Aziz making more of these and I hope he starts to pop up in films and possibly some more stand-up specials. 

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