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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

“Master of None” entertaining, yet disjointed


Season two showcases different narrative than previous episodes

From the get-go, the second season of Master of None gave off a very different vibe than the previous season. For starters, the first episode of the season is featured in black and white and is set in Modena, Italy, with everyone speaking Italian. However, those jarring changes are eased with subtitles, and the color change does not last throughout the whole season. The storyline picks up pretty much where it left off, with Dev attempting to bury his romance woes by fleeing to Italy and working in a pasta shop. After a couple of fun Italian-themed episodes, the show then follows Dev back to New York as he navigates his new dating life and career.

Season two has a different feel for multiple reasons. First, it’s very artistic. All of the shots are beautifully set up, especially in the episodes that take place in Italy. The picturesque scenery coupled with the close-up food shots are enough to make anyone put Italy at the top of their travel list.

Another difference is that the episodes are less focused on Dev and his friends as a group and more on each of their individual stories. Each one of his friends, besides Arnold, who is folded into Dev’s episodes, is given their own vignette episode. I found these episodes to be some of the most enjoyable of the season, especially Denise’s episode, which focuses on her difficulties expressing her sexuality to her family. Awkward Thanksgiving meals sounds familiar to anyone? If so, watch this episode for some déjà vu. I definitely appreciated this storyline as a queer woman of color myself, as it is still such a struggle to find accurate portrayals of these types of narratives.

Another enjoyable episode of the show was “New York, I Love You,” episode six of the season. Even if you don’t watch Master of None, I recommend watching this particular episode. Instead of focusing on the main characters, it tells the stories of different marginalized people in New York.

But other parts of the show weren’t as powerful. I don’t know if this is just me, but I find Dev’s character rather unlikeable. It might be because he reminds me of some of my exes, or I might just find him annoying in general. I find his fixation on his love life to be particularly irritating, although maybe that’s out of fear that I will be in the same position in my later 20s, going on pointless date after pointless date. Also, the woman he is primarily interested in calls him “curry man” several times, and although Dev calls her out on it, it made me feel extremely uncomfortable. I would have liked to see him question how her identity as a white woman complicates their relationship.

I also found that, although I liked the different vignettes the show had, overall I felt it made the season feel a bit disjointed. I also missed having Dev, Denise, Arnold and Brian all hanging together as friends, watching their banter unfold. They had a really good dynamic in the last season, and this time it seemed like it was just Dev hanging out with them individually.

Altogether, season two is still an entertaining watch with some bright sparks, but it suffers from being too fragmented.


Written by: Abigail Wang — arts@theaggie.org


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