Sunday, May 28, 2017

Master of None Season 2

I recently watched al of the second season of Master of None, Aziz Ansari's sweet Netflix series.

The strength of this show is Aziz -- his ebullience, his curiosity, his humor, and his wonderful good nature and seemingly genuine kindness. He throws light on various pervasive forms of racism, gives homage and dignity to the myriad people whose lives are ignored in mainstream storytelling, and performs a running commentary on contemporary upper-middle class urban life.

Both season have an off quality to me. Something awkward in the acting or timing that I can't quite adjust to. Season 2 is cinematically (and to a lesser extent thematically) sophisticated, but there is something amateurish in the execution that I can't quite put my finger on.

The narrative arc of Season 2 is Aziz's budding relationship with a charming woman he met in Italy (those episodes shot in black and white and sending shout outs to Italian movie classics). As this developed I felt myself growing a bit distant. The storylines and scenes with his friends and dates were crisp and fresh to me. But with the love interest it felt a little tired. It dragged a little. I think part of the problem for me is that she was SO charming. A caricature of charming. Hi growing fondness and love for her was understandable and relatable, but her her-ness seemed made up to me.

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