I really loved Master of None Season 2. I almost didn’t watch it, given that I found Season 1 fine, funny at times but not unmissable. Season 2 is a different story. There’s an ambitious arc, there’s Italy, there’s episodes that are doing ambitious things, including two Aziz himself is essentially not in. There’s an arc about when a guy you thought was great turns out to be a misogynistic asshole... more about that in a second.
I was more or less neutral on Aziz Ansari before I watched it, but his character, Dev, is 75% endearing to 25% annoying which I think is probably how a lot of us see ourselves, so he grew on me. I like that he includes his parents in his show even though they’re kind of terrible actors. I like how seriously he takes it all.
So… yeah, I hoped for a little more from Aziz last night. While I understand why people are frustrated he hasn’t talked more about systemic abuses in comedy, and what he might have known and who he’s pointedly not talking about, I also see how he might have thought (albeit wrongly) that it wasn’t the time or place, putting aside for a minute that he could manufacture the time or place if he wanted.
But I was mega-disappointed that he failed to mention Lena Waithe, with whom he wrote the Emmy-winning episode ‘Thanksgiving’ that most people think is the season’s best. I was particularly disappointed because Lena’s show The Chi began last night, and no matter how highly regarded it is (and most people say it seems great), any new show could use a boost from a dude who just won an award, especially if the show was created by a woman who gave the dude’s show some multidimensionality that is part of the reason it won the Golden Globe in the first place.
I assume it’s an oversight, based on it being a crazy night and the fact that, as he pointed out, he didn’t think he would win (by contrast, at the Emmys, he and Waithe had their acceptance routine and her speech well thought-out). I’m happy to be here to help him out and tell you that you should check out The Chi and you’ll regret it if you have to play catch up in a few weeks.
Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll also have seen effusive comments from Aziz and remember that I wrote this article and my concerns turned out to be nothing. Hopefully.