My Mood For the Day: Still fighting a cold but slightly more adventurous than Day 1.
What I Watched: Netflix’s Master of None (S2:1-S2:E2)
Had I Seen It Before: I watched Season 1 shortly after it came out but had never gotten around to Season 2 before now.
What IMDb Says: The personal and professional life of Dev, a 30-year-old actor in New York.
My Thoughts On What I Watched: I have a rather bizarre relationship with Master of None. It’s kinda like that person you met at a party two years ago that you thought was really cool and couldn’t wait to see again but then never bothered seeing again.
When the show first premiered in November of 2015 I had a friend urge me to watch it. I binged the whole thing over just a couple days (only ten episodes about a half hour each). At the time I was like “This is great! There’s nothing else like it on tv! It’s funny but still explores complex issues! Good job Aziz Ansari!”
But the thing about streaming originals is that you oftentimes wait a solid year between seasons, or in Master of None‘s case, a year and a half. It’s not like traditional shows where you get a season finale in May and then a season premiere in September. And even though 2015 Anne would’ve thought that 2017 Anne would be super pumped for Master of None Season 2, that just simply wasn’t the case. I mean I never made a deliberate decision not to watch it, I just felt like every time I went online to stream, Master of None just wasn’t the show that spoke to me.
In some ways, Season 1 was almost too good. It felt complete. The ending was bittersweet, but acceptable. It’s a situation where Season 2 feels like a risk because it has the potential to take the plotline somewhere you don’t want it to go and ruin your relationship with the show as a whole.
But as I was scrolling through Netflix trying to find an original to fill the void I was reminded of Master of None and thought I’d give it a try. I was somewhat surprised to see the first two episodes actually take place in Italy. Season 1 ends with Dev moving to Italy to learn how to make pasta but it seemed like the kinda thing you see in a season finale that finds a way to undo itself in the next season premiere. At most, I thought by the end of Episode 1 Dev would be heading back to NYC. I mean who has the budget to shoot multiple episodes in Italy?
But just as I was starting to like the idea of a whole season in Italy, it turns out Dev is heading back to NYC, which is perhaps a good thing. One of the things I liked about Season 1 is that it was a comedy but it had something to say, dammit. It explored the immigrant experience. It explored what it’s like to be an Indian-American with show business aspirations. The beginning of Season 2 is rather run-of-the-mill sitcom shenanigans, but in Italy. Hopefully a return to NYC will also mean a return to some of these more interesting themes. I’ll keep you posted.
My Thoughts On Streaming In General: A lot of people talk about the immediacy of getting to watch an entire season in one fell swoop, but not that many people talk about how this extends the wait time between season. Before the age of streaming, watching a season finale in November of 2015 but waiting until May 2017 to watch the next episode was unheard of, and probably for good reason.
It’s weird to think about how shows like Mozart in the Jungle have similar wait times and I’m still dying to see the new season as soon as it comes out, but other shows just don’t have this effect.