Master of None S3
IMDb rating: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%
If you’ve not watched the first two seasons of Master of None, and you’re planning to binge before hitting play on Season 3 – don’t.
Season 3 is pretty much an entirely different series altogether. There’s zero comedy; it’s all drama. Originally created by Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari, Master of None starred the latter in the role of Dev Shah and followed the ups and downs of his personal and professional life as an actor. The seasons aired in 2015 and 2017, and interestingly, in the final episode (contains spoilers) of Season 2, the character of Chef Jeff (Bobby Cannavale) is outed for sexual harassment; in 2018, Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct.
That’s another story, but it’s widely speculated and accepted that it is the reason Ansari is on-screen for only a few minutes in Season 3 (and not particularly likeable in the first appearance). Instead, he is behind the camera, directing, and co-writing with Lena Waithe – who played a small supporting character, Denise, in the previous seasons. Waithe won a well-deserved Emmy for the Season 2 episode she penned (the first Black woman to do so), Thanksgiving, and is the creator of the brilliant series The Chi.
Master of None’s third season is all about Denise and her wife, Alicia (Naomi Ackie), and the minutiae of their marriage, which collapses horribly when Alicia says she wants a baby. Although this is a dividing point for the couple, Alicia continues with her desire to become pregnant. You will learn everything you wanted to know about IVF – it’s not sugar-coated, and a lot of it is extremely painful.
There are five episodes in this season, ranging from 30 minutes to almost an hour running time. Within these episodes are long, static scenes – up to a minute and a half – where nothing happens at all; just the characters sitting, or an empty set. Some viewers will consider these art, while others could grow bored (90 seconds is incredibly long in the context of film and television). And instead of a food theme running throughout, this time, there is laundry.
“For conflicted comedy fans the solution might be to stop worrying and start watching. These 192 minutes speak more directly to the shifting status of women on screen than any public statement could,” says The Guardian.
More LGBT picks: