Thursday, May 18, 2017

What's On Netflix?: MASTER OF NONE - Season 2

Welcome to another installment of WHAT'S ON NETFLIX?, where we pick out a film or series currently playing on Netflix and review it for the fans.  This week's selection is the second season of the romantic comedy series...MASTER OF NONE.

Come for the laughs, stay for the feels. Master Of None Season 2 is Aziz Ansari’s newest addition to Netflix, coming out only a week ago. This show is certainly binge-worthy, so buckle in and enjoy what I have to say about it after a marathon through the season.

I hadn’t watched the first season of the show since it came out, but Netflix was kind enough to do a recap for me, and then we open on Modena, Italy. Ansari’s take on the Rom-Com is a fresh, artistic approach that reminds you reasons you love the genre to begin with—namely the laughs and big emotional sequences—without the predictability and frustration of the Jennifer Aniston films you might be used to. Through this series there are episodes entirely in Italian, noir black and white pieces, single continuous moving shots through aisles in a scene, Pulp Fiction-esque episodes, a memoir through the years, and a genuine love story that is moving. This ain’t your mom’s rom-com.

To prepare for the early episodes filmed in Italy, Ansari actually went to Modena to learn to make  pasta just like his character Dev. If you follow him on Instagram you can see that he actually got stuck between buildings in a car just like his character did as well. Ansari’s real life parents are in the show as Dev’s parents. Lena Waithe even helped write an episode about Thanksgiving for her family and how she came out as gay, while also tackling subjects of racial frustrations and injustices. Master Of None Season 2 works because it is all very real—it’s not only on our screen but we get the sense from watching that these episodes that they were written by people who have been in similar scenarios. The writing also succeeded in setting up the show for a third season that makes the audience anticipate but doesn’t try too hard to be a cliff-hanger. 

Along with fantastic writing and acting, the surprise breakout star of the show was the cinematography. The camera work was close, personal, and graspable because of the way that it made us feel in the same area as the characters, but also peppered in some extremely artistic shots that reminded us that a lot intentional thought was put into the filming. The aforementioned “one-r” continuous single shot had me geeking out and yelling to my roommate to come and watch what was happening. There were several arial shots, portrait shots with unique lighting, landscape pieces that were breathtaking, and even a still shot of Dev walking straight down a snowy street that was reminiscent of Lawrence of Arabia. This show is no slouch when it comes to putting together a cohesive and beautifully filmed piece.

Aziz isn’t Tom Haverford anymore, he’s a brilliant writer with ideas that are coming to life, and Netflix was smart to jump on them. Watch Master Of None, you’ll find your love for Rom-Coms once more. 

Wesley’s Score: 9/10

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