"Master of None" took hold of a captive audience unlike most Netflix shows that came before it. Other shows on the streaming platform have been more popular, but the unique voice to emerge from Aziz Ansari's brainchild and his unrelenting desire to take risks set it apart from the rest. In Season 2, those risks became more pronounced as the show temporarily lost all narrative guise in its quest to tell a unique tale.

About Season 2

Season 2 of "Master of None" was released by Netflix on May 12, 2017. This installment of the show, like the first one, consists of ten episodes. Most of the episodes clock in around half an hour, though one comes close to hitting the hour mark.

Once again, Ansari is the focal point of the story. His cast of friends are back, but are seen much less often than they were during season 1. That's because season 2 of "Master of None" doesn't begin with his character, Dev, perusing New York bars and pasta shops with his pals. Instead, he's at the same narrative place he was left off in: learning to make pasta from a professional in Italy.

"Master of None" continues mastery discourse

The first season of the show was so popular because it took a unique approach to different subjects in every episode. It never lost a continuous narrative thread but took aim at stereotypes, love, race, and so much more. Season 2 follows a similar trajectory, albeit with a more obtuse focus on the season-long love arc.

The leeway the creative team for "Master of None" is given becomes quite clear just seconds into the the first episode "The Thief." Don't adjust the laptop screen because the whole episode really is shot in black and white.

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Such an aesthetic works perfectly for the episode, taking place in the old Italian city of Modena. Emotional connections become layered and a scene of Dev riding his bike through the old city in pursuit of a phone thief becomes one of the enduring images of season 2.

"Le Nozze" brings color back to the scene, as well as one of the most popular characters in Dev's best friend, Arnold. The lovable 'Big Bud' to Dev's 'Little Bud,' Arnold goes on his first emotional journey of the show by confronting a long-term relationship that ended and resulted in his ex-girlfriend's wedding with a similar looking chap. Arnold learns to let go, leading to Dev officially letting go of Rachel, his season 1 love interest.

The end of that episode brought one of the only narrative confusions of season 2, which is in the episode "Clash of the Cupcakes." When Dev last left us in season 1, his entertainment career was failing. He then went away to make pasta in a small Italian city for some time. How is it that he came back to the United States and immediately landed a role as a television game show host?

He also can't get out of his own way in terms of his love life.

After officially breaking things off with Rachel and going on several intriguing first dates (with a whole episode centered around them), Dev discovers that he's in love with his engaged Italian friend, Francesca. He tries to play it right, acknowledging to himself that he doesn't want to be a homewrecker. He eventually wrecks both his and Francesca's homes anyways before an ambiguous ending that leaves "Master of None" viewers in the lurch.

Season 2 special episodes

Once again, "Master of None" featured some episodes that risked everything to go beyond simple plot and character development. "The Thief" is black and white, but that's just the start of the excitement.

"Religion" is one of the season 2's better episodes. Viewed through the guise of a traditional Muslim family, Dev and his cousin come to terms with their own views of religion by chowing down on pork at a festival. When Dev challenges his parents by ordering pork in a restaurant, Dev's mother all but disavows her son. He must learn that, while he doesn't believe in all aspects of his religion, respecting his tradition and family comes with the occasional sacrifice.

"Thanksgiving" was similar for its focus on one topic through flashbacks and present day: Denise's sexuality. Each scene takes place on Thanksgiving, watching the relationship between Denise and Dev, and Denise and her family, morph over time. Played by one of the best "Master of None" guest stars of all-time, Angela Bassett, Denise's mother appears caught between her dreams for her baby and the concern about discrimination that dominates the LGBT community. With the added element of race (Denise claims that homosexuality goes unspoken in the black community), "Thanksgiving" becomes one of the most touching and honest single episodes of the television year.

No episode is bolder than "New York, I Love You," though. After beginning with Dev and his friends discussing a new movie, the episode pivots to a doorman in a nearby hotel who chooses the moral good over his tenant's wishes, albeit accidentally. It transitions to a deaf woman and her boyfriend working through a relationship squabble through sign language, with complete silence filling minutes upon minutes of time. This is arguably the boldest decision in recent show history. After another group appears, eventually the episode ends with everyone featured watching the same made-up movie. Taking the form of a love letter to a city, it was a highlight of season 2.

Final thoughts

Aziz Ansari hasn't committed to the future of the show beyond season 2. He has stated that he would need to be in a different mindset and would likely have to tackle something other than single life in New York City. If this marked the end of "Master of None," it deserves to go down as the greatest contribution to the new-age comedy genre, bubbling with hits such as this and "Atlanta."

Rating: A+