Master of None returns after four years for highly anticipated third season

Cooper Traluch

After releasing two seasons in 2015 and 2017 respectively, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang’s universally acclaimed Netflix series Master of None is returning for the highly awaited third season. 

The comedy-drama series tackled topics such as sexuality, race, and religion in ways that felt fresh and interesting. Shot in 2:35:1 aspect ratio, something very rare for a television series, everything feels very intellectual and inspired. The whole style of the show narrows in on New York City life in a way reminiscent and even somewhat superior to the romanticized look at urbanized life that filmmakers such as Woody Allen and Albert Brooks took with their works (i.e. Manhattan, Annie Hall, Modern Romance, etc.). Everything feels classy and unfiltered at the same time. The dialogue is inconsequential in its content (a la Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm) yet provocative with its bluntness, the characters feel understated yet rich – all in realistic subtext. 

Ansari and Yang never let the dramatic aspects of the show outweigh the comedic aspects, both producers hitting their marks in style. This is further emphasized by the second season, which took heavy influence from 1960s Italian arthouse films – best exemplified in season two’s opener, a modern homage of Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 film Ladri di biciclette, a film about a man who travels the city in search of his stolen bicycle. The season is thoroughly enveloped by the trends created by filmmakers such as De Sica (Ladri di biciclette), Federico Fellini (La strada, La dolce vita, & Otto e mezzo), and Michelangelo Antonioni (La notte, L’eclisse, & L’avventura) while taking cues from modern contemporaries like Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing) and Wong Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love). The second season proved that Ansari and Yang could not only match the high quality of the first season, but top it. Dramatic and bold risks broke conventional norms of sitcom standards. Some episodes were short, others eclipsed an hour. One episode memorably featured an entire sequence shot without sound to emulate the perspective of the deaf character that the audience followed throughout a portion of their day. 

When the second season ended, Ansari stated he had said everything he felt he needed to about being a young adult in New York City; he promised to not make another season unless he had something important to say. Netflix never cancelled the series, though, and hope remained for another dosage of the show’s signature charm and charisma.

Ansari shocked fans when he announced that a five-part third season would release May 23, titled Master of None Presents: Moments in Love. This season will focus on Denise (Lena Waithe), a supporting character from the series. Turning the spotlight isn’t new for Master of None as the award-winning Thanksgiving episode already spent time on Denise’s past. The upcoming return proves that Ansari & Yang are still taking bold risks, constantly pushing to tread new ground and keep the audience on the edge of their seat.