Saturday, June 10, 2017

For Your Consideration: Master of None

Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Aziz Ansari
Outstanding Direction in a Comedy Series: "New York, I Love You"
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: "New York, I Love You"
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: "Thanksgiving"
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Angela Bassett, "Thanksgiving"
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series: "The Thief"
Outstanding Editing for a Single-Camera Comedy Series: "New York, I Love You"
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy Series: "New York, I Love You"

The first season of Master of None impressed me with its unabashedly romantic nature. I'd mistakenly assumed Ansari would provide a snarky or cynical voice. I was unprepared for how much more the show embraces and accomplishes in its second season.

Season 2 brings the sentimentality again, adds in an array of homages to indie and art films, tells stories of and champions people rarely represented by mainstream media, and showcases Ansari's genuine talent as an actor.

There is a confidence that permeates the season, and there's richness to be found in silence, in dialogue in Italian or sign language, and in the performances by actors who are rarely seen in network shows and would be lucky to have a single line of dialogue (I think you can watch any 8 episodes of Sex and the City, Friends, Will and Grace, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond and Frasier without being distracted by a person of color saying too much).

And as with the first season, actors over the age of 60 get to do and say things that go beyond rapping granny (although the grandmother in "Thanksgiving" did play in the "granny who swears" trope).

The season eschews a consistent formula/format and that free form nature makes every episode more, I'm not sure what word I want here: vibrant, special, unique... any of those.

With last year's Emmy awards, the show's 4 nominations (including Outstanding Comedy Series) were rewarding. That it won for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series was a delight. I'm expecting more from ATAS this year, and I think the show's critical acclaim supports that expectation. Don't let me down...

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