Creators: Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang
Director: Aziz Ansari
Writers: Aziz Ansari, Lena Waite
Starring: Lena Waite, Naomi Aki
Streaming on: Netflix
Greetings Master of None Presents: Moments in love as the show’s third season indirectly falls into the trap of Netflix’s marketing gimmicks. In fact, this season is not like the previous two. It exists in the same universe, but steps on a different narrative territory. No longer for Dev, who was played by Aziz Ansari, this season follows Denise (Lena Waite), who previously appeared as his companion in the crime. The new focus of the show makes it a practical separation, not a sequel. This news didn’t go well for many, including me – the second season ended in an emotionally sharp cliffhanger, and this change of direction meant we would have to continue living with this narrative emptiness. But the third season is not bad just because it is different.
If you can accept the renewed aesthetics and plot, this season can just work. However, this modified look takes a bit of manual twisting and adjustment. Apparently starting a few years from where they left off, we were once again introduced to Denise as the author of the New York Times bestseller. Now, living in a beautiful house, perfect for a picture around the countryside, she experienced a similar level of success as Dev when she was a reality TV presenter. Her personality, in addition to her irresistible negligence, feels newly invented – she is already married to Alicia (Naomi Aki). Most of the episodes are for them in the middle of a domestic dispute, and in that sense this season is really like the successor of the previous two, albeit with different people in a distant setting.
Ansari almost takes his own character out of the frame, although he retains creative control as a screenwriter-director – Dev appears twice, perhaps for a total of ten minutes. At the risk of diagnosing Ansari’s tenure as an artist, his absence makes sense to some extent. Except for your special position Right now where he deals with this, it is almost a reflection of his temporary departure from the industry after being accused of sexual misconduct. Each episode is frankly and condescendingly silent, but still has an unexpected weakness built into the writing. Ansari’s great character would not allow you to believe that such prolonged silence is possible in the first two seasons. So, these quiet, long-drawn sequences of Denise and Alicia serve only as a touching reminder of Ansari as creator and actor. You want him there, but you know you have to settle for parts of his character instead.
This silence is also essential for a married but fragmented couple. Alicia is steely and outgoing, while Denise is distanced and restrained; the first wants a child, while the second is on the fence around him. This yin-yang dynamic helps to reveal layers of their relationship – when they hit bottom, it hurts you too. They come from different places and you can’t help but empathize with both of them. And while this season surpasses the presentation of a communicative connection, you lose attention when the plot stops to show us the individual characters. There is something clearly alienating in Denise’s apparent lack of emotion. I couldn’t overcome her composure, an unbearable characteristic that grew old in minutes. On the other hand, you still feel attached to Alicia, whose tragic life touches deeply.
The identity of the show is carved within New York. Even when it deviated briefly to Italy, the greater aesthetics remained intact. The unspoken connection that she previously had with her physical setting no longer exists. Now it is located in a complex two-storey house. This overly ornate setting forces the show to pour out its urban simplicity. Even the background use of the soprano feels quite contrived and pretentious. Although this season may not feel so natural, with Master of no one stormy story, you can just forgive the show for all its wrong steps.