Critics critique cause they care. Critics don’t pick apart young unknowns, we only go after the big wigs. We all know, being an artist, an auteur, is hard enough as it is. To take the risk, to take the plunge, to simply be one, takes hard work, commitment, discipline, courage and on top of all that, talent! -is in of itself a miraculous achievement, whether you are any good or not. Any art is better than no art. Art is risky, art is dicey, it is impossible to please everybody (nor should you try), and to dedicate yourself to something that does not guarantee you food in your belly nor a roof over your head means you need support, both emotionally and financially. Despite all that, some get good, real good, and they get lucky, they make it big, real big, amass a following, a solid fan base, a support system for them and all their projects, their vision. We get involved in their work and with that, an emotional, psychological connection develops, a relationship. Critics pick apart, but only because we love something, we see untapped potential, we are invested.
For me it was Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, Seasons 1 and 2. Yes there is Alan Yang and Lena Waithe and probably a whole crew of other hidden cast and characters and set designers and special effects and behind the scene players, that made Master of None, Master of None, but for me what I loved about that show was the protagonist’s story as told through Dev Shah. Dev’s relationships, Dev’s funny friend Arnold, Dev’s parents, Dev’s hopes, Dev’s dreams.
Season 3 pretty much wipes out Dev. Minus my one and only favourite, very brief scene where Dev bickers with his new partner who pretty much fell from the sky, completely erasing the beautiful plot line and character development he built with the previous season’s Francesca, and along with it, everything else that was good with Master of None. Remember the Entourage movies anyone? The humour, the good music, the jokes, the framing, all gone. Why even have it under the Master of None banner? I feel duped as an avid fan, I was ecstatic there would be another Master of None but when I spent my time with Moments In Love, I felt cat fished. What I thought would be a great adventure turned into a dull date with Season 2’s Priya, “That wasn’t fun at all!” or Season 1’s great disappointment when we find Rachel’s still with her Seattle boyfriend, “Why? Why?! Why!!”
Is Aziz trying to make amends with the public with his unfortunate MeToo moment by staying behind the scenes? To that I say it is better to say sorry with your actions to those you owe it to and leave your art out of it! Or better yet, own up to it, write it in, Season 2 did it brilliantly with Chef Jeff. Aziz, you can be you and be funny and make amends, you don’t have hide behind your friends, I know you can.
I’m down with artists wanting to try new things, they should. If he wants to try new framing techniques, if he wants to go the Ingmar Bergman route, if he’s passionate about it, he should. Artists should stay inspired, explore new things, take risks, it’s how we grow and develop, but why not name Season 3 for what it is, an entirely different show with an entirely different title. Drop the Master of None banner for this one, it’s just bad PR, it’s a slap to your original fan base who have supported you through it. If it was named for what it is, something entirely different, then I wouldn’t have to write this scathing review. I could go, -oh okay, new direction, I respect that, I see some valid things, a decent effort, maybe for others, just not for me, and that would be that.
Season 3, Moments In Love centres around Dev’s friend, Denise’s character, and her navigation as a queer black women around relationships and family life. It is woke, but it’s a bang you over the head undigestible kinda woke. I will say I did find the exploration of a queer black women trying to navigate the health care system for fertility treatment enlightening, but it was angry and bitter and sad. Seasons 1 and 2 were both speckled with woke themes all throughout: the mis and under representation of minorities in media, the settle aggressions women face, the prejudices against people of different religions and cultures, racism, ageism, even heightism, but all are sprinkled about seamlessly with no one problem dominating the show. Seasons 1 and 2 were more widely relatable, they tackled those themes with humour and wit and this concocted a more savoury format, allowing it to speak to a larger audience. Seasons 1 and 2 do it better, it singles out no specific demographic in the victimhood olympics and to me that’s a stronger achievement, a finer work of art, it creates a world with a more level playing field. This is like comparing apples to oranges, maybe I just like oranges better. Don’t feed me apples and tell me it’s oranges though. Don’t cum on my face and tell me it’s snowing!
Season 3 doesn’t compare and had it not been named a Master of None production, it wouldn’t have to be. It would have been better to have just named it a different production altogether and at least let us say goodbye to Master of None on a high note.
So what do I think of Master of None, Moments In Love Season 3? Master of None Seasons 1 and 2 are spectacular, Season 3 is a flop, it’s slow, bad and boring and tries too hard to be different.
That being said, will there be a Master of None Season 4? Will I watch it? Will I volunteer my previous free time to it? Why yes! Of course I will! Because we are in a relationship, Aziz the artist and I the fan, and I still believe in US, Aziz! I can only be grateful for the relationship I once had with Dev, I can only thank you for what you have already given us, but please don’t keep leading us on! It’s mean and it’s cruel and if Season 4 sucks there’s not much more I can do but vent with another heartbreaking review.