Am­bi­tious sto­ry­telling

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TV - By JOSEPH LONGO

AZIZ An­sari (pic) says he knew he couldn’t be the only sto­ry­teller on Sea­son Two of Mas­ter Of None if he wanted to keep the show’s mo­men­tum go­ing.

The show pre­miered on Net­flix in 2015, quickly gar­ner­ing crit­i­cal ac­claim for hon­est de­pic­tions of Asian and im­mi­grant fam­i­lies.

The first sea­son re­lied heav­ily on An­sari, pre­vi­ously a star on Parks And Recre­ation, who ap­peared in nearly ev­ery scene.

When it came time for the fol­low-up, the Emmy-win­ning writer-co­me­dian wanted to be more am­bi­tious, he said dur­ing a re­cent in­ter­view about the show.

The sec­ond sea­son fo­cuses less on An­sari’s char­ac­ter Dev, a strug­gling New York ac­tor turned food game show host, and more on sup­port­ing char­ac­ters with dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives and plots.

Mas­ter Of None’s sec­ond sea­son am­bi­tions ex­tend past just nu­anced sto­ry­telling.

The cre­ators ex­per­i­mented with var­i­ous forms and sounds, from a black and white episode to a mon­tage of first dates in the aptly named First Date.

Then there’s the episode (co-creator) Alan Yang di­rected ti­tled New York, I Love You.

An­sari ap­pears for barely a minute. He wanted it that way, say­ing he and Yang pon­dered do­ing an episode with­out Dev.

In­stead, the cre­ators chose to high­light New York cab driv­ers, door­men and a deaf con­ve­nience store worker.

“They have their drama, their love, their hu­mour and their lives,” An­sari said. “You never see it.” He said Net­flix ques­tioned the episode at first, which in­cor­po­rated eight min­utes of si­lence. The cre­ators stuck by their idea.

“It’s been said be­fore if you’re not do­ing some­thing that scares you a lit­tle bit, then you prob­a­bly should be,” Yang said.

Yang added they don’t in­ten­tion­ally cre­ate provoca­tive art, though they’re praised for do­ing so.

They’re not try­ing to shock au­di­ences, but said he and An­sari are just nat­u­rally cu­ri­ous.

“When you de­pict peo­ple whose sto­ries haven’t been told as of­ten, that can lend you some orig­i­nal­ity,” Yang said. “Why not tell sto­ries that haven’t been told as much?” – AP

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