And so to the second season of Master of None, in which creator/star Aziz Ansari more or less completely changes the way we think about televised comedy.

The episodes are tiny films, some of which could almost stand alone, others that draw heavily on narrative threads based mostly around Ansari's character's search for love and career development.

It's funny; it's serious; it's actually intensely serious; it's absurdly funny; it's beautiful; it's affecting; it's frustrating; it's so very funny.

What will each episode look like? Feel like? Sound like? Until it's finished, you can predict nothing. There are long homages to classic films; there's an episode that's a wild, thoughtful, tangent in which the main characters hardly appear; there are scenes which seem to exist only because the creators had always wanted to go somewhere accessible solely to people with a hit television series.


There is the show-within-the-show Clash of the Cupcakes. There is the show-within-the-show Best Food Friends. Their names alone tell you you're watching something special.

The longer you watch - and this is absolutely not the point of the show but is maybe its most satisfying quality - the more you start to feel that anything may be possible.

The episodes are sometimes just a bit over 20 minutes and are sometimes nearly an hour. The storylines get tighter and more intense as the series winds on to its brilliantly conceived climax, but until the penultimate episode, they're really secondary to the self-contained philosophical musings.

There is racial politics, religious politics, sexual politics; there are fantastically amateur actors and there is a love story so unconventionally told, so off-rhythm narratively speaking, it's hard to believe it made it past the notoriously meddlesome interferers of high-level television production, with their strictures and formulas.

This fact alone is a reason for hope; an indication that the new world of television in which we live is a better world. But there's more to it than that.

"What will each episode look like? Feel like? Sound like? Until it's finished, you can predict nothing."

After watching Master of None in increasingly long viewing sessions until it was all gone in just a few days, I realised that the feeling it gave me of absolute untethered freedom was closest to that which I last felt when I first watched the astonishing music video for Sia's Chandelier.

It was the wildness of the concept, the ambition of it, the disregard for convention, the sincerity, the absolute lack of irony in the face of apparent absurdity.

It's part of the human condition to like and crave familiarity, but television is already crammed full of familiarity. The real gift of Master of None is its sense of possibility. We could, at any time, break free of our regimented and constrained daily lives, and do something so completely transcendent in our fields that it could change the way we both see and are seen.


Will we do it? Maybe, maybe not. But knowing we can is of great solace.


Master of None

Streaming now on Netflix