Master of None - Season 2 Blu-ray Review

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"I pretty much just plan on us eating all day with very minimal breaks."

by Casimir Harlow May 24, 2019 at 7:14 AM

  • Movies & TV review

    Master of None - Season 2 Blu-ray Review
    SRP: £16.99

    Master of None - Season 2 Review

    Aziz Ansari's Master of None hits several superb high notes with its superior second season.

    The stand up comic, who found success with the first season of this Netflix comedy didn't just stop there, or repeat the formula, investing time, effort and ingenuity in delivering a bigger and considerably better sophomore season which runs longer, features longer episodes (one is almost double the standard 30 minute length), and takes the razor-sharp focus he applied to just one or two of his first season's episodes and applies it to almost the entire second season.

    Whilst it easily takes an episode or so to get going (the initial black and white Italian saga gets tiring quickly), soon Ansari is back doing what he does best, taking his energetic lead character through a saga of online dating, Muslim pork-eating rebellion, black lesbian introspection, with overarching story arcs that cover his surprise success hosting 'Clash of the Cupcakes', and his too-close-for-comfort friendship with a gorgeous - engaged - girl he befriended in Italy.

    A bigger and considerably better sophomore season

    There's some stunning innovation here, with the Muslim/pork episode both searingly funny, true to life, and also warmly good-hearted (rather than just critical and mocking), a fine balance which can seldom be said about comedic observations on cultural/religious practices. Online dating may be played just for laughs, but they're there to be found, showing how ridiculously out of control the whole 'swipe' landscape has become, whilst perhaps the most ingenious episode is the one almost entirely conducted using sign language. A high point has to be the focus on one of his best friends (no, not the cuddly Jean 'Leon' Reno lookalike), Denise, whose life and relationship with Dev is charted since they were kids, with Angela Bassett guest starring and some fantastic writing around Denise's experiences growing up gay in a black household.

    Arguably the most predictable fare comes from Dev's 'friendship' with Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi), who is engaged (to John Wick 2's Riccardo Scamarcio) but enjoys spending all her time with him. Still, whilst just as honest, it's a much more organic relationship than the one in the first season (where Ansari used the lapsing of time to show instantaneous deterioration), and affords some very warm moments, which work to counteract the taste of the slightly more cringy at-work antics which bring Dev in close contact with Bobby Cannavale's passionate celebrity chef, as he navigates the monotony of 'Clash of the Cupcakes' and realises that success can come with a price.

    For those who were sold from episode 1 of the first season, Master of None only gets better in its second year, and for those who nearly gave up on it, this is worth giving another shot to. It is frequently excellent, diluted marginally by a slow start and some flab around the middle, but still boasting some of the best observational comedy TV you'll have come across of late.

    Master of None - Season 2 Blu-ray Picture

    Master of None - Season 2 Master of None - Season 2 Blu-ray Picture
    Master of None - Season 2 comes to Region B-locked UK Blu-ray courtesy of Network, enjoying its second season locations which give it a little bit more material to play with - as well as some unusual stylisation in its black and white opener.

    Very good indeed

    Detail is generally very good throughout, particularly when its playing in monochrome, where every nuance of facial textures, clothing weaves and background nuances comes to rich life. When colour returns, however, there are plenty of vibrant moments, and even New York (and even old New York) is afforded some strong - but authentic - tones. Still not quite demo, it's nevertheless very good indeed.

    Master of None - Season 2 Blu-ray Sound

    Master of None - Season 2 Master of None - Season 2 Blu-ray Sound
    A very good audio track

    The accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is also a strong aural offering, bringing bustling city streets, family gatherings, and live TV shows to life with a modicum of immersion even, whilst the score is peppered with some memorable song tracks (including a 'live' John Legend performance no less). Dialogue - arguably the most important element - gets keen prioritisation and overall its a very good audio track.

    Master of None - Season 2 Blu-ray Extras

    Master of None - Season 2 Master of None - Season 2 Blu-ray Extras

    Master of None - Season 2 Blu-ray Verdict

    Master of None - Season 2 Master of None - Season 2 Blu-ray Verdict

    Some of the best observational comedy TV you'll have come across of late

    Network already brought the first season of the impressive Netflix comedy Master of None to Blu-ray earlier this year (actually, just last month), and the second season - a superior sophomore run - makes for the perfect companion piece, with matching strong video and audio even if there's still nothing in the way of extras. Fans of the show will find this unmissable.

    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £16.99

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