Photo: honknews
Photo: honknews

It's been almost four years since Master of None season 2 was released on Netflix, and fans of Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang's painterly dramedy had mostly given up hope that it would ever return. Ansari — who writes, directs, executive produces, and stars as semi-famous actor Dev Shah on the semi-autobiographical show — made it clear after season 2 that he had no plans at the time to jump back into another season anytime soon, but he also didn't rule it out. "I need to live my life a little bit, maybe get in a serious relationship, have a kid, something, and then maybe figure it out," he told Vulture in 2017, shortly after season 2 premiered.

Then, life happened in a big way for Ansari, who was accused of sexual misconduct during the #MeToo wave of late 2017-early 2018. He grappled with the fallout from the Babe article, in which he was described as pressuring a woman into a sexual encounter she was uncomfortable with, in his 2019 Netflix stand-up special Right Now. The company stood by him, with Netflix's then-content VP Cindy Holland saying in 2018 that "We would be happy to make another season of Master of None when Aziz is ready."

Now, Aziz is reportedly ready. British comedy news website Chortle reports that a third season of the Emmy-winning show is in the works. Though we've yet to receive any confirmation from Netflix, here's what we know so far about Master of None's return.

Master of None season 3 release date

When Netflix initially released its May 2021 schedule, the streaming giant had Master of None Season 3 listed in the “TBD” category, surprising just about everyone with the surprise and long-awaited return of Aziz Ansari’s drama series. The surprises kept coming for fans of the show as Netflix released a trailer just days later giving fans their first glimpse of Master of None Presents: Moments in Love before revealing the May 23 release date.

Master of None season 3 cast

The show’s creator Aziz Ansari will return for season three as Dev Shah.

He wrote Season 3 alongside Lena Waithe, an American screenwriter, producer, and actress, renowned for creating various series such as The Chi, Boomerang, and Twenties. She played Dev’s childhood friend Denise in both seasons one and two of Master of None and shares an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series with Ansari for her co-writing of ‘Thanksgiving’, the eighth episode of season two.

Naomi Ackie, who joins the cast for season three, is a British actress whose role as Bonnie on The End of the F***ing World landed her a BAFTA in 2020.

Together, Waithe and Ackie will lead three as married couple Denise (Waithe) and Alicia (Ackie).

Ansari’s mother and father, Fatima and Shoukath Ansari, also return for season three to play Dev’s parents.

Netflix’s new trailer only depicts Waithe and Ackie, so it is unclear whether former cast members such as Noël Wells, Eric Wareheim, Kelvin Yu, and Alessandra Mastronardi will also return. Season one was based in New York City and season two in NYC and Italy, whereas season three is set in London, so perhaps we will see some British actors making an appearance.

What will Master of None season 3 be about?

Photo: financerewind
Photo: financerewind

Heavy.com reported last spring that Ansari appeared to be quarantining in London with his girlfriend, Danish physicist Serena Skov Campbell. Living in a different country with a new partner seems like exactly the kind of different life experience Ansari said he needed to have before starting on season 3, so Chortle might be right on the money in reporting that the show is U.K.-based now.

There's an international precedent for Master of None as well. In season 2, Dev went to Italy on a pasta-making adventure, where he met Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi), who became his love interest for that season. The Italian storyline was inspired by Ansari's own experiences living in Italy and working in restaurants between the first and second seasons of Master of None. While everything we know about season 3 is officially unconfirmed, a stretch of episodes based on stories from Aziz Ansari's recent life in London seems pretty likely.

It also doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility that season 3 will deal with Ansari's #MeToo moment in a more substantial way than his stand-up special. Since Master of None is a semi-autobiographical show and the moment was such a big one in Ansari's life, it seems highly possible that he would include a fictionalized version of what happened that expresses his real emotions about it.

Master Of None Season 3 Will Consist Of Five Episodes

The first two seasons of Master of None consisted of 10 episodes each, but the story in Master of None Presents: Moments in Love will be told over the course of the five episodes. This makes sense when you consider that Season 3 will focus on the story of Denise and Alicia’s relationship, while previous seasons have each touched on the multiple arcs not tied to Dev’s relationship with Rachel Silva (Noël Wells) in Season 1 or Francesca (Alessandra Mastronardi) in Season 2.

If either of those two characters, or the numerous others that have appeared over the years including Arnold Baumheiser (Eric Wareheim) or Brian Chang (Kelvin Yu), will appear in Master of None Presents: Moments in Love remains to be seen. But come on, who doesn’t want more Big Bud, Lil Bud shenanigans like we’ve seen in the past?

Master of None’ Season 3 Trailer Revealed

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube

The trailer previews the five-episode season that chronicles the relationship between the show’s breakout supporting character Denise (Lena Waithe) and her partner Alicia (Naomi Ackie) rather than focusing on the romantic adventures of co-creator Aziz Ansari’s character, Dev Shah — a struggling actor who was the focal point of the first two seasons.

The episodes are directed by Ansari, and written by Ansari and Waithe. From the description: “This new season is a modern love story that intimately illustrates the ups and downs of marriage, struggles with fertility, and personal growth both together and apart. Fleeting romantic highs meet crushing personal losses while existential questions of love and living are raised. Season three delivers an evolution of the series that remains tethered to previous seasons while breaking new storytelling ground of its own.” Waithe’s character, Denise, also appeared in the show’s first two seasons, and Waithe previously co-wrote the Emmy-winning season two episode “Thanksgiving.”

Master Of None Season 3 Was Shot In The U.K. During The Pandemic

There was a stretch there where Master of None Season 3 wasn’t guaranteed, especially back in 2017 when Aziz Ansari alluded to taking a “looonng” break after finishing the show’s second season. At the time, Ansari told Vulture he didn’t really having anything left to say about being a young single guy in New York and would need to take the show in a different direction. And that’s exactly what happened when Ansari and Lena Waithe came up with the idea for Moments in Love.

According to Chortle, principal photography was initially slated to get underway in London back in early 2020 but when the COVID-19 pandemic brought everything a screeching halt, so did production on Master of None Season 3. Cameras did eventually start rolling in early 2021, with Variety confirming the season was shot on location during the ongoing pandemic.

Synopsis

The Emmy Award-winning MASTER OF NONE returns with a new season that chronicles the relationship of Denise (Emmy Award winner Lena Waithe) and her partner Alicia (BAFTA winner Naomi Ackie). Directed by series co-creator and Emmy winner Aziz Ansari, and scripted by Ansari and Waithe, this new season is a modern love story that intimately illustrates the ups and downs of marriage, struggles with fertility, and personal growth both together and apart. Fleeting romantic highs meet crushing personal losses while existential questions of love and living are raised. Co-created by Ansari and Emmy Award winner Alan Yang, Season 3 delivers an evolution of the series that remains tethered to previous seasons while breaking new storytelling ground of its own.

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