Here's just a taste of what's coming to Netflix (in The US) this May! pic.twitter.com/adTg3mwxEd
— Netflix Queue (@netflixqueue) April 21, 2021
“Master of None,” created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, has had an unusual schedule, with the first season premiering in 2015 and Season 2 returning in 2017 — and now it’s been on hiatus for four years.
The season is expected to be a departure for the show, and it’s believed to focus on Lena Waithe’s character, Denise. Early reports about the third season indicated that Naomi Ackie (“The End of the F***ing World”) would join the cast.
In 2017, Waithe and Ansari won an Emmy for outstanding comedy writing for the Season 2 episode “Thanksgiving,” which focused on her character’s struggles with her family. (In its first season, “Master of None” also won an Emmy for writing, with Ansari and Yang sharing the accolade.)
During the show’s four-year absence, Ansari was embroiled in a knotty #MeToo accusation, which then in itself became controversial. In a story published in January 2018 on the now-defunct website babe.net, a woman with the pseudonym Grace described a date with Ansari during which she felt he had been overly aggressive, and had pressured her into sex. “It really hit me that I was violated,” she told the reporter. “I felt really emotional all at once when we sat down there. That that whole experience was actually horrible.”
The story went viral, and set off a firestorm, with some arguing that its sloppy reporting obscured the real issues at its core about consent and dating. Others — most prominently, Bari Weiss and Caitlin Flanagan — held it up as evidence of #MeToo overreach, and said the story was just an anecdote about a bad date. It got ugly.
For Ansari’s part, he largely dropped out of public view and moved to London. But in 2019, he did a stand-up tour that was broadcast as the Spike Jonze-directed Netflix special “Right Now,” in which he addressed the accusations. “There’s times I felt scared,” Ansari said to the audience. “There’s times I felt humiliated. There’s times I felt embarrassed. And ultimately, I just felt terrible that this person felt this way.”
The reactions to “Right Now” were mixed to muted. Variety‘s Caroline Framke wrote, “Ansari, both new and old, never had to apologize in order to be just fine.”
At the end of “Right Now,” Ansari earnestly — whisperingly, in fact — explained the title, saying what matters in life is “the moment we’re in, and the people we’re with.”
Note: This post was updated.