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‘Master Of None’ Depicts The Bleakness Of Life Without Love

master of none

After returning to New York, Dev grapples with his love for Francesca, the Italian granddaughter of the pasta-making nonna with whom he spent a year.


Warning: Spoilers throughout. 

All throughout the first season of Netflix’s “Master of None,” we watched as Dev (Aziz Anzari) navigated the choppy waters of a tumultuous relationship with his live-in-girlfriend, Rachael. Last time we saw Dev, he was on a plane bound for Italy to learn to make pasta after he had abruptly broken things off with her. His plans to pursue the craft of pasta-making was an apparent attempt to find meaning after realizing his current career path of part-time actor wasn’t panning out as he’d hoped and his relationship with Rachael was not fulfilling.

At the start of season two, we find Dev in a small Italian town. We see him with the nonna who has taught him how to make spaghetti from scratch and the family he’s been spending all his time with. The first episode feels like an old-time Italian film, as it’s shot entirely in black and white and nearly all in Italian. In the last scene, we see him chasing after a thief who stole his cell phone with a chubby little boy at his side. The whole town gets involved, and Dev is eventually persuaded to drop the matter. It all feels reminiscent of Sophia Loren’s portrayal of Adelina of Naples in “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

The black and white effect comes to an abrupt end when Dev’s old life in New York resurfaces. Dev’s friend Arnold visits to eat pasta and attend the wedding of his longtime-ex girlfriend who, he discovers, is marrying a man who looks exactly like him. This coincidence makes Dev and Arnold think about the loves they’ve lost.

When Arnold introduces Dev to a Tinder-like dating app, they both use it throughout the season to date a revolving cast of women in an effort to numb the pain of loneliness and the gnawing realization that their likelihood of settling down and having kids is rapidly dwindling with every passing year.

After returning to New York, Dev grapples with his love for Francesca, the Italian granddaughter of the pasta-making nonna with whom he spent a year. When she visits him in New York with her fiancé, Pino, a tile distributor on a work trip in the Big Apple, Dev’s feelings for her grow, to the point where he can no longer brush them aside.

Back in New York, Dev takes a job as the host of the baking show “Cupcake Wars.” When he gets the opportunity to continue hosting the show for 10 seasons, he turns it down because it’s not fulfilling work. Instead, Dev convinces the network executive and TV personality, Chef Jeff, to co-host a food travel show with him, called “Best Food Friends.” But this abruptly falls apart when Chef Jeff’s history of sexual harrassement becomes public. In the wake of this career disaster, he realizes a life without Francesca, and without love, is all the more meaningless.

When he finally does tell Francesca how he feels about her, it sends her into an emotional tailspin. She realizes if she chooses to be with Dev, she would have to give up her life in her small Italian town with her nonna, her little cousin, and their pasta shop. Arnold tries to cheer Dev up by telling him that it’s probably for the best, as Francesca spent her whole life in a tiny town and doesn’t know anyone in New York, which would likely put a lot of pressure on their relationship.

In the final moment of the season, we see Dev and Francesca in bed together, asleep. Her boyfriend has presumably departed to return to Italy without her, as she has apparently chosen Dev. This triumphant climax of the season lasts for all of about two seconds before the credits roll.

There’s a lot we still don’t know about their newfound love. Will it last? Will they be able to get along? Or will Arnold’s prognosis of the high-pressure circumstances surrounding their relationship and the picture of doom he painted of their romance come true? In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, “Master of None” co-creator Alan Yan says the ambiguity of the ending is intentional.

“I’m leaving that up to the viewer,” Yan said. “I don’t know. I really don’t know. Yeah, that remains to be seen. Even if we do another season, we might not answer that.”