When “Master of None” returns for its third season this month, fans will be forced to reckon with an entirely new kind of series that bears little resemblance to the previous 20 episodes they fell in love with. No wonder series co-creator Aziz Ansari says in a new Season 3 behind-the-scenes video that developing the upcoming new five-episode season was a scary endeavor. Ansari directed all five episodes of Season 3 and co-wrote each entry with Lena Waithe.
“Master of None” Season 3, officially titled “Master of None Presents: Moments in Love,” finds Waithe’s character Denise stepping into the lead role. The new episodes concern the trials and tribulations of Denise’s marriage to Alicia, played by BAFTA winner Naomi Ackie (best known in the states for her role as Jannah in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”). Netflix bills the new season as “a modern love story that intimately illustrates the ups and downs of marriage, struggles with fertility, and personal growth both together and apart.”
“On paper, everything sounds like a terrible idea,” Ansari says about the new season. “Oh, I’m not going to be in the show anymore! We’re going to hold on them doing laundry for three minutes! It was a little bit scary because it’s not what we had done before.. But the first time we read it where it wasn’t just me reading with Lena but another woman reading with her, it was just like, ‘Woah, this is going to work. This is going to be cool.'”
Ansari utilizes long takes throughout the new season in which the camera stays in a fixed position for minutes on end. The director said, “Right now, everything is so fast and [so many cuts] and flashy. The idea was to go in the complete opposite direction and do something that is so still and so quiet that it would make people lean in and pay attention.”
“Master of None” famously pivoted to Denise-centric storytelling in the second season episode “Thanksgiving,” widely regarded as one of the best installments of the series. Ansari and Waithe won a 2017 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy thanks to the episode.
“Master of None” Season 3 debuts Sunday, May 23 on Netflix. Watch the official behind-the-scenes featurette for the new season below, courtesy of Netflix.