Emmys: 'Master of None's' Alan Yang Teases Italy Scenes, Aziz Ansari's Parents in Season 2
The Netflix comedy's co-creator reflects on the series' four Emmy nominations: "That ["Parents"] episode is so, so personal," he tells THR.
Alan Yang, the series' co-showrunner with Aziz Ansari, told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday afternoon that part of the upcoming episodes will take place in Italy.
"One thing we want to do is, for whatever portion is set in Italy, we want to take advantage of where we are and make sure we're telling a story that necessitates being told in Italy and takes advantage of the differences between the [Italian and American] cultures. I'm not saying we're doing a bunch of culture-clash misunderstanding stuff, but we'd be crazy to shoot there and not take advantage of that thematically and aesthetically."
Yang and Ansari found out about the show's four Emmy nominations — comedy series, lead actor in a comedy series (Ansari), writing and directing — while working on the second season in their writers' room in Brooklyn. The latter two nominations are for the first season's "Parents" episode, in which Dev (Ansari) and Brian (Kelvin Yu) get to know their immigrant parents over a joint family dinner.
Clem Cheung and Kelvin Yu in 'Master of None.' Photo credit: Netflix
"That episode is so, so personal and means a lot to us. ... To get recognition for that episode in particular is really meaningful," said Yang, who noted that their original series pitch to Netflix centered more on dating in New York City. "We realized, 'We're on Netflix, this could be anything. ... We shouldn't take this for granted.'"
Yang then told Ansari about his father, who grew up in a small village in Taiwan and had to eat his pet chicken out of necessity — a story that, out of disbelief, sparked the idea for the episode. "As children of immigrants, we felt we hadn't seen that story portrayed on TV the same way it applied to us."
The two then spoke with their own parents to gather the details of their back stories, as recreated in the episode. "There's a line in the episode where the character based on me says, 'Asian parents don't have the capacity to say they're proud [of their kids], they just don't do that,'" Yang explained. "My dad watched the episode, ... he texted me and said that he was proud of me. It was like life imitating art."
Thankfully, Ansari's parents (onscreen and in real life, Shoukath Ansari and Fatima Ansari), as well as Brian's onscreen father (Clem Cheung) will be back in the second season. "There will be more [of the] parents, for sure."
Shoukath Ansari and Fatima Ansari in 'Master of None.' Photo credit: Netflix
Watch Yang's interview with THR below.