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Among the biggest surprises from Netflix’s news announcements Sunday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour was the notable absence of one: a second-season renewal for Aziz Ansari’s Master of None.
The comedy, produced by Universal Television and created by Ansari and his Parks and Recreation cohort Alan Yang (with Parks boss Mike Schur on board as an executive producer), wound up on several critics’ year-end best lists and was hailed by Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos during his opening remarks Sunday to the press.
Ansari and Yang addressed the future of the series during their time in front of the press corps, where they also used the opportunity to thank critics for their overwhelming response to the show.
In terms of season two, Ansari and Yang noted that they were still “figuring out” what a second season would entail and noted how personal the stories in many of the stand-alone themed episodes were — which also complicates the show’s future.
“I need some time to refill my head,” confessed Ansari. “The first season was so personal and I want to make sure that what ever we do for season two lives up to what we did for season one. We’d love to do it; we’re figuring it out.”
He also noted the material that comprised season one was drawn from his stand-up specials, much of which took years to craft, as well as his recent book and beyond.
“[There were] things that happened to me years ago, like the ‘Indians on TV’ [episode] — that was something that definitely happened to me when I was starting out in my career,” noted Ansari. “Alan and I are not holding anything back.”
The duo said that they put everything they had creatively into season one with the approach that they didn’t know how the show would be received or if it would come back.
“The well is empty, but hopefully it will be refilled,” said Ansari.
Yang, who also expressed a desire and excitement to do more of Master of None, remained mum on whether all of the show’s cast — which includes Noel Wells, Lena Waithe, Kelvin Yu and Eric Wareheim — would return. Wells was especially interested given the way in which season one ended.
“We sold this show in 2013 and worked on another season of Parks — we had a lot of time for writing [Master of None],” Yang said, adding that they had years to discuss what shape the Netflix comedy would take. Yang also said that some of the stories in the series were pulled from a busted pilot he did a few years ago for NBC — including some of the material in the critically praised “Parents” episode that featured Ansari’s actual parents.
“We put a lot of aspects of ourselves in the show,” said Yang. “That’s why we don’t want to rush season two — we want to go through some life experiences and put that in the show.”
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