It’s been a minute since audiences were treated to a new season of Netflix’s Emmy-winning Master of None created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang. Netflix said last month that it will finally debut a third season of the comedy May 23 — though it may not be something fans of the series would expect. In fact, it might go beyond expectations.
The new season, directed by Ansari, who co-wrote it with Lena Waithe, is titled “Moment in Love.” It follows Denise (Waithe), who is living a quiet life in the country as a successful writer. We are also introduced to a new character, her wife Alicia, played by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker actress and BAFTA winner Naomi Ackie.
“If you look back at any of the old interviews Alan and I did in Season 2, I think we were both pretty clear we didn’t really want to do the show again if it was the same kind of show,” Ansari said during Deadline’s Contenders Television awards-season event. “We kind of exhausted what we wanted to say about me being a guy in my 30s and single in New York and eating food and running around.”
Throughout the new season, we see a fully fleshed-out story of an LGBTQ couple — and a queer couple of color at that — and the ups and downs of their marriage. Denise and Alicia also struggle with fertility, and while a common story on TV, Master of None‘s take hits differently, shown via the lens of a female queer couple of color.
Ansari said they had always been looking to do a romantic story centered on Waithe’s character. That said, the team found an overarching and relevant theme to the new season after Ansari presented Yang with a story based on a real-life friend who was a sperm donor to a lesbian couple — which is what happens on the show with Waithe and Ackie’s characters.
Yang points out that though the third season may seem different, it remains in the spirit of the show. It also challenged them to do a story they haven’t seen.
Waithe and Ackie talked about how “Moments in Love” may feature subject matter that takes viewers on a complex journey of what many women have to go through in order to have a baby. That said, some might it isn’t fitting for a comedy like Master of None.
“It kind of seems dark for a comedy,” Waithe said. “The truth is humor comes out of darkness — that’s the best place to mine that sort of stuff.” She added, “For myself and Naomi, it was a wonderful exercise to be in a serious scene but to find the humanity in it and humor as well.”
Waithe said they always try to find the truth, and she didn’t realize the red tape a woman — let alone a single, queer woman of color — must go through to get pregnant. She said the new season will be very educational.
Ackie agreed. “I feel like the best experience of this was capturing the authenticity of a marriage,” she said. “A lot of the information we were absorbing each day really did affect us.”
Check out the conversation in the video above.