Master of None took the concept episode route with episode 6, giving us a type of anthology love letter to New York City. This episode is unique in that it brings people of colour to the forefront of the story. Usually in the white-washed depictions of New York (think of any romantic comedy with Kate Hudson running around looking for a man) white people are the leads in the story, the people of colour, if there are any at all, are background characters and side-kicks.
New York, I Love You flips the script and lets those typically banished to the periphery shine and lead their own stories.
Dev & Arnold are walking down the street, talking about the new it-movie they’re dying to see. The walk by this particular building and the perspective immediately switches to that of the doorman. He is the sweetest man, knows everyone’s name even though they are all mean and rude and terrible. He does everything for everyone and is still under-appreciated. A lady asks him to feed her birds, a business man makes him keep watch so his wife doesn’t meet his mistress, and more garbage white people behaviour. His story culminates when he can’t be everything for everyone and the wife catches the mistress and starts throwing things out windows. Eddie stands up for himself and tells the sleaze-ball off in the most satisfying moment in all 6 episodes so far.
Eddie’s friend heads off into the bodega around the corner where Maya is working as the cashier. She is absorbed in her phone, like most of us are these days, and is just living her life. Maya is hearing-impaired, so when the perspective switches to hers, all sound is cut off, really putting us in her head. After work she has coffee with a friend, they argue over some choices, then she heads off to shop with her boyfriend. In the middle of the store, they break into a public private argument about their sex lives (in sign language) and about how he won’t eat her out. A woman at the store comes over to them and signs/asks that she stop talking about her vagina in public, her kids know ASL.
Treshelle Edmond does such an incredible job as Maya and performs with her entire soul, she makes you want to rewind and rewatch the second act a few dozen times!
Lastly, we meet cab driver Samuel, who gets the ending of the it-movie spoiled for him by some white ladies, then gets denied access to a club when he’s out with his friends. They then get taken advantage of by some sleazy promoters. Their night is almost a bust until they run into some women looking for late night carbs. Their friend who works at a fast food joint lets everyone in and they have their own little party.
The lives of all these New Yorkers intersect one last time at the movies, where we see Dev & his friends again, alongside Eddie, Maya, and a pissed off Samuel who already knows the ending.