Interview conducted by Kay-B
Kay-B: I am delighted to chat with Writer, Producer, and co-creator of Master of None, Alan yang! Thank you for taking the time to talk to Black Girl Nerds!
AY: Thanks for having me!
Kay-B: For those who may not know you, tell us a little bit about yourself and any challenges you encountered when first getting your start?
AY: My first job was Last Call with Carson Daly, which was a late-night show. Like everyone else, I was young, fresh out of college, broke and unemployed, so I was very lucky to start there. From there I went to Southpark, and then did the full run of Parks and Recreation. Parks and Recreation is where I met Aziz Ansari and where we came up with the idea for Master of None.
Kay-B: How did you come to co-create Master of None?
AY: Aziz and I started talking about it during season 5 of Parks and Recreation but really had nothing more than the premise of dating in NYC. When Parks and Recreation got picked up for a final season, we were really able to flesh Master of None out. We were really fortunate to be able to wrap up Parks and Recreation, while simultaneously expanding Master of None. We decided they wanted to do it in NYC and only do 10 episodes versus the length of Network TV.
Kay-B: Let’s get to Master of None! Season 1 left us with Dev ending his relationship and kind of going on a vacation to Italy, where does season 2 pick up?
AY: Season 2 picks up In Italy, and there we find Aziz’s character Dev, learning to make pasta and making new friends.
Kay-B: How do we see Dev grow this season? What will people be surprised to see this season along with his journey of continuing to learn more about himself and finding love again?
AY: If Season 1 is about someone not knowing what he wants, Season 2 is about someone who knows what he wants and doesn’t get it. We see him on this journey really spurred by his relationship with Rachel. He finally gets what he wants and then finds the courage to be true to himself and realizes it isn’t what he wants.
Kay-B: Are you tackling controversial topics this season?
AY: I wouldn’t say controversial, but there is an episode called “Religion.” It is about somewhat about religion, but more about how to communicate with your parents, especially as adults and when challenging topics come up.
Kay-B: Yea, it’s so interesting growing into adulthood and having difficult conversations with your parents, while still staying true to yourself and respecting them for who they are. It is all about balance.
What are you most excited for fans to see this season? Which episode is your favorite?
AY: Lots of favorites this season, so much content that is really special to me! All of the Episodes in Italy are great! There is an episode called “New York, I love you,” that’s great too.
Kay-B: Speaking of the Italian episodes, how many are there before we see Dev back in NYC?
AY: You see Dev in Italy for a few episodes and the reason that brings him back to New York is really entertaining.
Kay-B: If given a season 3, where would you ideally like to go with Dev’s story?
AY: That’s a good question! If we are fortunate to get another season, we don’t know where we would go yet. We haven’t talked about it. If you have any ideas, let us know! (Laughs)
Kay-B: I will be sure to finish the second season and then email you guys with ideas (laughs)
So, what advice do you have for other screenwriters trying to get into the business?
AY: My advice would be to make sure you really want to do this and write every day. Be prepared. I meet people all the time who say they want to work, but don’t write daily or aren’t currently working on projects. So always be working on your craft, and always be prepared, you never know when an opportunity will present itself.
Kay-B: If applicable, tell us how you use your platform to give back?
AY: I’m the guy behind the scenes, so outside of being a decent human being and treating people well, I am not sure they would want to know about my personal life (laughs). As far as the show, we try to use the show to make and create content that we are proud of and that we want to see out there, that reflects who and what we want it to reflect.
Kay-B: Tell us about any upcoming projects you have in the works.
AY: I have a movie that I wrote and will hope to direct. I also have a couple of TV things in the works. Nothing that I can officially share, as I am keeping it under wraps.
Kay-B: Well please make sure that when you are ready to reveal, you will think of us at Black Girl Nerds! Now lastly, please give us your social media handles.
AY: I am on Instagram and Twitter and right now there are tons of Master of None posts! (laughs) but people can find me @AlanMYang on both platforms!
Kay-B: Thanks, so much Alan! Check out Master of None, Season 2 currently streaming on Netflix!
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Kay-B (Sometimes known as Bibi G.) is an entertainment journalist, podcaster, writer and all around pop culture enthusiast, currently living in NYC. She is an avid TV & film watcher and reviewer with Black Girl Nerds and Just About Write. She is a journalist inspired by the truth and intrigued by interviewing people who are doing extraordinary things in this world. In her free time, she loves to travel and can be found somewhere converting new Flash, Riverdale and Queen Sugar Fans. Kay-B also serves as the Director of Operations & Business strategy for BGN!