by Vikram Murthi | via Vulture
In “New York, I Love You,” Ansari extends Master of None beyond Dev’s life and his core group of friends. Directed by Alan Yang and written by Yang and Ansari, the episode follows three separate New York stories from characters who don’t usually receive the television treatment: a doorman at a fancy apartment building, a deaf bodega clerk and her boyfriend, and a cab driver and his roommates. It’s sort of like Master of None’s version of High Maintenance (minus the weed, of course) in that it treats the value of every story equally. Let’s tackle each story separately, shall we?
Eddie the Doorman Gets No Respect
Eddie (Frank Harts) is very good at his job. He’s polite to the apartment tenants even when they express offensive views, like an elderly woman who bemoans that she can no longer refer to Native Americans as Indians (“This guy used to fix my car. I called him Injun Larry. He loved it!”). He remembers everyone’s name and says hello to them as they enter and exit the building. He also does his best to help the tenants out with special requests when he can, like giving diabetic medication to a woman’s parakeet or informing an adulterous Mr. Strickland (Joseph Adams) when his wife will be home.
Does Eddie receive recognition for these acts? No. It’s simply part of the job. In fact, he only hears about it when he misses a beat. While he’s away from the desk giving medicine to that parakeet, Mr. Strickland’s wife catches him in bed with another woman and starts throwing all of his clothes out of a window. Furious that he didn’t inform him, Mr. Strickland starts screaming at Eddie until he puts his foot down and says, “With all due respect, sir, you’re responsible for your own actions. If you don’t walk away right now, we’re going to have a problem.” He might be a doorman, but he’s no pushover and upholds common standards of behavior.
Harts carries the story fairly well. The scenes when he talks shop with the other doormen stand out, but it’s all a little too compact to have that much cumulative impact. It’s nice to see Eddie stand up for himself in front of a tenant taking advantage of his generosity, and yet it would have more weight if we spent even a little more time with him and his job.
Maya and Barry’s Problems in Bed
As one of the other doormen goes out to buy mangoes at the local bodega, we begin to follow the deaf clerk Maya (Treshelle Edmond) and all sound immediately cuts out. We see her at work mildly struggling to understand a customer as he fuddles his way through ASL before she goes to lunch with her friend Shruti (Maleni Chaitoo). Apparently, Maya is having trouble communicating with her boyfriend Barry (Stanley Bahorek) about problems with their sex life. Shruti tells her to just bring it up in a respectful, private manner and all should be well.
Of course, Maya doesn’t wait until they’re in private to broach the topic and instead starts “loudly” discussing it in a store where she and Barry are purchasing a gift for a not-so-close friend. As the two banter back and forth about their sex life, constantly signing phrases like “lick my vagina,” they’re interrupted by an angry mother who informs them that her children understand ASL. Embarrassed, the two soon reconcile and promise to discuss it later at home.
To rest of the recap, “New York, I Love You,” click HERE!!!