The Waves: Can We Still Enjoy Master of None?


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On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate Senior Editor Allegra Frank and Slate Production Assistant Madeline Ducharme talk about the latest season of Netflix’s Master of None. The pair digs into the show’s depiction of a queer Black relationship and breakup, and discusses if the show even a comedy anymore. Also: how are we supposed to care about a relationship when we first see it at its end?

After the break, Allegra and Madeline go outside of the show to talk about Season 3’s creators, Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe. Ansari and Waithe have both stirred controversy in the past few years. At the height of the #MeToo movement, a now shuttered site called reported an alleged unpleasant sexual encounter between a 22-year-old woman and Ansari. In response, Ansari stepped out of the spotlight for a couple years, though he said at the time that the encounter was consensual. Meanwhile, Waithe has worked on several projects, including 2019’s Queen and Slim and Amazon’s Them, that have been accused of propagating needlessly cruel Black violence on-screen. Allegra and Madeline discuss what we’re supposed to do with accusations and situations like this, particularly once the dust has settled.

For Slate Plus members, Allegra and Madeline kick off our new segment, Gateway Feminism. They talk about one thing that helped make them feminists. For Allegra, it’s those sugar and spice cartoons, the Powerpuff Girls, while Madeline was heavily influenced by 2010s Tumblr.


Allegra recommends a seasonal favorite - S’mores flavored Oreos.

Madeline thinks you should pick up Kristen Arnett’s second novel, With Teeth.

Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Susan Matthews and June Thomas. Additional production help from Rosemary Belson.

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