The Waves

Can We Still Enjoy Master of None?

Lena Waithe and Aziz Ansari are back with a new season of the once-popular Netflix show. Is it worth watching?


Episode Notes

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate senior editor Allegra Frank and 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 is 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.

Send your comments and thoughts about what The Waves should cover to

You can follow Madeline on Twitter @MaddyDucharme and Allegra on Twitter @LegsFrank


About the Show

Each week a pair of writers and guests talk through one news story we can’t stop thinking about, and unpack what gender has to do with it.

All episodes


  • Allegra Frank is the deputy entertainment editor at the Daily Beast.

  • Madeline Ducharme is a producer for What Next. She also writes about science, culture, and LGBTQ life.