Spoilers below if you haven’t watched episode four, “First Date,” on the second season of “Master of None.”
“Master of None” dedicated an entire episode of its new second season to dating apps, something the show’s producers felt couldn’t be avoided.
“There was a real key change even in betweens seasons one and two – and certainly I think in New York,” “Master of None” cocreator Alan Yang recently told Business insider of the popularity of dating apps.
On season two, Aziz Ansari’s character Dev is still single after breaking up with Rachel (Noël Wells) on the season-one finale and after spending several months in Italy. Upon returning to New York City, Ansari dives into the culture of dating apps on episode four. (The development is also not a big surprise given that Ansari cowrote a book about dating in the digital era, “Modern Romance.”) The episode astutely alternates between several of Dev’s awkward dates.
“It used to be if you were on the apps, you kind of had to explain why you were on them,” Yang said. “And now, it’s so much the norm that you have to explain why you’re not on them, why you’re opting out. It’s like a dramatic thing.”
Run down by the series of dates and their strange outcomes, Dev suddenly gets a new match notification and reluctantly responds with the perfect pickup line.
“We took one of our friends out to lunch, because we knew he was dating and we knew he had been on the apps a lot,” Yang said. “And he told us his opening line when he texts. He said, ‘I write, “I’m going to Whole Foods. Need me to pick you up anything?”‘ And we were like man, that’s an amazing first line. It’s funny, but not too funny. It’s interesting, but not trying too hard, kind of playful.”
Anyone who uses dating apps knows that it’s really difficult to come up with that very first message with a match. It could mean the difference between getting you a date or deafening silence. Inspired by their friend, Yang and his team tried to come up with a line for Dev that would be as good as the one his friend used. But the perfect line eluded them. Thankfully, they didn’t have to come up with their own.
“We couldn’t beat that line,” Yang said. “And we just asked him, ‘Hey, can we use that line?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, I retired that line. I don’t use it anymore, so you can use it.’ So we put it into the show and that’s Dev’s opening line.”