Master of None co-creator on season 3 and the thrill of that Golden Globe nomination
Sometimes, getting a 5:30 a.m. text is a good thing.
Such was the case Monday morning for Master of None creator and executive producer Alan Yang, whose phone blowing up alerted him to Master of None‘s nomination for best TV series, comedy or musical, at the 2018 Golden Globes.
A few hours later, once he’d removed the sleep from his eyes but not the thrill from his voice, Yang talked to EW about what the honor means to him — especially given how personal the sophomore season of the Netflix series was — as well as an update on season 3.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First of all, congratulations! What’s the feeling right now?
ALAN YANG: Thank you so much, I appreciate it. It’s good, man! I woke up had some texts from people. I guess the announcements are really early in the morning; I didn’t realize they were today but yeah, it’s great news and it’s good recognition for the show and everyone who worked on it.
What were those texts like?
I woke up and people on the East Coast — Aziz is on the East Coast right now so he was up before me — me and him and Lena are on a text chain and we were texting each other. I have another chain with Eric Wareheim and Igor [Srubshchik], our line producer. Like everything these days, it’s only experienced as a group through electronic means. It was a lot of texting.
Those are some pretty cool group texts to be in, honestly.
Yeah man! It’s mostly about food but yeah!
A lot of Master of None season 2 is based on personal experiences, from yourself, Aziz, and Lena Waithe, so where does this nomination rank for you in your career?
It’s really great, it’s really wonderful and I’m really proud of what we did in season 2 because one of our goals for this season was to make it different from season 1, and not in a trivial way. You know, we wanted to go deeper, we wanted to be more ambitious, more experimental, and I think the season was more aggressive and more ambitious. I’m glad that it totally didn’t turn people off. We took some big swings and I’m happy with how it turned out.
You’re nominated amongst shows like black-ish and Will & Grace that also use humor to touch on timely topics like race relations, sexuality, immigration, and even politics. What’s it like to be recognized among shows like this?
Those are great shows made by really talented people. I’ve actually known Kenya Barris, creator of black-ish, for years and it’s just so funny because we met playing in a basketball game in L.A. and I didn’t even know he was a writer. We’ve been playing together for a couple of years, and I was like, ‘You’ve got a show? Oh, you’ve got a show too.” We started seeing each other’s stuff and doing interviews together, and I’m really proud of being in the company of those shows. It just feels it’s, in some ways, hard to make a show that doesn’t touch on those issues because you want it to be relevant to what’s going on. Not to say that every show has to have topical issues or social issues, because there’s room for everything. Certainly, for us, the personal intersected with some of those issues because it comes from our lives.
Coming off such a successful run for Master of None, is there anything you can tell me about season 3?
I can tell you that Aziz and I talk a lot. Obviously, we’re friends as well, so we’re always chatting. Basically, our standard is the same as it was in between seasons 1 and 2, which is we want to do the show if we have something that we’re excited about, as we were for season 1 and season 2. We took a little longer to make season 2 until we were like, “Hey, now we have ideas that we’re really passionate about and can really see throwing ourselves into it with as much excitement and energy as we did for the previous season.” The same applies here: so much of it comes from our actual experiences and personal lives, so we want to make sure we have enough in the well to make it a worthwhile season.
What are you most excited about the ceremony, besides possibly winning?
[Laughs] It’s a crazy room, man! I want to see what Steven Spielberg picks as his entrée, I want to see Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks chatting.
The 75th annual Golden Globes, hosted by Seth Meyers, air Jan. 7 on NBC. See the full list of nominees here.
Master of None