Season two of Netflix's wonderful gem Master Of None dropped in its entirety today, with ten new episodes that double down on some of the more ambitious ones from the first season. The new season starts off in Modena, Italy before returning to NYC, all along tackling 21st century dating neuroses and the behind-the-scenes world of reality cooking shows.

One of the big standout stories comes in episode six, "New York I Love You," a joyous standalone installment that takes the vignette format of the show and runs it to its logical conclusion. Dev, Arnold and the other regular characters are shunted off to the side in favor of following a triptych of random New Yorkers going about their daily lives, including a doorman, a deaf convenience store worker, and a crew of immigrant cab drivers.

We spoke to co-creator Alan Yang, who directed and co-wrote the episode, about the genesis for the unexpected, experimental outing. We also chatted about his and Aziz Ansari's ambitions for the season on a whole, his ideal NYC activities, and what a future season three might look like.

Let's jump into the new season, and in particular the episode, "New York I Love You." So much of it feels like someone just walking around New York, bumping into people, and getting to listen in on their lives. What was the genesis for this episode? Man, it's really been a long time in the making. You know, I think the real kernel of an idea came years and years ago. I think it was before we had written any scripts for season one. It was a real sort of brainstorming phase of what the show could be. And we had just started talking about some of these ideas, we had talked about the "Parents" episode idea from season one a little bit, and that got us excited because there was all these different characters. Then Aziz and I were walking around New York and we were on St. Marks in the East Village, walking past this guy who was selling sunglasses, just like a sunglass vendor. And Aziz was like, "Well, I wonder what that guy's life is all about. Could that be something?" And this season we said, "Well, why not? Let's do an episode where we just follow around anybody."

One of the main ideas we talked about was every person in the world, every human being, should be the star of their own TV show. They should star in their own movie, be the protagonist of their own story. But we pretty much see the same kind of person as the star of shows now, you know? These people are often in the background of a movie, saying hi to Jennifer Aniston or whatever, as she gets her mail.

And so, we just kind of tried to expand on that idea and from there we started doing research. We identified a few types of people you might bump into while you're walking around New York and then we just started interviewing people. So we interviewed a bunch of doormen, we interviewed a bunch of cab drivers, and we interviewed deaf people who had worked in the service industry. And that really helps. Because as much as the rest of the show is based on our lives and personal experiences that have happened to us, we wanted these stories to feel just as real, and the only way to do that is to get the real stories.

We had a researcher, we have a few people. Jessica Watson, who's Aziz's assistant, did a great job with this too. We had a researcher by the name of Matthew Wilks and he works in sociology. They were just kind of pounding the pavement trying to get ahold of different people. And we went to a doorman's union—they were very accommodating and nice to us. A bunch of doormen came in with their union reps and we asked them questions about some of the crazy stories that had happened to them on the job, funny stuff, and things that they cared about, stuff that annoyed them. And then the same thing for cab drivers. There was obviously some fabrication and embellishment and alterations, it was not just the stories verbatim, but some of the stuff was inspired, certainly, by this research.

I loved all three segments, but the convenience store one in particular felt special— when the sound cuts out, and you realize you're seeing everything from her perspective, I thought that was particularly wonderful. And the punchline with them arguing was one of the funniest moments of the whole season. Man, I'm so glad you responded to that cause it's a huge risk! The whole episode is, where you're asking your audience to follow these characters who they've never met before. One of the beautiful things about TV is you've built up such an affinity for these characters and the actors who portray them, and then you're asking your audience to really take a leap of faith with you. And I think additionally, Netflix was understandably a little bit fearful of having the audio cut out entirely. I think they were scared: "Oh, people are going to turn their computer off," you know. And I understand that, I totally do.

So what we did is, we screened the episode in a movie theater. We do this for all our episodes, but that one in particular was an interesting experiment. When we screened it before 200 people, and it got to that section and the sound dropped out, I honestly looked around and I saw people elbowing each other and whispering, "Is there a technical malfunction?" Stuff like that. And then, within ten seconds, they're leaning in. And they're watching the cashier's interaction with the customer.

And the actress did such a beautiful job. She's so sympathetic and you can see it in her eyes, she's really expressive and suddenly you're really in her point of view and that was the whole goal, right? That's the whole goal of that technique. Then later in the store, like you said...I'm glad that you liked that section because they're so funny in that scene and they got as big a laugh as we got for any scene in any other episode. They really did. And that's credit to them, and the writers that helped us with that scene. It was a relief and it was very gratifying to see that aggressive swing work.

Was this was one of the first episodes of the show you directed? Yeah. I directed the "Religion" episode and the "New York, I Love You" episode this year. It's this thing where I've been sitting at the monitors for every scene of the entire series. I think I've missed a day or two, maybe, over the course of the entire show. All of our directors have done such a great job, but I'm always sitting there too. And they always ask for my input after every scene. So I've been there, while Aziz is directing I definitely have a lot of input because he's not always able to see the first take; he has to watch the replay or the playback on the monitors. He trusts me because we're just usually on the same page, having lived through the show for so long. But these two were the first two I directed.

What was the experience of that like for this episode in particular, since you weren't able to rely on Aziz and the actors you'd typically be following? Was that tougher? Yeah, he's only in it for a minute. Oh, it's a challenge. And you don't have that security blanket. You can't just lean over and say, "Hey Aziz, do something funny." Or, "Eric, do something funny." Or, "Lena, do something funny." It's new people, so you've got to do a good job casting. Our casting director, Cody Beke, did a great job. And some of these performers were not actors before this.

There's the whole section about the cab drivers and the main cab driver, a character named Samuel, is portrayed by this guy Enock Ntekereze, and you know Enock has never acted before. He's carrying basically a whole mini-episode of the show like Aziz does. Enock is a refugee from Burundi in Rwanda. He hadn't even been in the country that long and now he's carrying a story in a Netflix show. And he's so charming. He's just really charismatic and you really root for him.

One of my favorite parts in the show is when he's in the cab and these girls get in the back seat and they're spoiling a movie for him. And he's complaining about this, they're talking about grain bowls, and I'm like, "Well, what language would you speak if you were talking to your buddies?" Like a lot of you speak in Kirundi, that's the language in Burundi. We did the scene, I'm like, "Well, who else can we get that speaks Kirundi?" And his brother is this guy Moses who speaks Kirundi, and wants to be an actor. So, the two of them speak on the phone and the voice you hear on the other end of the phone is his brother.

And then, when it came time to score that scene, I wanted to get an amazing song with the montage of him driving all night because he had the night shift. I wanted to get something really authentic and something that Enock himself would listen to. I asked Enock for as many songs as he could deliver and he sent me a bunch of YouTube links. The song that I ended up loving was "Umugabo Wukuri" by Canco Hamisi. He sent me a bunch of songs by that artist, but it's obviously not on Spotify, it's not available, you can't buy it. So, we had to clear this song. We had to get the rights through the Burundi government! Our sound clearance people got in touch with, literally, the government, and they somehow cleared it through like that official branch of that country. Because I don't know who owns the rights to it, but it's all cleared through that. That's how we got that song.

You mentioned the word 'authentic' before, and that's exactly the word that comes to mind when I think about the show in general, especially considering how much time and effort you guys seem to put into making sure that all the details come off as genuine and lived-in as possible. It's very cool to hear that some of these people were just regular people you were bringing into this. Yes, as much as possible. And definitely for all the other cab drivers, they did a great job. Some of them had some acting experience, but almost all of them drove cabs or Ubers or both. And they're from all sorts of different countries. Those guys were so funny, they made me laugh so much. They really delivered, and it's not an easy thing to do. When you show up and maybe you've never acted before, or you've only acted a couple times, and there's 100 people and there's lights on you and people asking you to move from this location to a different location and speak at a certain point in time and look at this guy and put your hands this way. That's a lot to ask of someone who's never acted before.

But we also had experience with that with Aziz's dad, who's in the other episode I directed.

He was great in that "Religion" episode as well, yeah. I love it.

The other thing about this episode that really struck me was the tone. Because it's a delicate balance, and it'd be really easy to take all the scenarios that these three characters go through and let it end in a much darker or tragic place. But ultimately there's a joyfulness there. I was wondering how you guys talked about that, what you wanted to convey in terms of the tone? It was a big discussion. What we ended up landing on was this: we wanted to do stories that are interesting enough, funny enough, dramatic enough, emotional enough and just straight up compelling enough to have been Dev stories. And if it didn't meet those qualifications, we threw the story out. We came up with a lot of different kinds of stories and they definitely fell into a few different worlds. Because we talked about what the stories we do on the show are: romantic stories, we do career stories, we do family stories.

And that, again, comes back to the issue of everyone's the star of their own show. The goal is to make these tiny shows as good as the regular show. We didn't want to be like, "Oh, look at how hard these people lives are." That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about, yeah, sometimes stuff is hard, sometimes stuff is funny, sometimes you mess up, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you make the wrong choices, sometimes you make mistakes, sometimes you embarrass yourself, all of those things. As much as possible, let's kind of cram all of those emotions, those ups-and-downs.

This is not a searing documentary into the heart of the American city. It's more, let's just show interesting stories in these characters lives, just like we do with our characters. And in a way it's a microcosm of what we do in the larger scope of this season, because we do an episode that features Arnold more, an episode that feature Denise more. We're going into their stories as well, so I like how there's a little bit of symmetry in that.

Yeah in the first season, it was really exciting to see all the stuff with the parents, removing ourselves from the main characters and looking at their parents' lives. In this season, it's happening one step further with expanding the scope of what kind of stories you guys can tell and want to tell. I'm so glad you picked up on that because we literally said to each other that very thing: this show can be anything. This show can have any scope. What is the most interesting thing? What excites us the most? We would say, "What's an episode that we would say, holy shit, I can't believe they did that and it's good? And it's like, watchable?" Let's not antagonize the audience, but is there something we could pull out that is really exciting to us and also is entertaining and interesting and emotional for the audience. As much as possible we wanted to take those big swings and take those big risks this year.

Were you similarly nervous about starting off the season with the Italy episodes? Oh yeah. That first episode was like 70% Italians. It's all Dev and like this little kid you've never seen before. It's crazy. That episode has no characters from season one except for Dev. It's crazy! And most of it's in Italian and obviously it's all in black and white. And I think we jump around with tone a little bit throughout the season, which I like because that's something that you can do in this format that you don't really see much in film. We have 10 episodes and we can make these ten little movies and some of them can be very different from the other ones.

On that point, there's been this ongoing conversation around television over the last couple years, looking at a season of TV as say a ten-hour movie versus a series of short pieces and short stories. It seems like you guys are leaning a little more towards the latter at this point? I think we're kind of in the middle. Because it's not just ten movies. I think there's obviously a bigger arc. It's lightly serialized and there are threads that keep continuing on. I hope it still feels cohesive and that you're following along, that you care about the larger story [for Dev]. But along with that there are still states and episodes of digression. And some of those episodes that are digressions are some of our favorites of the season.

There's also the freedom that Netflix gives you. The fact that people are often going to be binge-watching this when it comes out, you know there's the keep clicking through. If I watch something like House Of Cards, every episode seems to bleed into the next one, and a couple hours suddenly are gone. But each one of your episodes are very defined and structurally varied. Yeah, that was purposeful. And I think different shows are designed different ways. Those shows like House of Cards or Breaking Bad, they're just designed differently and maybe that kind of ten hour movie idea works awesome if you want to make that kind of show. That's great. But I like that each episode has a beginning, middle and an end. And they're their own stories and honestly, some of the episodes you could watch by themselves, with no context. It would be somewhat confusing, but definitely we could have just aired this one first. But, we're also giving the audience a little bit of connective tissue and there is something that they're tracking from episode 1 to episode 10. I think that's nice too.

I have to ask: was "Death Castle," the movie everyone in the "New York" episode was going to see, an homage to Seinfeld? No, what's the Seinfeld reference?

Well in Seinfeld they had all these amazing fake movies with names like "Prognosis Negative,

" and occasionally they would have an entire episode where everyone was going to the movies together, and they would all end up having different little adventures at the movie theater, whatever it would be. Oh, yeah! That's crazy. We didn't even think of that. Yeah. I also like the origin of that name. We were talking about it in the writers room and I was like, "Okay, so they're going to go see this movie, let's just say it's something like Death Castle, or something." And so we just left it. It was just the first two words I thought of. And then I had to put it in.

It was also funny because we wrote Nicolas Cage into the movie, so at the very end you hear Nicolas Cage's voice and it's actually Andy Samberg doing Nicolas Cage. You know Andy's a good friend of ours, so I called him, "We've got this dumb thing for you. Can you do it? It's like two lines or something." And he was so nice. After like a full day of shooting on Brooklyn 99, we called him and we got him in the ADR booth, and we had him do the dumb lines.

That is very fun. Oh, and you also got Sandy Kenyon to do a little thing! Oh my god. That was the highlight of Aziz's year, if not his life. Aziz loves Sandy Kenyon and he loves doing a Sandy Kenyon impression. We're kind of obsessed with him, so we wrote that and we knew we wanted to get Sandy Kenyon. And at first ABC, or whatever his network is, said, "No, you can't do it." They said no over and over and over again. Aziz just started...he made it his personal mission, so we just literally started calling people personally. "Please! Just let us use Sandy Kenyon!" Finally it worked and he came to set and he was so professional and funny. We had some lines written and we read the lines and then we're like, "All right, if you actually saw this movie, what do you think your review would be?" So he just started improvising and I think we maybe ended up leaving some of his improv in because it's like, the dude does this in his sleep. He reviews like 50 movies a day or something.

Are you guys both big LCD Soundsystem fans as well? Immensely so, and those guys in that band are really good friends of ours. We just couldn't come up with a title for this episode, we just didn't know what to call it. And, [someone] said, "What about 'New York, I Love You'?" That is a really good title, it's kind of that LCD song, it's very close. And so I texted James and told him, and he said, "Yeah man, works for me." It was funny, he gave it his blessing. I think it's a very fitting title for the episode. And I truly...I moved to New York while we were shooting this, and I do love it.

Now when you come back to New York, what's the first thing you've got to do? Ooh, that's a great question! I did just come back to New York pretty recently. There's a couple things actually. One is that, if it's nice at all, I just want to walk. I want to walk everywhere, I just want to walk around all over. This morning I walked probably— this includes some running I did—but I walked about eight miles. You just walk around, look at people, look at what's going on. And, the second thing is eat something, maybe Chinese food. Go to like Han Dynasty or something?

I love that place. The first time I saw the name online, I thought the URL was 'Handy Nasty.' Ha ha, yeah yeah! And then third thing is, then I'd see if anything's playing at the Metrograph and go see a movie at the Metrograph.

Nice. So you had over a year off between seasons one and two. Do you expect for that to continue if, and hopefully when, the show continues in the future? Yeah. I mean we didn't talk about it. It's like the thing where you've just finished a meal and then someone asks you if you want to eat again.

Here's the thing: if we are lucky enough to get the opportunity to do it again, we understand that this is a tremendous situation, and it's a lucky situation for us. We've gotten such freedom [from Netflix]. They've basically just let us make the show we want to make which is unbelievable. It's really great.

That being said, we want to make a season if and when we are as excited about it as we were about the show to begin with, before season one. We have to be like, "Oh, shit, we can't not make this." We have to be that excited. Because we want to kill ourselves making it. We want to just murder ourselves and work as hard as we can and make it the best we can. We never want to do a season just because we can. Let's make it if we have an unbelievable set of ideas that we are really passionate about: what about this episode? What about this episode? This episode? It's a lucky place to be, but that's what we want: to be really inspired and want to make another set of episodes.

It really does feel like because of the form of the show, it's the kind of show that can age with you, that can grow with you guys as you get older and reflect those experiences—in a way that not every show can sort of handle. Yes, it's not a high concept show, right? It's not like Aziz moves in with his father or something, you know? Maybe we'll do a season in 50 years, when we're 80. What would that be like? I'd be curious about that show. Is it about my great-grandkids, or will I never have kids? Is it about me dating? The show can be anything that we find really funny, emotional, and compelling.

Let me tell you, I would definitely watch a show with Aziz and his dad moving in together... Yeah man, he's a killer. He doesn't have a line that's not a joke. It's all jokes.

Thanks so much for talking to us, and congratulations on the new season. Yeah, I appreciate it man. Thanks for watching. I really had fun doing the interview.