Monday, April 19, 2021

Take Three: United States of Al

United States of Al: Season 1, Episode 3 “Shorts/Neykar” (B)

One of my favorite things on TV shows is when characters who don’t typically interact spend time together. That happened in a great way in this episode, as Al got concerned that he offended Lizzie because Riley talked to her about dressing more conservatively around him, and he was so determined not to come into her room even though she was completely fine with it. Her reaction to her brother’s poorly-conceived request was entertaining enough, and she expressed genuine surprise at Al revealing that he hadn’t ever experienced barely-clothed women or shorts. He got very distracted by the driving examiner wearing shorts to the point of backing into a tree when he was supposed to be pulling forward, and it was just unfortunate that a T-shirt car wash was happening when he was otherwise nailing his retake. It was fun to meet some of the family members in this installment, like Al’s mom, who is not a fan of shorts and who wanted him to be more like Riley with his pants. Riley and Vanessa’s daughter Hazel proved to be very precocious within moments of meeting Al, realizing that his eagerness to get to know his goddaughter could make him a particular useful adult to manipulate into doing and getting things her parents would never allow. Art’s story that was meant to compare his own experience was humorously far off-course, showing once again that he operates in a totally different manner than his children do and often lives in a fully different world.

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