Sunday, April 25, 2021

What I’m Watching: United States of Al

United States of Al: Season 1, Episode 4 “Spinach/Sabzi” (B+)

After Al struggled to adjust to some of Lizzie’s behavior in the last episode, here he took Hazel on fully in his constant critiquing and outright criticism of the way in which the youngest generation was not living up to her potential as an unquestioning server of those who had sacrificed for her. After he got her to reluctantly stand up for Art when he came into the room, he encountered considerably more difficulty in getting her to eat the food that he had prepared, and I was convinced that it was going to end up on the floor with a plate shattered all around it, but fortunately Al swooped into action to catch it when she pushed it all the way off the table. Expecting that this culture was going to look exactly like his was never realistic, but Al is slowly imparting some important values to his American family. Art may be part of the problem, of course, since he has certain needs, like sitting close to the bathroom, and plenty of stubbornness that likely originated not with Riley but with him that he has passed down from generation to generation. Riley may not always prioritize the projects his father asks him to do around the house, but it’s a sentiment many adult children can surely relate to, when they are expected to do things that they can easily do but won’t always be the first item on their to-do lists. It may not be sophisticated, but Lizzie did provide a useful service to Al in the form of her impressive photoshopping abilities.

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