Wednesday, May 19, 2021

What I’m Watching: United States of Al

United States of Al: Season 1, Episode 7 “Car/Motar” (B+)

One of the elements of this series that feels most genuine to me is when there are aspects of Afghani culture that aren’t played purely for comedy yet still have an element of humor to them, like Al needing to say no three times before accepting first the paycheck and then the check from Riley’s motorcycle, something that his friend of many years knows well and fully respects about him. I would have thought that Al might be more attuned to the negotiating skills of others, but he did get what sounded like an amazing deal from the very talented and charming Chloe, played by Riki Lindhome from “The Muppets.” I like that there wasn’t an opportunity for them to barge in there and get the contract cancelled, and instead Al went ahead trying to trim his extensive resume slash memoir to apply for jobs that might be well-suited to his very long list of skills that included literal cherry-picking. I would like to see Lizzie in a role that enables her to have her own life and her own plotlines, but I guess it was fun to have her as the math whiz who was able to understand contracts and explain them to her brother, who was initially too proud to ask for her help. I was pleased to learn that this show will be returning for a second season, something that wasn’t a guarantee even though it comes from CBS royalty Chuck Lorre, and I’m excited to see it grow and develop. Before that, we still have six episodes to look forward to in season one!

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