Saturday, June 19, 2021

What I’m Watching: United States of Al

United States of Al: Season 1, Episode 11 “Dog/Spai” (B+)

I enjoyed the way in which Al indicated fear of the small dog that Riley brought in and then continued to stress that he had no interest in getting to know it. I’m not a dog person either, though I think I’m a bit more aware of the fact that other people are and that I’m the outlier in pretty much any situation. We got to see more of the mature Hazel still being a child as she came up with a name and then later found out that another kid was solely missing his dog. I loved the chance to see more of Vanessa and her very dim-witted but extremely endearing and very well-meaning boyfriend Freddy, who definitely does not understand what #metoo is all about and many other things. Al and Vanessa seeing eye-to-eye on their frustration with Riley was a fun form of bonding that evolves the relationship they started building early on in this show, and their banter was very funny, though not as much as Vanessa’s exchange with Riley: “You’re talking to a hero” / “I’m talking to an idiot.” Lizzie pointing out to Riley that Vanessa didn’t have an easy time with him away was a humorous and true-to-life spotlight of parenthood. After Art failed to teach Hazel about not adding anything to job after a contract starts, he did have a great time with Lois getting into hijinks, which was nice to see. I’m sure there’s sentiment related to Riley and Lizzie’s mother, but Lois seems like a great fit for him.

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