Sunday, June 13, 2021

What I’m Watching: United States of Al

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

It’s not usually the case that Al is the one in need of consolation and everyone else is going out of their way to comfort him when he’s not able to relax. Not hearing from his family for a long stretch of time was reason for concern, and it was particularly bad timing for him to be working on a job with Riley where the guy was absolutely terrible and completely intolerant. I first remember encountering Patrick Fischler as Jimmy Barrett on “Mad Men,” and while this part was particularly unpleasant, he was well-cast as Clint, who had no patience for Al’s unwillingness to suck up to him and indulge his every whim. Riley, who typically doesn’t allow himself to be walked all over, was surprisingly subservient, and Al wasn’t pleased with Riley apologizing for him. It was clear that Clint was the offending party when even Art wasn’t okay with the idea of working for him after he repeatedly insulted Al. The sweetest attempt by anyone to cheer Al up was Hazel playing Frisbee with him under the guise of wanting to train to be an Olympic athlete, a sudden and immediate need that had to be fulfilled so that he couldn’t think about how worried he was. It was good to see that, by episode’s end, Al was back in touch with his family and already wishing, humorously, that the clarity of the connection with his sister wasn’t quite so strong so that she and Hazel wouldn’t be able to team up against him.

No comments: