Friday, January 21, 2022

What I’m Watching: United States of Al

United States of Al: Season 2, Episode 11 “Punch / Musht” (B+)

We don’t see quite enough of Hazel on this show when things are focused on the adults, and so it was good to take a break from the new relationships that both Riley and Lizzie are in to return to the child who has a lot of sense for someone with so few years on this earth. Her getting in trouble for punching someone at school elicited very different reactions from her two parents, and Riley being more open to the idea that there could have been a legitimate reason for her to hit someone did not sit well with Vanessa at all. That she went back to apologize to him and then ended up hitting him again was a humorous but unfortunate development, and it’s hard to earn points for sticking up for those who are being mocked or treated unfairly when you’re also in the wrong. Any hopes of Riley and Vanessa getting back together have surely been dashed by this point, and Riley wasn’t too open to Freddy’s perspective even though the two of them have been getting along better recently than they were a while back when Riley was still obsessed with winning back his ex-wife. Al, Art, and Lizzie also offer helpful perspectives, and Hazel is lucky to be able to benefit from multiple opinions that surround her and help mold her into a surely very opinionated and resilient individual who is absolutely best described as precocious with a bit of devilishness mixed in for good measure.

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