Sunday, June 5, 2022

What I’m Watching: United States of Al (Series Finale)

United States of Al: Season 2, Episode 22 “Chaos / Aashob” (B)

This isn’t the finale this show deserved, and it’s a shame since it could have ended on a more ambiguous note like “B Positive” did, though surely neither of the creative teams thought they were definitely going to get cancelled. I’m a big fan of actress Jayma Mays, remembering her roles in “Red Eye,” “Glee,” and “Trial and Error,” and I don’t think this is the best showcase she’s had. While I did enjoy the reactions that both Ariana and Lizzie had when she showed up in full-on stalker mode and came on very strong, her going down that route was not what I would have liked to see from the character. Al squirming also isn’t his bets mode, since it’s better when he’s realizing something about how his upbringing and culture doesn’t tell him everything he needs to know or helping someone else discover something they never would have known. Riley forum-shopping about whether to tell Freddy was probably a good sign that he shouldn’t have gone through with it, and it shouldn’t have been too surprising that the former hockey player knows when to play dumb and was very well aware of what was happening with him and Vanessa. I liked Hazel’s comment that she did see the other guy, and he looked fine, and that Riley switched into mature parent mode when she lamented that Freddy and Vanessa were probably going to have a baby now. Vanessa sending in the divorce papers and breaking up with Freddy gives her some time to figure out what she wants, and ends this show on an unfortunately unresolved note. While it hasn’t always been spectacular, I have enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what this cast does next.

Season grade: B
Season MVP: Adhir Kalyan as Al

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