United States of Al (CBS) Season Thread *spoilers*

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by astrohip, Apr 1, 2021.

  1. Apr 1, 2021 #1 of 34
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

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    New sitcom on CBS, offshoot of the Chuck Lorre factory. From wiki:

    United States of Al is an American television sitcom created by Chuck Lorre, David Goetsch, and Maria Ferrari. Starring Adhir Kalyan in the title role as Al, the series follows his life as he moves from Afghanistan to Columbus, Ohio with his friend Riley (Parker Young), a Marine he helped as his interpreter. Dean Norris, Elizabeth Alderfer, Kelli Goss, and Farrah Mackenzie also star.

    Controversy: Prior to airing, some of the show's decisions and its trailer received negative feedback. In particular, critics called out the casting of a South-African-born Indian actor to play an Afghan lead and his use of an inauthentic accent. Producer Reza Aslan heavily defended the show on social media against critics and responded defensively to the reactions aimed at the show's main themes and casting decisions. Aslan also stated that the show has multiple Afghan writers and producers. Goetsch also clarified that the show's writing process included extensive conversations with Afghan refugees and U.S. veterans.

    It premiered tonight (Thur April 1). It has the primo spot after Young Sheldon.
     
  2. Apr 1, 2021 #2 of 34
    TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    Sigh. Soon people will be demanding that only serial killers portray serial killers. It is called acting for a reason.
     
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  3. Apr 2, 2021 #3 of 34
    Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

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    I was always offended that on TBBT that Sheldon used an inauthentic Texas accent ;)
     
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  4. Apr 2, 2021 #4 of 34
    Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    I always assumed that this was a result of his "education" in that many English teachers (back when I was a kid, which was about 15 years earlier) would try and shy students away from regional accents and to a more generic (maybe Midwestern) one. Growing up in Brooklyn where a soft "R" is normal, I had more than one English teacher try and teach me to use a harder "R".

    But, in Young Sheldon, while the rest of the family has some sort of Texas (or maybe more generic) southern accent, Sheldon doesn't. Not sure why.

    FWIW, Jim Parsons, is actually from Houston, and you can detect a bit of an accent in his speech. Some actors lose accents.
     
  5. Apr 2, 2021 #5 of 34
    Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, well, then I’m offended that they didn’t use a physicist to play the role of Sheldon :)
     
  6. Apr 2, 2021 #6 of 34
    HarleyRandom

    HarleyRandom Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed the episode a lot and I had no problems with it.

    I never served in the military but based on what I've seen it looked like they did a good job of talking about what it was like.

    I especially liked that the cop and both guys were Marines and that got Al out of a ticket. I figured at the very least the cop would let him off because of his service.

    Lizzie is cute and likeable but I guess if she lost someone in Afghanistan we'll be dealing with that. For now they've kept things light. I could have done without the pink hair, which I didn't notice at first. She's pretty in a girl next door way.

    Vanessa is hot and has that great blonde hair but she doesn't seem easy to like.

    I like the dad too. He's really impressed that Al expects him to be respected.
     
  7. Apr 2, 2021 #7 of 34
    Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

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    Just watched. Not bad. I recognized the translator, but had to use the TiVo “More Info” to find out he was on “Rules of Engagement”. Having their bedroom in a garage was weird.
     
  8. Apr 2, 2021 #8 of 34
    Donbadabon

    Donbadabon Bored TCF Club

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    I caught the preview during Young Sheldon so I checked it out. I liked it, I'm sticking with it.
     
  9. Apr 4, 2021 #9 of 34
    series5orpremier

    series5orpremier Well-Known Member

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    Good cast and interesting concept. I chalk up the lead casting as the most qualified/experienced actor known to American sitcom audiences. He was great as David Spade's assistant in Rules of Engagement. A weird coincidence I noticed is it's set in Ohio, just like A.P. Bio in which Lizzie (the sister) also stars.

    My biggest concern is it could possibly go in the direction of a heavy soap opera just like another Chuck Lorre show, Mom, which I hate.
     
  10. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I loved him so much in 'Rules of Engagement', which is the exact reason I decided to watch this show. It was ok so far. At first I became concerned that his character was going to be extremely annoying but I hope they build away from that a bit. I'm just happy to see him on the screen again (even though I am still watching Rules of Engagement reruns, of which I never get tired). :)

    Don't even get me started on Sheldon Cooper. I've grown to abhor that character. Still love TBBT, though.
     
  11. HarleyRandom

    HarleyRandom Well-Known Member

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    It's not the first time he's played a foreigner learning the ways of this country. There was another show on The WB he was quite good in.
     
  12. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    I thought the show was OK, and will give me more episodes to decide for sure. My biggest problem is that the Afghani character, as much as they made him appear to be a fish out of water just felt too "Americanized" for me. It felt they tried to make him seem somehow different by throwing in a few lines about how things are different in his country, but then, the whole bit where he's trying to get his friend back together with his wife felt too much NY Jewish yenta than then something someone from Afghanistan would do.
     
  13. HarleyRandom

    HarleyRandom Well-Known Member

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    To me the second episode wasn't as good as the first but it's good enough I'll keep watching.

    Certain serious issues got more attention this week.

    Who would name a child "Hazel"? What is she, a bossy maid from the 60s?
     
  14. Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

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    Funny you should mention that, as I’m watching Made For Love (HBO MAX) and the main character is named Hazel.
    Whenever I hear the name Hazel I think of:
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  15. series5orpremier

    series5orpremier Well-Known Member

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    The second episode was getting a little heavy for a sitcom. I'll give it at least one more episode but if that's going to be a recurring theme I'll have to bow out.
     
  16. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

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    As I said for the first. The main Afghani character is just too Americanized to make this work for me. They try and thrown in some "in my country" stuff but he just acts and sounds too American. Since it's Chuck Lorre and he's got some cred with me, I'll give it one more, but otherwise, I'm out.
     
  17. hapster85

    hapster85 Well-Known Member

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    Critics manufacturing controversy to gain attention?

    I watched the first episode purely on the strength of having liked Adhir Kalyan on Rules of Engagement. It was ok. I'll probably stick around for a few more episodes and see how it goes.
     
  18. HarleyRandom

    HarleyRandom Well-Known Member

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    Did anyone notice the director was named Lorre? It had to be a relative.
     
  19. HarleyRandom

    HarleyRandom Well-Known Member

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    I'm a week behind but that was great how Al reacted to seeing a woman in shorts after living in a country where such a thing is not allowed. I wondered why no one mentioned how much skin Lizzie was showing even though it was her arms.

    And then the car wash! That was the best scene yet and I don't just mean because of Al's reaction.

    Dad just had a birthday and it bothers me to know I'm older than him.
     
  20. HarleyRandom

    HarleyRandom Well-Known Member

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    I'm finally caught up. Wow, Al is demanding. The dad likes the idea of getting the respect Americans won't give him.

    Hazel's as stubborn as her father and that stubbornness saved lives in Afghanistan, so Al can't complain too much.

    Does Lizzie have a job? I would have thought someone needed to do the office work for her dad and she's good at computer stuff.
     

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