United States of Al Season 2 Episode 7 Review

In this episode, Al (Adhir Kalyan) takes a psychology course at the local college and struggles with college level English. When he gets an F on an assignment, Riley (Parker Young) heads to the school to ask the professor to go easy on Al because English isn't his first language.

When Riley happily tells Al how he's helped, Al is furious at the interference and storms back to the professor to ask for the grade he deserves.

Meanwhile, Riley's dad Art (Dean Norris) becomes intimidated when he discovers that his girlfriend Lois (Rachel Bay Jones) was previously married to a football star.

This is USofAl at it's best. We have the central buddy rapport and relationship of Al/Riley, Riley flashes his abs and the rest of the family is there for balanced, secondary yucks. Imagine an episode of Everyone Loves Raymond without Raymond? That's how important the Al/Riley chemistry is.

USofAL's ratings have been softer and I wonder if this is because, as Afghanistan slips from media attention, so does the interest in the show and Al's plight? This is the first episode not to mention Afghan refugees, an interesting shift in gears for a show that still struggles to balance real life drama in a sitcom.


Harrison Cheung is the author of the award-winning biography of Christian Bale (BenBella Books) and a contributor to Brave New Hollywood and The TV Ratings Guide.

@harrisonic (Twitter)

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