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Its heart's in the right place, it's the comedy part that's not.
All this show can generate for Al is to call him an 'optimistic little dude,' and that patronizing pat on the head is pretty much the whole vibe of the arduous United States of Al.
"Al" certainly has good intentions. But good intentions aren't enough to make the show a worthy representation of a culture or even a good sitcom. There has to be something more substantial to back them up, and "Al" just doesn't have it.
United States of Al didn't warm my heart as much as it deeply bummed me out.
It's possible to come away thinking United States of Al has its heart in the right place, and still conclude, strictly in TV terms, that it simply isn't very good.
Kalyan's choices aren't funny, nor are the writers' choices for Al. It's a bad mixture.
As well-intentioned as it may be, it's this exact method of presenting authentic, unexplored stories to mainstream audiences in the laziest manner that fails the marginalized community it's trying to depict.
With a talented cast and writing staff and a truly original premise, it might really turn into something exceptional.
Audience Reviews for United States of Al: Season 1
2d agoI wanted to like this show, I really did. I watched the first episode and found it formulaic, stale, and obvious. But, I was willing to give it a second chance because sometimes pilots are duds. Then the second episode rolled around and it was more of the same. Poorly timed jokes that could be predicted from a mile away. Flat characters who seemed more like a compilation of tropes rather than fleshed out people. And then there was Al himself. Look, I'm sure that Adhir Kaylen is a good actor who was simply working with what he had been given; but what he was given was a caricature of a "funny foreigner". There's no heart there. No soul. Just one liners delivered to a laugh track desperately trying to remind us that this show is funny. As I was watching episode two, as Kalen delivered a line about all Afghans wanting tea, I realized that I've seen this show before. Back in the mid-eighties when it was called Perfect Strangers. That's the biggest problem with The United States of Al, it belongs in 1986 not 2021.
Apr 03, 2021I was looking forward to this because the executive producer was Lorre. I was disappointed and probably will not watch. Too bad. Another one bites the dust.
Apr 02, 2021As with any new show, it is hard to tell how it will hold up over the initial season(s). I am not a fan of the forced humor that is typical of Lorre's initial episodes for new shows, but there is often good payoff for bearing through this awkward setup period. United States of Al has a very good cast and the potential for useful cultural exploration while using humor to keep it from getting too 'preachy'. I predict this will be one of Lorre's better productions, but it will be a painful start as many of his shows are.
Apr 02, 2021It wasn't bad. It was easy to watch. I think it's important to see a representation of Muslims that aren't terrorists or a military movie. As someone else said, this show might not hit the head on the nail, but it paves the way for larger conversations. Watching this made me realize that I haven't seen a tv show (especially a comedy) with a Muslim main character that actually spoke out loud about general practices out loud and non-Muslims accept it. It's normal to his friend Riley, who reminds his dad not to offer Al beer, which is also important. I am excited to see how the relationship between Riley and Al develops. I think there's real potential for a bro-mance here. The humor was fine, though I personally like ABC comedies. I liked it, it was easy. It was only the first episode, so it wasn't spectacular, but it was enough to make me curious about where the story is going! First episodes, especially of comedies, always take a little time to find their footing. People have complained about Al being too palatable and having no dimension, but I found Al sweet. I think he will develop more dimension as time goes by. All in all, I'm willing to keep watching. It's enjoyable and easy. It made me curious enough to keep going, which is enough for me.