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S01.E01 - S01.E07: Only

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Did anyone catch who the ex-wife's boyfriend was?  Zack, Penny's dumb & hunky boyfriend from Big Bang Theory.  Really has let himself go!  And I think I saw a man bun.  Amazing how loyal Chuck Lorre is by how often his actors cross-populate his shows.

The show needs more subtext of Al's crush on not-fully-clothed Riley.

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2 hours ago, LekoBoy said:

Did anyone catch who the ex-wife's boyfriend was?  Zack, Penny's dumb & hunky boyfriend from Big Bang Theory.  Really has let himself go!  And I think I saw a man bun.  Amazing how loyal Chuck Lorre is by how often his actors cross-populate his shows.

The show needs more subtext of Al's crush on not-fully-clothed Riley.

He was also on The Amazing Race 7 which I just finished re-watching.  He appeared with his brother Greg and I really liked them.  They had a scary car accident in the African desert during the sixth leg in which their cameraman was injured.  They were eliminated in the subsequent leg and finished 6th.  

 image.png.db71ef002d9dcc0487320bf676d6d964.png

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On 5/7/2021 at 8:06 AM, nelroy78 said:

I don’t think it’s been explained what happened to Riley and Lizzie’s mom, has it? Was Art married to her?

I assume they're either divorced (which could lead to future stories for Art) or dead, which could explain why it seems as though Art raised the kids.

I see this show maintains its success rate in making me cry every episode. Another strong outing.

I loved Al's observation that being home changed Riley. I once interviewed a veteran who told me that his life might have been in danger every day he was in combat, but he still felt in control, but when he got home, with no danger, that's when he felt he lost control. 

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On 5/8/2021 at 1:52 AM, DanaK said:

The topic didn’t exist when the show premiered so I figured there wasn’t enough interest and started it in the Other Comedies section.  If it gets enough responses, we can ask that it be moved to the Main Comedy section

Fair enough. Also should depend on if the show is renewed. Pointless to move it if it turns around and gets cancelled.

On 5/9/2021 at 2:41 PM, SmithW6079 said:
On 5/7/2021 at 8:06 AM, nelroy78 said:

 

I assume they're either divorced (which could lead to future stories for Art) or dead, which could explain why it seems as though Art raised the kids.

I would guess divorced. But could be wrong.

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Oh, man. I felt so bad for Riley, and Al at the dealership. That was a bit of a twist that Riley didn't know how to really negotiate and review the financing. I'm so glad they showed him reaching out to "numbers" for help. I love their relationship.

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I wonder why they didn't just refinance the car(s)? When I bought my car with in-house financing, like 3 days later my credit union was calling offering me a better financing package. I would think one of the military credit unions would be available for Riley and would offer better financing than he was getting. I don't know about for Al, but even a regular credit union could have offered him a better deal. 

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What a good story about buying cars and getting taken. Don't take the dealer's financing if possible! Fortunately I have a credit union and that works out well for me.

I'm not sure Al's nice car is going to hold up so nicely for long if he's using it for food deliveries

I didn't realize the sister was so financially knowledgeable. Good thing she's the solid one in the family business given her dad and brother's financial illiteracy

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Al's rivalry with his cousin Zubair is funny and cute. I'm glad they're continuing it.

Buying a car is one of the worst experiences. Are there people who hire themselves out to shop with you? Because there should be.

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2 hours ago, joanne3482 said:

I wonder why they didn't just refinance the car(s)? When I bought my car with in-house financing, like 3 days later my credit union was calling offering me a better financing package. I would think one of the military credit unions would be available for Riley and would offer better financing than he was getting. I don't know about for Al, but even a regular credit union could have offered him a better deal. 

I was surprised their dad didn't mention it. I would imagine Al is getting hosed on the APR because of his lack of credit history and would be considered a high risk buyer (on paper).

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13 minutes ago, theredhead77 said:

I was surprised their dad didn't mention it. I would imagine Al is getting hosed on the APR because of his lack of credit history and would be considered a high risk buyer (on paper).

I got the feeling his dad didn't understand the financial stuff too well either

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This episode made me want to never buy a car again!

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2 hours ago, Snow Apple said:

Are there people who hire themselves out to shop with you?

yep, that is a thing.  While I've never used my neighbor has used someone for his last several purchases (I think  he leases).  It must be easy money for the "buyer" because every car my neighbor has bought has been a gray honda accord.  I think the current one is a hybrid but if he didn't tell me it was a different car I would have never noticed. 

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I love buying cars. I use the Costco auto buying program and typically do all my negotiating before I even set foot on the lot then go in fully armed w/ financing from my CU and ready to negotiate my trade-in. I don't play the games that the sales woman was playing (I love Riki Lindhome) and have walked out, with the actual intention of leaving and going elsewhere if I even think they are jerking me around or talk to me like a "dumb woman".

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6 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

I love buying cars. I use the Costco auto buying program and typically do all my negotiating before I even set foot on the lot then go in fully armed w/ financing from my CU and ready to negotiate my trade-in. I don't play the games that the sales woman was playing (I love Riki Lindhome) and have walked out, with the actual intention of leaving and going elsewhere if I even think they are jerking me around or talk to me like a "dumb woman".

I have only bought new cars, gone into the dealer knowing what I wanted (my parents helped me through it for my first car) and had my own financing set beforehand (the dealer really pushes hard for you to take their financing). People really have to watch out for themselves when buying cars, used or new, and using financing, and the episode was a really good illustration of all that. Riley and Al didn’t help themselves though with their inflated I-know-better attitude

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Always be wary when someone says they gave you a lower or better anything by adjusting the APR. That's a credit card tactic, too. 

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On 5/7/2021 at 8:06 AM, nelroy78 said:

I don’t think it’s been explained what happened to Riley and Lizzie’s mom, has it? Was Art married to her?

 

On 5/8/2021 at 12:24 PM, possibilities said:

I wondered about that, too.

That will finally be addressed June 3

Spoiler


“Matchmaker/Roybar” — Al and Riley get the sense that Art might be lonely and missing his late wife so they play matchmaker for him, on “United States of Al,” Thursday, June 3 (8:31-9:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
 

Source: 

CBS

 

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Aw, poor Al in this latest episode, with the Afghan American lady ripping into him for being an interpreter for the Americans. I was surprised they went there with them discussing how there were no easy choices and Al admitting the Americans didn’t end up being the country’s saviors. I appreciate the writers didn’t hold back on how it really is. I did like the guest actress

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Been lurking on this thread for a while now, but I had to comment on this episode-this one, along with the one raising awareness for other interpreters awaiting visas, may be my favorite of the series thus far. It was a really good mix of sweet, funny, and heartbreaking. 

2 hours ago, DanaK said:

I was surprised they went there with them discussing how there were no easy choices and Al admitting the Americans didn’t end up being the country’s saviors. I appreciate the writers didn’t hold back on how it really is. 

Same. I'm glad they're addressing some of these issues, and I liked that I could sympathize with Ariana and Al's respective stances. The bit at the end, when Al gives her the money and leaves, got me right in the heart. 

The fact he and Ariana had such a lovely chemistry made their later fallout all the sadder, too. I loved this exchange between them early on:

"Do you have a fourth job as a poet?"

"Do you have a second job as a muse?" 

Look at Al out here with the smooth one-liner :D!

I also liked everyone good-naturedly teasing Al about his crush on her p. Hehe. And then, later, the scene with Riley and Lizzie just staying with him and the three of them listening to that music and sharing in his wallowing was a really touching moment. 

And I also laughed at Lizzie's dad's reaction to her comment about that one guy and prom night. Something like, "Hi, I'm your dad!" *Holds out hand* LOL. 

Yeah. I'm rather enjoying this show so far, it's very sweet and poignant and I like that it's touching on some issues that don't get much attention or discussion. I'm glad to hear it's been renewed :). 

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Happy kite flying day, everyone! I am so over Hazel, she is neither cute nor funny. She can go back to living with her mom. So Ariana hates what the country she was born in is doing to a country she's never been to but has no plans to leave this country and will take every advantage of the freedom and education this country offers. Makes sense. Glad Al stood up for what he did instead of caving to the girl he was infatuated with.

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7 hours ago, Annber03 said:

I also liked everyone good-naturedly teasing Al about his crush on her p. Hehe.

I really loved Riley intervening to turn K.I.S.S.I.N.G into T.A.L.K.I.N.G. 

I absolutely adore this show and I am so happy to see that it has been renewed.

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1 hour ago, theredhead77 said:

I really loved Riley intervening to turn K.I.S.S.I.N.G into T.A.L.K.I.N.G. 

I absolutely adore this show and I am so happy to see that it has been renewed.

I loved that joke, it was one of the times I realized how much I loved this show. Riley is a good man, and he is a good friend. He mocks Al, but there is no doubt he'd happily lay down his life for him, and loves him as a brother. 

Ariana came off as a horribly spoiled American, but given how political the issue is, I get her anger. I think she lacked nuance but that's the point, she doesn't know. 

Adir Kalyan knocked another episode out of the park. Seriously, I used to find Al so annoyingly cheerful that I called him a wind-up toy, but now it makes perfect sense. This is a deeply grieving man who knows he'll never see his home again, who knows he's one of the lucky ones and that many of his fellow interpreters will be brutally murdered, and he's so grateful to be safe, but he paid such a high price, who is humble and kind and completely out of his element but tries so hard. So he keeps up a shiny facade, because he doesn't want to burden others, and because he's so torn between grieving what he lost, and feeling guilty that his pain is so much less. 

Is it bad I kinda ship Lizzie and Al? 

On the Hazel issue, Al is right, she's adorable but extremely spoiled and disrespectful and coddled in a way that isn't good. She wasn't this obnoxious last time, but this episode, i wanted her grounded. 

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2 hours ago, dungeonwriter said:

Ariana came off as a horribly spoiled American, but given how political the issue is, I get her anger. I think she lacked nuance but that's the point, she doesn't know.

Exactly. I think the actress pulled it off beautifully. She only knows what she's been told and what she's seen from TV and it's a fragile balance of being between two cultures. After Al left the second time, it looked like she realized Al has a point and that she may need to rethink her point of view. I hope we see her and her family again. I loved the respectful way they disagreed. No yelling, no name calling, no threats, not even a hint of any violence brewing. It was a heartbreaking and well done story.

 

2 hours ago, dungeonwriter said:

Is it bad I kinda ship Lizzie and Al? 

Nope. I do a little too but I also love "you're [Lizzie] not a woman, you're Riley's sister" from Al.

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2 hours ago, dungeonwriter said:

Is it bad I kinda ship Lizzie and Al? 

I was wondering if I was alone in that! I've been interested in the idea of those two for a while now :D. They're developing a nice little bond. 

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3 hours ago, Annber03 said:

I was wondering if I was alone in that! I've been interested in the idea of those two for a while now :D. They're developing a nice little bond. 

I think Lizzie really needs someone as kind and patient as Al, who is so hopeful. Lizzie is smart and talented but wasting her life, and Al really can inspire her. Al needs someone who can comfort and understand him, and also listen to him. I think they would make a great couple, even if I can't really see Lizzie wearing firaq partug on a daily basis, I think she'd look beautiful in it for their first date. I also can't see her adopting Islam, given her love of the sauce, but I think she'd respect his faith. 

3 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

Exactly. I think the actress pulled it off beautifully. She only knows what she's been told and what she's seen from TV and it's a fragile balance of being between two cultures. After Al left the second time, it looked like she realized Al has a point and that she may need to rethink her point of view. I hope we see her and her family again. I loved the respectful way they disagreed. No yelling, no name calling, no threats, not even a hint of any violence brewing. It was a heartbreaking and well done story.

 

Nope. I do a little too but I also love "you're [Lizzie] not a woman, you're Riley's sister" from Al.

I'm team Allizzie but Arianal will work too, if she grows up a bit. She did look ashamed at the end, and I was impressed by how well she pulled off that surprise at being told she knows nothing. And it would be good for Al to have some friends to make him feel less homesick. Also, I have a feeling Ariana's dad is like "Guy from Kabul who is respectful and hardworking and you let him get away????" the way my mother would if some awesome guy from Tel Aviv breezed into my life. 

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5 minutes ago, dungeonwriter said:

I think Lizzie really needs someone as kind and patient as Al, who is so hopeful. Lizzie is smart and talented but wasting her life, and Al really can inspire her. Al needs someone who can comfort and understand him, and also listen to him. I think they would make a great couple, even if I can't really see Lizzie wearing firaq partug on a daily basis, I think she'd look beautiful in it for their first date. I also can't see her adopting Islam, given her love of the sauce, but I think she'd respect his faith. 

Agreed. I really liked their talk they had a while back about grief and being homesick and so forth. They've had a few nice little heart-to-heart conversations thus far-I think they seem to really understand each other's pain and sadness on some level. And yeah, they'd be a great couple who could respect each other's cultures and differences. They accept each other as is, which is always a good basis for a potential relationship :). 

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27 minutes ago, dungeonwriter said:

Also, I have a feeling Ariana's dad is like "Guy from Kabul who is respectful and hardworking and you let him get away????"

I had that thought but also wonder if her dad is where she developed some of her opinions about the Americans and how he would feel about Al being an interpreter. I hope we get to see this. It's rare that I say this about a TV show, but I want know these people in my life. 

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8 hours ago, dungeonwriter said:

On the Hazel issue, Al is right, she's adorable but extremely spoiled and disrespectful and coddled in a way that isn't good. She wasn't this obnoxious last time, but this episode, i wanted her grounded. 

I didn’t pick up on any groundable offenses this episode. She had a couple snarky comments about phone books and vintage Adele music, but I just wrote that off to her role as the junior Greek chorus. 

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8 minutes ago, possibilities said:

She was whining about wanting pizza and being rude about the menu at the restaurant.

Still those don’t rise in my mind to be groundable offences. If her dad thought she was out of line he could have given her the look or otherwise dealt with it. 

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I didn't think Hazel was whining or being rude. Unless I missed something she was expressing that she wanted pizza (what kid doesn't) and asked her dad (or grandpa?) if they had Afghan pizza. I don't recall her saying anything to the owner. Some of her behavior could be nervousness about a new type of food / restaurant not being expressed appropriately because she's still a kid. But even then, I didn't detect any whining or rudeness.

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The only problem with an Al/Lizzie pairing is Lizzie has already been engaged to Riley's best friend and that didn't end well.

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1 hour ago, Grizzly said:

The only problem with an Al/Lizzie pairing is Lizzie has already been engaged to Riley's best friend and that didn't end well.

Forgot about that! I don't really want to see Al and Lizzie paired. I'm a HUGE fan of platonic male / female friendships without UST. 

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6 hours ago, SoMuchTV said:

Still those don’t rise in my mind to be groundable offences. If her dad thought she was out of line he could have given her the look or otherwise dealt with it. 

Obviously different people have different beliefs about what is okay behavior for kids and how to handle it. I thought she was being an insufferable brat and very rude. I wouldn't have started with grounding, but I would have cut off the behavior and made it clear that if it started up again there would definitely be consequences. She knew why they went on this trip in the first place. She needed to be open to the new food and respectful of it. Period. Nervousness is not an excuse for shitty behavior. My viewpoint is that kids need to learn open-mindedness and self-control.

Edited by possibilities
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I am happy to hear about the renewal, its great that we will get more time with all of these characters. I really do like all of them, even Hazel, who can be a bit bratty in a pre-teen kind of way. I appreciate how well it can pull off going from funny to serious so quickly, and how it continues to spotlight issues that are not really talked about much on television, especially raising awareness of the plight of translators who have helped American troops abroad. 

Its sad how things went between Al and Ariana, they seemed so sweet together and I really liked the actress, but then she blew up at him and everything went south. Ariana's anger is understandable, but judging Al so harshly over things she presumably only knows about through TV and articles is a really crappy thing to do. She clearly has a very black and white opinion on everything that happened in Afghanistan and lacks nuance, but then that was the point. Al was actually over there and knows how complicated the situation was, and while the American's weren't the saviors Al hoped they would be, he doesn't regret taking a shot at helping bring some stability to his country. She looked like she was really thinking on what Al said at the end, that maybe a person who has never been to a country shouldn't lecture a person who lived their for their whole life and was in the thick of everything that happened with so much self importance and that Al is right about the nuances. Its easy to look at a situation like that and see it without shades of grey when your just watching it all play out on the news safely from your couch, I can imagine living it is very different. I do like how many views they are giving of everything, and how much they are exploring Al's feelings about everything that happened. He's a naturally cheerful guy who tries to look on the bright side and knows how lucky he is to have survived and made it to the US, but is also mourning the lives lost and the fact that he can never return to his homeland. 

Good thing we also got some good jokes to lighten things up a bit as well. "T*A*L*K*I*N*G" 

Edited by tennisgurl
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If Al doesn't know his birthday, how did he get a driver's license?

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7 minutes ago, Driad said:

If Al doesn't know his birthday, how did he get a driver's license?

he probably has a made up date on his passport.

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13 minutes ago, Driad said:

If Al doesn't know his birthday, how did he get a driver's license?

Or a passport?

Have to admit it was sweet of Hazel to share her birthday with Al. I loved it that Shawn came to the party. And when they showed his painted face, I did lol.

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On 5/9/2021 at 4:57 PM, LekoBoy said:

Did anyone catch who the ex-wife's boyfriend was?  Zack, Penny's dumb & hunky boyfriend from Big Bang Theory.  Really has let himself go!  And I think I saw a man bun.  Amazing how loyal Chuck Lorre is by how often his actors cross-populate his shows.

The actress playing Lizzie is also a Lorre veteran - she was on DISJOINTED,

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2 hours ago, wendyg said:

The actress playing Lizzie is also a Lorre veteran - she was on DISJOINTED,

Lizzie really needed to lighten up while shopping for the party tonight. She was a bit rude to Al at the store. I didn’t care for her too much in tonight’s episode. But I also didn’t like Hazel talking down to her talking in her helium voice.

But still a good episode. I liked Art setting Riley straight about Freddy. And Al being 28 or 29! I hope he figures out his real birthday and age soon. 

Glad the show has graduated to its own board now!

 

 

Edited by nelroy78
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5 hours ago, Grizzly said:

.Have to admit it was sweet of Hazel to share her birthday with Al.

I liked the sign that had Al's name highlighted within hers :). That was a cute touch. And her poem for him was really sweet, too. 

2 hours ago, nelroy78 said:

I liked Art setting Riley straight about Freddy. 

Same. I can understand Riley feeling a little hurt and jealous and such, but coming to Vanessa's workplace to discuss this matter (while she's with a customer, no less) even if it was to tell her that it was okay for Freddy to come over, was not the way to handle that. Best to keep those kinds of conversations between the two of them. 

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12 hours ago, Grizzly said:

Or a passport?

Have to admit it was sweet of Hazel to share her birthday with Al. I loved it that Shawn came to the party. And when they showed his painted face, I did lol.

Super sweet. I don't have kids so my experience with tweens is basically from when I was one but Hazel comes across as a sweet, well meaning tween with a bad-ass personality. I loved that she didn't want to be referred to as a "princess" and previously expressed that to Freddy. It was disappointing that Freddy didn't respected that from the start.

Edited by theredhead77
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Hazel has her spoiled and bratty moments but she’s basically a good kid who loves her family and Al. That’s what real kids are like. It’s sweet that she wants to share the good parts of America with Al, and Al is teaching her life outside her comfortable suburban world. 
Hopefully one day Al will introduce her to a food and she will like it. At least they compromised on cake this time instead of rejecting the other’s choice. It’s a start.

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On 5/14/2021 at 12:48 PM, Snow Apple said:

Are there people who hire themselves out to shop with you?

there's a guy who frequently posts on Jalopnik, Tom McParland, who will do all the work for you (for a fee, of course, because that's his business) He's not the only one who does stuff like that, but he seems very much like someone I'd want to do business with 

Here's his latest https://jalopnik.com/here-are-some-tips-to-navigate-what-might-be-the-worst-1846991534

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6 hours ago, Snow Apple said:

Hazel has her spoiled and bratty moments but she’s basically a good kid who loves her family and Al. That’s what real kids are like. It’s sweet that she wants to share the good parts of America with Al, and Al is teaching her life outside her comfortable suburban world. 
Hopefully one day Al will introduce her to a food and she will like it. At least they compromised on cake this time instead of rejecting the other’s choice. It’s a start.

I loved it and I loved her reaction to Al's cake "it's full of raisins". I was expecting her to spit it out but she ate it like a trooper (the actress may have very well spit out the food because of the not really eating food but that's not what I'm referring to).

Edited by theredhead77
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I know that Hazel can be a bit bratty in a preteen way, but I like her. It was really lovely of her to want to share her birthday with Al, she really is a sweet kid. Its one of my favorite things about the show, everyone in the main cast is a nice well meaning person, even when they can be a bit of a pain or bug each other. 

I am glad that Riley is going to try to be friendly with Freddie and that Al and Art both told him that he just needed to push through the awkwardness and try to be nice for the sake of Hazel and everyone. He's jealous and still not over his hurt from the divorce, but Freddie seems like a good, if kind of annoying, guy who cares about Hazel, so this is just how it has to be. Although maybe going to his ex's hair salon wasn't the best place to bring that up. 

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As this now has a shiny new forum all it's own; please discuss new episodes in single episode topics from now on.

Thanks.

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I'm not a fan of Hazel; maybe it's the little actress I don't care for. I find it a little hard to believe that with Art and Riley being who they are that they would let her get away with a lot of the comments she makes. Maybe it's guilt on Riley's part for being in the service and away from home so many times, and just indulgence on Art's part.

The car-buying episode was the first one that didn't make me cry, but I felt for Riley at the end, admitting to his sister that he didn't understand the financing on his truck. A joke I've seen often on satirical military sites like Duffel Blog is that young guys in the service often buy muscle cars at exorbitant financing from crooked dealers near bases (that, and marry the first strippers who are nice to them).

It made me wonder about the timeline though. Riley says he enlisted at 18, right out of high school, and I presume he's supposed to be in his late 20s/early 30s (Parker Young is 32), so he was in for at least 10-15 years, and Riley was relatively recently discharged (maybe a year or two). Hazel is how old again? I don't remember from the birthday episode. I guess he married his wife young and had a child in his very early 20s and was frequently deployed and away from home.

In the Afghanistan bakery episode, while I figured there would be backlash when Al's role with the US military came out, I thought it was going to be the father, but we never saw him again. While I agree with the posters above who mentioned that the daughter must have learned some of her attitudes toward the US invasion from her father, it would have been interesting to find out why he left the country and when.

I like that this show isn't shying away from complicated issues with multiple facets.

I do wish they had made the wife's new boyfriend less of a hippie-dippie, though. How much more threatened would Riley have been with a man much like him, just not a veteran? Would them bonding make the whole relationships so much more confusing and convoluted? Maybe because I work with veterans, but it makes me cringe every time some civilian pulls the "I would have joined but..." (I'm not a veteran, and I wouldn't think of saying that to one of our vets).

Someone mentioned that Lizzie is wasting her life, but I don't think so, really. She's still grieving the loss of her fiancé, and in the first few episodes, we're given the impression that she was getting drunk every night and having sex with strangers. But since then, we've seen that she works for her father's construction company (probably as the controller or office manager) and she appears to be both finance-savvy and artistically inclined. I wonder if future episodes will deal with her meeting someone she could fall for and feeling guilty that she was cheating on her dead fiancé (which ends with a heartwarming speech by Dad or Riley or Al that Michael would want her to move on with her life). 

I have rarely liked a new sitcom from the get-go, but the first episode/pilot got me hooked immediately.

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When I saw the commercials and the first few episodes, I assumed one of the main themes is Riley and Vanessa getting back together. But I think I prefer them as friends and co-parents. I think the show is more interesting that way.

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I finally had a chance to catch up on the last few episodes and I'm still really enjoying this show.  My favorite episode so far is the fundraiser.  It was a great mix of comedy and serious moments.  I loved how Riley and Hazel both had the same response when the others complimented them on how nice they looked.  She's definitely her father's daughter!  The VFW presentation was really touching - both Al's speech, especially his line about how since Riley wouldn't let himself be called a hero Al would call him his brother instead, as well as how excited Lizzie was when everyone enjoyed her slideshow.  And I mentioned in the other thread how much I liked the Vanessa and Riley scene.  Overall, it was a really great episode that gave every character a moment to shine.

So far there hasn't been what I'd consider a bad episode.  I'll say again how refreshing it is to have a show populated by characters who are all fundamentally good people who are trying to do the right thing.  I'm really pleased that it got renewed and I'm looking forward to how it's developed next season.

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