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SilverStormm

Al’s Media Talk Emporium

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Yay for a full forum!

Also, I’d be interested to see if there are any media follow ups with or about those folks who were unhappy about the show before it premiered worried that it wasn’t properly representing Afghanistan, especially with Al being played by a South Asian (which does bother me)

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I really like this show and look forward to a second season.  I'm wondering how stressful it will be for the showrunners and writers to deal with the turmoil that will happen in Afghanistan as the NATO forces leave. They appear to have done a good job so far walking the fine line between  sitcom and many-sided reality.  The episode with the PSA at the end was a good start but I think we are worried about Al's family and others in danger.  Afghanistan is a complicated region. 

 

 

 

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This article talks about the plan to evacuate people who were allies of the USA before the final withdrawal of US troops:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/6/24/2036854/-Biden-admin-to-evacuate-a-significant-number-of-Afghan-allies-and-families-ahead-of-withdrawal

 

I hope they get everyone, but it seems unlikely, given that apparently many have already been killed.

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I don't get it. The show looks like a basic sitcom to me. I don't understand why production would be anything special. Whatever you can say about the scripts or the acting or any of that other stuff, the actual production is extremely pedestrian.

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Looks like they pulled the "US of Al" repeat off CBS last night, with the awful situation in Afghanistan. Of course, the sitcom's problems are nothing compared to what's really going on, but where do they go from here?

 

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1 hour ago, highway61 said:

Looks like they pulled the "US of Al" repeat off CBS last night, with the awful situation in Afghanistan. Of course, the sitcom's problems are nothing compared to what's really going on, but where do they go from here?

 

I was just thinking about this last night. I hope they can find a way to salvage this show but the underlying story is going to have to be overhauled.

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3 hours ago, highway61 said:

Looks like they pulled the "US of Al" repeat off CBS last night, with the awful situation in Afghanistan. Of course, the sitcom's problems are nothing compared to what's really going on, but where do they go from here?

I was thinking about that, too. Next season could be very interesting in regards to how they address anything relating to Afghanistan. 

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I really don't know what they can do now. It just feels like the situation is too tragic and no longer a case of "if we publicize this, maybe it will help" and more like "no jokes left, just unbearable." Of course, I'm not a TV writer, so maybe they have an idea I don't. I guess it will depend to some extent on what happens over the next few weeks IRL. But it's definitely taken a turn.

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8 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

I was just thinking about this last night. I hope they can find a way to salvage this show but the underlying story is going to have to be overhauled.

Yeah, same here.  It seemed like one of the extended subplots was going to be the efforts to get Al's family to the US.  Unfortunately, real life events have overtaken that storyline and I'm not sure how they're going to handle it.  I don't think there's any viable way they can keep Al's immediate family in Afghanistan for the upcoming season.

I did see in the news today that things were going more smoothly at the airport and that the US embassy and other organizations were working to get people out, so maybe it's not outside the realm of possibility that his family could get emergency refugee visas that would allow them to get out of the country, even if they can't come directly to the US.  

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1 hour ago, Rose Quartz said:

Yeah, same here.  It seemed like one of the extended subplots was going to be the efforts to get Al's family to the US.  Unfortunately, real life events have overtaken that storyline and I'm not sure how they're going to handle it.  I don't think there's any viable way they can keep Al's immediate family in Afghanistan for the upcoming season.

I did see in the news today that things were going more smoothly at the airport and that the US embassy and other organizations were working to get people out, so maybe it's not outside the realm of possibility that his family could get emergency refugee visas that would allow them to get out of the country, even if they can't come directly to the US.  

I can't see how they can do anything but that. This show has been so well written that I have confidence the show runners will do the real life situation justice while continuing on. Tangently related, Colbert's monologue last night (8/16) was amazing.

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When I started hearing about how fast Afghanistan was falling to the Taliban, I thought of this show. While I want to believe the writers have contingency plans that take into account how the situation in Afghanistan would change (the agreement to pull out US forces was signed last year), they couldn't have thought the Afghan government would collapse so quickly. 

Al freaked out when a blackout meant he couldn't contact his family for 24 hours; I can't imagine how they will approach this situation. But as we've seen, the show hasn't been afraid to tackle the aftermath of deployments on Riley and how Al allying himself with the US forces meant his family would be in danger. I'm thinking that maybe there will be an episode or two while Al worries that his family will get out and then it happens. If it does, does that mean they all move in with Riley's family? Or do they get their own place, which means Al moves in with them, because I don't think they'd stay separated. 

I must confess that I have not watched the season finale yet; it's still sitting on my DVR. Almost every episode of this show made me cry, and from the trailers, it looks like they were going to tackle some pretty serious issues for Riley and the rest of the family. I haven't been in the right frame of mind to watch it.

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Al was already worried about his family last season; I suspect given the current situation, he will be even more so in the second season. Things were not going well before so current events will increase the anxiety. This show is more a dramedy anyway, so I think the takeover by the Taliban can be easily incorporated. Things like the danger to Al’s family and his fellow interpreters won’t magically be over any time soon. That’s assuming of course CBS doesn’t decide to outright cancel it given the current situation

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I don't think the problem is that the anxiety will go away. I think the problem is that it's going to be a bloodbath, the tension about whether or when people will be evacuated will be over because it's too late for that now, and it's just not something that can be considered painful but still hopeful. It will be too much tragedy, not enough of anything else.

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To what extent the series is able to incorporate the events of the summer depends on when season 2 was written and scheduled to film, and if they have enough time to rewrite before they start filming. It may be that they did not have enough time to change the first episodes of the season, but could include what happened recently in later episodes that have not yet been written and will be filmed later towards the middle or end of the season. My guess is we are going to see a disclaimer before the first few episodes episodes, something like the show does not reflect current events or the current situation. 

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39 minutes ago, Sarah 103 said:

Here is an article about how they had to rethink the entire season 2.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/united-states-al-season-2-premiere-afghanistan-1235017765/

Thank you for sharing that! I am cautiously optimistic that they will be able to address the situation in the spirit of the show. I love this show so, so much and it's so important to have the various storylines (PTSD, divorce, co-parenting, immigration, and of course, what is happening in Afghanistan) on network TV.

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1 hour ago, Annber03 said:

Well, we have a trailer that shows a glimpse of how they'll be addressing this. Looks like it'll be a pretty intense episode:

https://tvline.com/2021/09/23/united-states-of-al-season-2-trailer-afghanistan-crisis-preview-video/#comment-list-wrapper

Welp, I'm already crying. No onion ninjas here. Just heartbreak. I hope they do a PSA after, with organizations to donate to, too.

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https://childrensinn.org/stories/farrahs-new-immune-system/

I saw this article recently and I am so glad Farrah has been able to recover from this. I had seen her Instagram posts and didn’t think there was any way she was 15, since Hazel is 11 I believe, and now she’s 16, but this autoimmune disease has stunted her growth. I would not have known about this if I had not seen it. They could’ve got someone younger to play her but Farrah has done a great job.

On 8/17/2021 at 9:38 AM, highway61 said:

Looks like they pulled the "US of Al" repeat off CBS last night, with the awful situation in Afghanistan. Of course, the sitcom's problems are nothing compared to what's really going on, but where do they go from here?

 

I read where it was the producers’ idea, not CBS’, the episode they pulled was the one where they found the dog that Al was afraid of. They did not air any more repeats, they were pulled for Bob Hearts Abishola.

Edited by nelroy78
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They decided to put off the season premiere of B Positive a week to air an hour long series premiere of Ghosts, but I would’ve been OK with them putting off this premiere instead (and air the hour long Ghosts premiere at 8:30) to give them more time to work on it. 

Edited by nelroy78
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35 minutes ago, nelroy78 said:

https://childrensinn.org/stories/farrahs-new-immune-system/

I saw this article recently and I am so glad Farrah has been able to recover from this. I had seen her Instagram posts and didn’t think there was any way she was 15, since Hazel is 11 I believe, and now she’s 16, but this autoimmune disease has stunted her growth. I would not have known about this if I had not seen it. They could’ve got someone younger to play her but Farrah has done a great job.

Oh, gosh, wow, I didn't realize she was sick, either. How scary and awful - I'm so glad to hear she's doing much better now, and wish her well going forward. Sounds like a great place for children to go to for help and treatment. 

Also...

Quote

“When I started the chemo, it wasn’t so bad, because the head of NIH Dr. Francis Collins ‘kidnapped’ us to a U2 concert!”

Lucky her getting to go to that concert :D!

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On 9/23/2021 at 6:49 PM, Annber03 said:

Well, we have a trailer that shows a glimpse of how they'll be addressing this. Looks like it'll be a pretty intense episode:

https://tvline.com/2021/09/23/united-states-of-al-season-2-trailer-afghanistan-crisis-preview-video/#comment-list-wrapper

 

On 9/23/2021 at 8:16 PM, theredhead77 said:

Welp, I'm already crying. No onion ninjas here. Just heartbreak. I hope they do a PSA after, with organizations to donate to, too.

I haven't even been able to watch the season finale yet. The premiere is going to kill me, but I'll be there. 

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Per Deadline Azita Ghanizada has been upped to recurring. She plays Ariana, the first generation Afghan American who went up against Al last season in their divergent views of Afghanistan. The article describes her as Al's love interest

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10 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

I don't know the procedure for starting an episode thread but I have thoughts! @DanaK can you help or should I start one?

Just hit Start Topic at the top and then follow how the other episode topics look

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2 hours ago, DanaK said:

Just hit Start Topic at the top and then follow how the other episode topics look

Will do! I didn't know if it needed to include the synopsis or where that came from. Thank you for starting the thread!

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43 minutes ago, theredhead77 said:

Will do! I didn't know if it needed to include the synopsis or where that came from. Thank you for starting the thread!

It should include the synopsis (the Futon Critic would have that, thefutoncritic.com, or CBS's press release site) or at least some summary of what the episode is about and also what date and time it's on.

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According to this article from the Christian Science Monitor, the Taliban are hunting down and killing Afghans who worked with the the U.S., and confiscating their possessions.  

The Taliban won. So why, and who, are they still fighting?

If this show wanted to go full-on drama again (as in the premiere episode of season 2), unfortunately they have plenty to work with. :-(

Edited by SmithW6079

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This is really sweet and cool - congrats to the happy couple :):

Seems to be a bit of a thing with the casts of shows I watch, apparently - same thing happened with a couple cast members on "Criminal Minds" :D. 

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10 hours ago, giovannif7 said:

No longer on the bubble - cancelled.

I have the sadz. It tried but its ratings were so-so and below Ghosts, which was a hit. You could see the dip as it sat between Young Sheldon and Ghosts

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I too have the sadz.  This was such a sweet show with characters not caricatures.  Everyone was nice to each other but it wasn't sappy and it was still really funny.  I think the show wasn't advertised well (I remember I had no intention of watching it from the promos that I saw then one day I guess I didn't change the channel and found I really enjoyed it).   Then it seemed like they stopped advertising it all together.   I'm sure we'll get yet another singing, dancing talent show or game show.  

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3 hours ago, I Want My MBTV said:

I think the show wasn't advertised well (I remember I had no intention of watching it from the promos that I saw then one day I guess I didn't change the channel and found I really enjoyed it).   Then it seemed like they stopped advertising it all together.

Yeah, I noticed that, too - anytime I was watching other stuff on CBS, like Colbert, for instance, I'd see promos for al the other shows on the network, but barely any promotion for this show. And on the Paramount Plus site, they only had the second season of the show available to stream, which, if one wanted to start checking out the show from the beginning, likely didn't help matters. 

Someone also pointed out on another site that CBS didn't own the show outright, which may have been a factor as well. 

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Well, this sucks. I really like this show. The characters are likable and funny. Everyone of them had their own quirks but at the same time seemed realistic.

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I too, am sad this show was cancelled. This season was disappointing as it moved away from what made it unique: focusing on Al and his journey, and on Afghanistan. Working to move his family to America in the midst of the Taliban take-over would have been a fantastic recurring B-plot. It wasn't advertised well and I can see how it lost viewers this season.

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I was going to come here to post that earlier and you beat me to it :D!

Nice little interview. Good to get a glimpse into some of the stuff we could've seen, and thoughts on how things did end, for the show as a whole. It is sad to know this show won't be coming back this fall, but I'm glad for the two seasons we did get :). 

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I just binged "Enlisted," Parker Young's other military-themed sitcom. Sad that that sitcom took place in 2014, and Geoff Stults, who played Parker's older brother, had been deployed to Afghanistan, and in "Al," eight years later, Parker played a Marine who had been deployed to Afghanistan. 

I must confess I didn't really watch most of the second half of the second season of "Al." I didn't like the direction it took. I was sorry the show couldn't keep the promise it showed in its stunning second season premiere.

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