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DanaK

S02.E05: Date/Didar

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After Al and Ariana begin dating, they quickly realize they have different ideas about courtship. Also, when Hazel is punished and can't go to the drag race with Art, he takes Vanessa instead, on the CBS Original series UNITED STATES OF AL, Thursday, Nov. 4 (8:31-9:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

 

 

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Getting the shallow stuff out of the way first - ooh, thank you, show, for Al speaking French and looking damn good in that suit he wore on his third date with Ariana :D. 

Okay. Moving on...aw, Al... He is a true romantic at heart, which I love - the picnic in the park was a really nice touch*, and I totally get him being used to moving at a certain pace, given his background and all. And I do agree with his general sentiment that loving someone means taking on board and appreciating and accepting all they have to offer, both good and bad (with some obvious notable exceptions, mind). I loved him checking his hair in the mirror before heading out with Ariana on their date, too, that was so cute :D. 

But Lizzie's advice to him was also spot on. That is an awful lot for Al to shower Ariana with all at once, and it makes total sense that she would want to take things slow, and even keep things casual between them for a while as well. And given Al's reaction to learning about her seeing other people at the end, that's another good reason why it might be wise for him to take things slow as well, lest he risk getting hurt along the way. Ariana's clearly interested, but...yeah. If things are going to progress between these two, it's going to take some time, and Al's going to need to figure out how to deal with that. He's listened to Lizzie before when she's tried to help him, so whatever happens with him and Ariana going forward, hopefully he'll keep her advice in mind here, too. 

*Loved seeing Shaun from the supermarket pop up to help with their picnic date. I got a good laugh out of Al explaining he was there because he likes fire :p. 

As for the other stories, nice to see Art and Vanessa bonding a bit. I was especially happy to hear Art talking about Lois, I was hoping things were going well with them. The actress playing her is currently on "The Good Doctor", so I wondered if she'd be able to balance doing both shows. Hopefully she will :). And speaking of relationships, the way Vanessa spoke about Freddie struck me interesting. Hm. 

Also genuinely jumped when Hazel popped up during Art and Lizzie's conversation at the end :D. I'm glad Riley held firm with his punishment for her, and I appreciate Hazel just being straight up honest for her reason as to why she cheated at school. I do wonder if there is a little more to her doing that, given some of the stuff she's been dealing with (everything with her parents and Freddie, starting middle school, etc.), but she's also shown herself to be a rebellious kid at times as it is, so maybe it is just that simple, too. 

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16 minutes ago, Annber03 said:

As for the other stories, nice to see Art and Vanessa bonding a bit.

I loved Art telling her no more knocking, to just come in. Unless Lois' car was in the driveway 🤣

 

19 minutes ago, Annber03 said:

I'm glad Riley held firm with his punishment for her, and I appreciate Hazel just being straight up honest for her reason as to why she cheated at school. I do wonder if there is a little more to her doing that, given some of the stuff she's been dealing with (everything with her parents and Freddie, starting middle school, etc.), but she's also shown herself to be a rebellious kid at times as it is, so maybe it is just that simple, too. 

Riley in full dad mode is super attrac....

I love the bond Riley and Hazel have. He didn't want her excuses but did want to hear her reason, and knowing the difference between the two is huge.

21 minutes ago, Annber03 said:

Also genuinely jumped when Hazel popped up during Art and Lizzie's conversation at the end

Same! I forgot they were building the ghillie suit.

And on to Art. Poor dude, but he is learning and adapting to the ways of America. I love the bond he and Lizzie have and he does listen, even if it doesn't seem like it. Lizzie 100% has a point, Ariana is an American woman and there has been nothing, other than her father's desire to instill some traditions, to indicate that Ariana actually wants a traditional Afghan relationship. It makes sense Al would assume he would, his state of mind is still there and I love how he left things. 

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Another really well done episode.  Two of my favorite scenes were little throw away bits - Shaun from the grocery store acting as the waiter for Al and Ariana's date (because he likes fire 😄) and both Riley and Hazel using ghillie suits to scare the others.  That was a cute way to end the episode.

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6 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

I loved Art telling her no more knocking, to just come in. Unless Lois' car was in the driveway 🤣

 

Same :). Obviously she'll always be welcome in large part because she's Hazel's mom and all that, of course, but I like that he also made it clear he just likes it when she visits period, for any reason. I like that the family is still close with Vanessa, and that nobody lets whatever personal issues she and Riley are working through affect their bond with her. 

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Riley in full dad mode is super attrac....

Definitely :). It's interesting the way he uses his military background, and Hazel's admiration for that part of her dad, to help teach her the importance of good values and respect for others. I like how he can balance being the goofy, fun dad who'll make a costume out of leaves with her and also take charge and also be firm and serious when needed, too. 

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This show could just be episodes of Riley working out and Al suited up and speaking French, and I'd be satisfied with just that.

I've mentioned this before, but what I like about this show is everyone cares about each other. There is very little sniping and bullying. Even Riley and Vanessa get along. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Bookish Jen said:

This show could just be episodes of Riley working out and Al suited up and speaking French, and I'd be satisfied with just that.

I like the way you think :D. 

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Good episode and it showed some definite differences between the US and Afghani cultures.

Hazel revealing herself made me jump a bit but Riley made me jump more

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7 hours ago, Annber03 said:

Same :). Obviously she'll always be welcome in large part because she's Hazel's mom and all that, of course, but I like that he also made it clear he just likes it when she visits period, for any reason. I like that the family is still close with Vanessa, and that nobody lets whatever personal issues she and Riley are working through affect their bond with her. 

It's fantastic that while Riley and Vanessa couldn't make it work as a couple, they have done everything possible to make sure that Hazel can still have a strong, positive, loving relationship with both of her biological parents. Riley is a fantastic dad. He punished her, but also found a way to let her have fun during the punishment.  

Al is sweet and romantic. I feel so sorry for Al because he's torn between two cultures. He likes and cares about Ariana, but I am not sure if he is ready and willing to do what she asks. Maybe they'll stay friends until she's ready for an exclusive relationship with him. 

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32 minutes ago, DanaK said:

Good episode and it showed some definite differences between the US and Afghani cultures.

Hazel revealing herself made me jump a bit but Riley made me jump more

And how long did it take those two to make those Ghillie suits? Those look pretty complex.

Edited by Bookish Jen
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Oh my, Al in his snazzy suit speaking French? Ariana is certainly a lucky lady. I really can understand both Al and Ariana/Lizzie's points of view, they have really different backgrounds and ideas of what romance is. I can understand Al wanting to really get to know someone and be fully committed to them, but also that Ariana wants to take them slow and get to know each other. Al says that he wants to be with all of someone, the good and the bad, is really sweet, but I can also appreciate Lizzie's advice about wanting to marry someone who really knows you for all of you. That's one of the things I like about this show so much, even when people are not on the same page I can really understand and sympathize with everyone and its clear that the conflicts come out of a place of caring.

I would really like a follow up on Lizzie's snake story...or maybe not...

I really liked Art and Vanessa hanging out, and the confirmation that Art is still dating Lois, even if the actress is busy. I like that they are touching on how divorce can affect a whole family, not just the former spouse and the kids, you could end up losing a whole family, especially if its not as friendly a divorce as Riley and Vanessa's. 

Also very much enjoyed Riley and Hazel, Riley's such a good dad, he can be goofy and also serious. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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39 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

I would really like a follow up on Lizzie's snake story...or maybe not...

LOL, same! I was like, "...speaking from experience there, are ya, Lizzie?" :p. Al seemed at a bit of a loss at how to respond to that, too :D. 

4 hours ago, Sarah 103 said:

Al is sweet and romantic. I feel so sorry for Al because he's torn between two cultures. He likes and cares about Ariana, but I am not sure if he is ready and willing to do what she asks. Maybe they'll stay friends until she's ready for an exclusive relationship with him. 

Yeah, it's tough, because in many ways they do have so much in common. A shared desire to help others in need, a strong work ethic, they're both very honest and forthright in their opinions and beliefs about things. And then that touching story Ariana shared about her dad not going into the zoo with her when she was a kid, because he couldn't afford to, and her making sure they could both go when she started getting paid - knowing how generous and giving and close Al is with his family, that's just the kind of selfless, giving, compassionate attitude that would definitely appeal to him :). And vice versa. 

So yeah. It's very easy to see why they click and are attracted to each other. But it's also easy to see where not only their differences, but even some of the things they have in common, can get in the way a bit, too. 

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Al doesn't even know if Ariana wants to have children or not. I respect the attitude of taking the good with the bad, but I don't think it's crazy to ask at least a few questions before you go making a lifetime commitment. Compatibility is as important as devotion, when it comes to the big issues.

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2 hours ago, possibilities said:

Al doesn't even know if Ariana wants to have children or not. I respect the attitude of taking the good with the bad, but I don't think it's crazy to ask at least a few questions before you go making a lifetime commitment. Compatibility is as important as devotion, when it comes to the big issues.

Do we know how old Al and Ariana are supposed to be on the show? IRL Adhir is 38 and Azita is 41. I imagine they are playing younger but at some point the conversation about how your children come into your life changes.

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15 minutes ago, theredhead77 said:

Do we know how old Al and Ariana are supposed to be on the show? IRL Adhir is 38 and Azita is 41. I imagine they are playing younger but at some point the conversation about how your children come into your life changes.

There was that episode last season regarding Al not knowing his exact birthdate or age, but he stated in that episode that he was either 28 or 29. I don't believe they've ever said how old Ariana is, though, no.

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24 minutes ago, Annber03 said:

There was that episode last season regarding Al not knowing his exact birthdate or age, but he stated in that episode that he was either 28 or 29. I don't believe they've ever said how old Ariana is, though, no.

That's right. I completely forgot they talked about it during Hazel's birthday. I'm going to go out on a limb that they Ariana is in her mid 20s.

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On 11/5/2021 at 4:14 PM, possibilities said:

Al doesn't even know if Ariana wants to have children or not. I respect the attitude of taking the good with the bad, but I don't think it's crazy to ask at least a few questions before you go making a lifetime commitment. Compatibility is as important as devotion, when it comes to the big issues.

That's a good point, because Al knows that some women do not want children. He doesn't put pressure on his sister to get married and have children, so he respects the idea of a woman chosing career over children and family. That being said, I'm pretty sure he wants children. 

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22 hours ago, Sarah 103 said:

That's a good point, because Al knows that some women do not want children. He doesn't put pressure on his sister to get married and have children, so he respects the idea of a woman chosing career over children and family. That being said, I'm pretty sure he wants children. 

Whether he does or he doesn't want any, he should find out whether someone he wants to marry is on the same page about that. It seems to me that, even in arranged marriages, there is usually more vetting going on than what Al is saying is needed.

Edited by possibilities · Reason: comma relocation
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I did not like the way this show handled the cheating and wish they had picked some other infraction for Hazel to be punished for. I'd want to know a *lot* more about the incident: what did she cheat on and how? And how was she caught? Not sure about her age group, but older kids are increasingly harshly punished for this. I guess we're supposed to assume that all this came out in discussions with Vanessa, but I think the show passed it off too lightly.

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