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DanaK

S02.E09: Christmas/Krismis

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Vanessa becomes upset when Riley invites his new girlfriend to a family Christmas party. Also, Art is uncomfortable when Lois gets him an incredibly expensive sweater as a gift, on the CBS Original series UNITED STATES OF AL, Thursday, Dec. 9 (8:31-9:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+

 

Edited by DanaK
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Ahahahaha, that ending :D! At least Al got to do a bit of caroling, and with the family besides, so yay! I'm glad he got to talk to Hassina a bit as well. 

(And yes, standing under mistletoe is risky enough, but when he's wearing that suit besides? Just too tempting :p. I liked the comparison to those kiss cams - he's not wrong!)

As for everything with Riley and Vanessa, see, this is one of many reasons I like this show. A lot of other series would've taken that talk between Vanessa and Riley at the end as an opportunity for them to hook up. But not this show. No, instead, Riley checks on her to see she's okay, and has a mature response to her concerns and frustrations about him seeing Holly. I really appreciate that.

I agree with everyone's reactions to Vanessa's behavior at the party, too, and I appreciate them calling her out on it (especially Freddy - it was interesting to see him actually get genuinely angry for a change). But I also can understand her reaction on some level, too. Yeah, she's with Freddy and all, but even so, I imagine it would still be a little weird to see your ex with someone new, and at a party besides. Normally Riley's hookups are a one and done, but Holly's a friend and he's bringing her to a party, so...yeah. It's different. And strange. And I felt for her with her fear that Holly might get the "better" version of Riley she'd wanted back, too.

I also think she had a bit of a point about why Riley brought Holly to the party. Riley does genuinely like Holly, sure, and I'd personally be interested to see their relationship develop further, if it does. They have a nice, breezy chemistry that I quite like. But I do think Vanessa was right that he might've initially brought her as a way to kinda "get back" at Vanessa a bit, for wanting Hazel to spend time with Freddy and his parents and all. His attitude at his therapy session about his time with Holly seemed to further lend credence to that (also, hey, nice to see the therapist again!). 

But yeah. whatever happens with Riley/Holly and Vanessa Freddy and whatnot, I'd be interested to see what all of this means for everyone going forward. On a lighter note, I loved Hazel and Holly bonding :D. Whatever happens with her and Riley, I hope she can still hang out with Hazel when possible. 

Also glad that Art and Lois worked out the whole thing with that sweater (which did look really nice on him). I get his reservations, I'd feel a bit weird about someone buying a super expensive gift for me, too. But I also get Lois wanting to be so generous - if I had that kind of money, I'd do the same thing. So yay for them talking things out and making up :). 

Edited by Annber03
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7 hours ago, Katy M said:

I hope this is the first step to Riley and Vanessa finding their way back to each other.  

I hope it’s not! 😆 It’s refreshing to see a couple split up and stay split up while co-parenting like adults.

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At least Al got to carol for a little bit before the sprinklers got turned on. I am right there with him on mistletoe, its just too much pressure. 

I am glad that Riley and Holly are moving forward, I really like them together. Holly and Hazel bonding was cute and I like that Hazel was totally cool with her dad dating someone. Much cooler then her mom was, Vanessa was really not happy about Riley bringing Holly to the party, but I liked how it played out. Even if your with someone else it can be weird to see your ex with someone else, and while its probably not fair I can see why she might be upset that Holly "gets" the more stable Riley. That being said, getting drunk and being rude was not at all alright and I am glad that everyone called her out, even Freddie, who was actually legitimately upset for the first time. I am not sure that I want Vanessa and Riley back together, I wouldn't be mad but I think they're more interesting as friends and co-parents then as a couple. 

I am glad that Art and Lois made up quickly, like with Vanessa I do get why Art felt weird, even if he was out of line. It can feel weird when your dating or friends with someone who has a lot more money then you, especially when your a man of simple needs like Art, but of course Lois wants to get him nice things if she has the money for it. 

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I really liked this episode. Riley and Holly make a cute couple, and they have great chemistry. However, I do understand Vanessa being upset even though she's with someone. She and Riley share a lot of history, not to mention a child. It's just nice to see a split-up couple not tearing at each other's throats.

I also understand Art being a bit weirded out when it came to the expensive sweater Lois gave him. Sure, Art has his own business, but Lois is loaded. And men still have this idea that they should be making more money than the woman. Still, it was good to see them patch things up.

I don't think I could resist giving Al a peck on the cheek when he was under the mistletoe. He looked quite fetching.

And I admit, I often tune into this show just to know what colors Lizzie is going to have streaked in her hair.

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2 minutes ago, Bookish Jen said:

And I admit, I often tune into this show just to know what colors Lizzie is going to have streaked in her hair.

I loved all the colors in her hair this episode, they were so festive :D! I really like how she does the highlights in her hair, they always look so pretty and neat. And I like how she always matches them to whatever she's wearing, too. 

Also really liked the sweater Vanessa wore to the party - and I love that Freddy knitted it for her :). I liked how he and Al were marveling at how soft Art's sweater was, and Freddy talking about his own skills a bit as well. It was cute to see them geeking out a bit over that sort of thing. 

6 minutes ago, Bookish Jen said:

I also understand Art being a bit weirded out when it came to the expensive sweater Lois gave him. Sure, Art has his own business, but Lois is loaded. And men still have this idea that they should be making more money than the woman. 

There were also his recent insecurities over finding out who Lois' ex was, which no doubt didn't help matters, either. I wonder perhaps if that's not the main reason Lizzie mentioned how pricey that sweater was. Everyone likes Lois and gets on well with her, of course, but I can also see Lizzie still being a bit protective and wary anyway, just in case. 

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13 hours ago, Katy M said:

I hope this is the first step to Riley and Vanessa finding their way back to each other.  

 

6 hours ago, chitowngirl said:

I hope it’s not! 😆 It’s refreshing to see a couple split up and stay split up while co-parenting like adults.

I honestly don't know which of these options I prefer.  It's clear that Riley and Vanessa still care about each other so part of me wants to see them find a way to patch things up.  On the other hand, as @chitowngirl said it's so rare to see a divorced couple act like adults while remaining separated that I kind of want to see how that plays out. 

Vanessa's reaction to Holly was really interesting.  It's always been presented that she's the one who's moved on the most.  She's in a stable relationship with Freddie and she hasn't expressed any interest in getting back together with Riley, but it was still a gut punch for her to see him with someone else - a very human reaction.  And Lizzie was great in her protective sister mode, telling Vanessa that she was just upset that Riley was happy and needed to leave him alone.

On a shallow note, Freddie's handmade sweater was quite impressive!  It had colorwork on the front panels as well as lots of cables and bobbles.  One day I hope to be able to knit that well.  🙂

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11 minutes ago, Rose Quartz said:

On a shallow note, Freddie's handmade sweater was quite impressive!  It had colorwork on the front panels as well as lots of cables and bobbles.  One day I hope to be able to knit that well.  🙂

Freddie’s sweater was awesome.

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14 minutes ago, Rose Quartz said:

I honestly don't know which of these options I prefer.  It's clear that Riley and Vanessa still care about each other so part of me wants to see them find a way to patch things up.  On the other hand, as @chitowngirl said it's so rare to see a divorced couple act like adults while remaining separated that I kind of want to see how that plays out. 

This is where I'm at, too. Plus, it's realistic that a lot of couples who break up don't wind up getting back together, and this show's pretty good with the realistic, honest outcome of situations, so them not getting back together would fit in that regard, too. 

But yeah. I go back and forth on it as well. I appreciate how mature Hazel was about Riley bringing Holly - I don't know if that means she's officially come to terms with the idea that her parents may not get back together, or if she's just gotten so used to putting on the happy face that it's become an instinctive thing for her, or maybe a mix of both. But it was interesting that she behaved better about everything than her parents did. 

I do love that Al still seems to be on board with Riley and Vanessa patching things up, though :). He's not as insistent with his involvement as he was in the beginning, but it's clear he still thinks they could work things out if they got the chance. 

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I thought it was actually a legitimate values clash, to think spending "too much" (wherever a person draws that line) on a sweater was ridiculous. He didn't express himself that well, but she was also defensive and smug about what she's entitled to do vs what he feels comfortable with. I think couples need to be able to talk about things like that, and not just either attack each other or shut it down as a taboo topic. Right now, they're just dating. But if they get serious, there needs to be a way to address issues like money, what it's for, what's okay, what isn't. 

 

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If there was snow on the ground, there's no way the sprinklers should still have been operating. They should have been winterized and shut down for the season. That bugged me.

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When my husband and I met, I made about twice as much as he did.  We were both divorced with kids so I was upfront about it in the beginning, and he didn't have a problem with it.  We just celebrated 27 years.

The thing I like best about this show is the lack of typical sitcom tropes.

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21 hours ago, dshgr said:

When my husband and I met, I made about twice as much as he did.  We were both divorced with kids so I was upfront about it in the beginning, and he didn't have a problem with it.  We just celebrated 27 years.

The thing I like best about this show is the lack of typical sitcom tropes.

This! I like that we don't have the tropes like the dumb schlub husband and the hot, smart yet nagging wife, the narrow-minded older person, the overtly precocious kid. And nothing is ever tied up in a neat little bow.

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Everyone else captured my thoughts, and I, too, am curious to see where they go with Riley and Vanessa. I've been Vanessa, why does the next woman get the better version of the man, even though it was Vanessa who ended the relationship and moved on. It's a very normal thought process.

Freddy is really growing on me. I thought he was going to be the token "hippie" boyfriend to create drama but he's a good character that adds value, instead of just conflict (add that to the trope deviation list).

I loved Al telling Hassina that Christmas was crazy. No, Hassina, holidays are not like the movies. The only thing missing from "typical American Christmas party" was drunk relative debating politics (and I am glad they didn't have that).

Edited by theredhead77
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I'm probably one of very, very few people out there who's never seen Die Hard. Heard of it, certainly, have a general idea of what it's about, but never actually seen it. Given this show's referenced the movie a few times, maybe I should actually watch it at some point :p.

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2 hours ago, Annber03 said:

I'm probably one of very, very few people out there who's never seen Die Hard. Heard of it, certainly, have a general idea of what it's about, but never actually seen it. Given this show's referenced the movie a few times, maybe I should actually watch it at some point :p.

I'm in the same boat. Been thinking I should see it, too.

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7 hours ago, Annber03 said:

I'm probably one of very, very few people out there who's never seen Die Hard. Heard of it, certainly, have a general idea of what it's about, but never actually seen it. Given this show's referenced the movie a few times, maybe I should actually watch it at some point :p.

 

4 hours ago, possibilities said:

I'm in the same boat. Been thinking I should see it, too.

Same! All my friends watch it. Apparently it's a Christmas movie and one I'd probably enjoy.

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1 hour ago, theredhead77 said:

 

Same! All my friends watch it. Apparently it's a Christmas movie and one I'd probably enjoy.

If you like your Christmas movies full of explosions, shooting, cussing and clever dialogue, sure.  And Alan Rickman.  So much yummy Alan Rickman.  (It's my favorite Christmas movie, btw.)

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On 12/17/2021 at 12:02 PM, proserpina65 said:

If you like your Christmas movies full of explosions, shooting, cussing and clever dialogue, sure.  And Alan Rickman.  So much yummy Alan Rickman.  (It's my favorite Christmas movie, btw.)

Considering I am not a fan of any Christmas movie or "chick flicks" and a huge fan of explosions, shooting, swearing, clever dialogue and Alan Rickman I think I'll enjoy it. I have no idea why I've never watched it and plan to remedy it this Christmas.

36 minutes ago, SmithW6079 said:

*Throws down gauntlet* "Die Hard" is not a Christmas movie! 🤣

I think the internet disagrees with you.

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5 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

Considering I am not a fan of any Christmas movie or "chick flicks" and a huge fan of explosions, shooting, swearing, clever dialogue and Alan Rickman I think I'll enjoy it. I have no idea why I've never watched it and plan to remedy it this Christmas.

I think the internet disagrees with you.

It's a good thing I don't let the Internet do my thinking for me. 😉

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On 12/19/2021 at 10:24 AM, SmithW6079 said:

*Throws down gauntlet* "Die Hard" is not a Christmas movie! 🤣

You're wrong.  At it's most basic, it's a story of the obstacles a man must overcome in order to spend the holiday with his family.  What could be more Christmas than that?

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On 12/19/2021 at 4:28 PM, theredhead77 said:

It was a joke...

So was my response, hence the wink emoji.

5 hours ago, proserpina65 said:

You're wrong.  At it's most basic, it's a story of the obstacles a man must overcome in order to spend the holiday with his family.  What could be more Christmas than that?

The birth of Jesus Christ?

Since my joke seemed to go over people's heads, I will now bow out of this discussion.

Merry Christmas 🎅 🎄 

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On 12/16/2021 at 12:48 PM, proserpina65 said:

Well, except maybe Die Hard.

 

On 12/17/2021 at 2:54 AM, Annber03 said:

I'm probably one of very, very few people out there who's never seen Die Hard. Heard of it, certainly, have a general idea of what it's about, but never actually seen it. Given this show's referenced the movie a few times, maybe I should actually watch it at some point :p.

 

On 12/17/2021 at 5:38 AM, possibilities said:

I'm in the same boat. Been thinking I should see it, too.

 

On 12/17/2021 at 10:10 AM, theredhead77 said:

 

Same! All my friends watch it. Apparently it's a Christmas movie and one I'd probably enjoy.

 

On 12/17/2021 at 12:02 PM, proserpina65 said:

If you like your Christmas movies full of explosions, shooting, cussing and clever dialogue, sure.  And Alan Rickman.  So much yummy Alan Rickman.  (It's my favorite Christmas movie, btw.)

I watched it last night for the first time (streaming via Prime w/ commercials). Best!Christmas!movie!ever!

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On 12/17/2021 at 11:02 AM, proserpina65 said:

If you like your Christmas movies full of explosions, shooting, cussing and clever dialogue, sure.  And Alan Rickman.  So much yummy Alan Rickman.  (It's my favorite Christmas movie, btw.)

Late to the party, but Alan Rickman and Alexander Godunov. 

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