A Buddy Comedy With Heart | Sojourners

A Buddy Comedy With Heart

The CBS show 'United States of Al' may spend Season 2 grappling with what offscreen reality means for its characters.
Awalmir and Riley eat a meal on the floor of the living room
Image from United States of Al

I WOULDN'T WISH on anyone the narrative dilemma facing the writers of United States of Al. The CBS show is a buddy comedy about a young Afghan man who finally gets a visa to come to the U.S., thanks to a Marine, Riley, for whom he was an interpreter during the Afghanistan War, whose life he saved, and with whom he’s living in the States. But United States of Al’s second season, with an Oct. 7 premiere, may need to encompass even more grief than its predecessor. The U.S. has withdrawn from Afghanistan, and the Taliban has taken over. We’ve seen the video of Afghan people trying to hold on to a U.S. military plane as it takes off, the clip ending right before some of them fall. Human remains were later found in the plane’s wheel well. What will happen when United States of Al’s protagonist sees that video?

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