I usually wait a while before diving into a review of a new show (at least six episodes), but with this one I just couldn’t wait. I’m absolutely loving Younger so far and I’m psyched that it got renewed for a second season.
Brought to you by the creator of Sex and the City (Darren Star) this show airs Tuesday nights on TV Land and stars the familiar faces of Hilary Duff (of Lizzie McGuire fame) and Sutton Foster (from Bunheads). I was drawn to it because of Hilary Duff’s return to TV, but I’ve stayed because it’s smart, witty, and easy to watch.
Now for a little background on the plot:
Younger is about a 40 year old divorcee named Liza (Sutton) who can’t seem to re-enter the age-phoboic workforce after spending time away to raise her family. After being mistaken for a 26 year old at a bar, Liza is then encouraged by her best friend Maggie (Debi Mazar) to pretend to be a Millennial in order to get a break into the New York publishing industry. Soon she finds a job as an assistant to one of the marketing directors – a woman who is desperately insecure and on the rebound – friends with a young colleague named Kelsey (Duff), and starting a “relationship” with a charming tattoo artist (Nico Tortorella). All the while, none of these new acquaintances are aware of her true age.*
I absolutely love the script of this show. The banter feels natural and witty and it shows a unique perspective on youth culture, too. Younger pokes fun at the millennial generation without criticizing or judging it too harshly, making real situations into comedy without going overboard. I don’t know why, but I find this joking critique of my own generation to be highly amusing. Probably because its honest. We do spend too much time on our phones and we do find ourselves in undefined relationships. We are selfish and insecure. But unlike Girls which exaggerated the darker parts of these behaviors, Younger puts it in a lighter perspective by showing it through the eyes of a mentor seeking to connect instead of judge. And I love that. Plus it’s fun to watch Liza learn new slang words and come out of her housewife shell. She can be insecure when acting her 40 year old self too, but when she’s rocking her 26 year old façade Liza is seemingly all high heels and confidence. She’s faking it till she makes it and I’m interested to see how that will play out for her when the bubble finally bursts. Actually, I’m betting she comes out of it with a gold star. She’s that kind of lady.
Lastly, one of the things I admire about this show is all the female friendships. That’s a quality that Star has certainly carried over from Sex in the City and I’m glad for it. Firstly there’s Maggie. As best friend and roommate, she’s currently the only one who knows Liza’s true age and understands what she’s going through. She was there when Liza’s marriage crumbled and in return Liza has been as supportive of Maggie’s artwork as a best friend can be. Old friends know you in ways other people can’t and that relationship is very clear on screen. Then there’s the new relationship forming between Kelsey and Liza. Liza has to restrain herself from mothering Kelsey sometimes, but she doesn’t judge her behavior. She looks out for her in the way that good friends do and recognizes that they can both learn from each other as friends. Liza may only be pretending to be 26, but I think this budding new friendship will last even when the secret is revealed.
If I could give one critique it would be only this: that Younger doesn’t show enough of the down time Millennials are a part of. Sure, we do brunch and happy hour like it’s our job, but we also binge watch Netflix and kick back on lazy Sunday afternoons. I know the show only runs for 30 minutes, but I think even a peek at that down-time would bring an extra element of reality to the show.
Have you watched Younger, yet? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments down below!
*You would think HR would know from her tax forms, but alas that bit of rationale is suspended for this show’s plot purposes.