Everything leading to the fifth season finale of ‘Younger’ has been a doozy – there are entanglements everywhere, and we see Liza almost getting a solution to her biggest problem – the fact that hiding her age will no longer be a liability for her. As a matter of fact, this has proven to be some kind of asset for her – she got a competing offer from Plaza Publishing, heading her own imprint. But there are complications, of course. The imprint is not really her style (a beach read fluffy kind of brand) and of course, Liza is much much more than that. But Cheryl, who offered her the job, has something on her and Charles – she caught them and has leaked to Page Six that tidbit, jeopardizing Quinn’s plan of infusing money into Empirical. This is a bit of a plot stretch – in this day and age, do people really care if executives are having affairs with their secretaries? Consenting adults and all that. But okay, I will still play. Kelsey is then promoted as the Head of the House and Charles is, as Diana states, ‘being put out to pasture’ by being the Chairman of the Board. By the end of the episode, we see Liza and Charles holding hands in public, but we see in their faces fear and resentment – of course they will never be happy – what would we have to look forward to in Season Six?
I finally saw the first two episodes of Sacha baron Cohen’s ‘Who Is America?’ and what can I say? I am not even remotely shocked by some of these people. To say that I am disgusted by Trump supporters and their deplorable ways is an understatement. It is also exhausting at this point. I always say I am very glad now that I do not watch the news because it just depresses me. These people depresses me and Cohen ‘exposing’ them is just basically the same thing. I know they exist, and I do not necessarily want to watch them. After watching a Georgia Congressman gleefully shout the N word, I couldn’t help but just be sad that those people still exist and they have no shame in flaunting their hate and ignorance on screen. After Dick Cheney signs a water jug used in waterboarding with the words ‘Fantastic.” I have just the instinct to turn the television off so as not to see these things ever again. Its just not funny.
I don’t know what compelled me to start watching Viceland’s ‘Hollywood Love Story.’ Maybe the allure of Paris Hilton? I doubt it, but by the way, she is older-looking now, and while still gorgeous, is looking a little bit like Kyle Richards. The show is a bit confusing for me – I read that these are about Instagram celebrities wanting to make it in show business. The first episode focuses on Riott, a wanna be singer with neon green hair. I live in Los Angeles, and you see these struggling artists everywhere, and it’s so tough to make it in the business, for sure, and this show showcases them. Anyhow, Riott lives in Silverlake, sharing an apartment with four other people. She documents everything on Instagram and has thousands of followers (other people are identified by their names and their numbers of followers) But, we never really hear Riott’s music – she kinda vocalizes and raps but when she had a performance, the series focused more on her tantrum about her friends not coming to the show rather than the music. And Paris is barely on – she just has these small snippets of dialogue to the camera. And by the end of the show, we see Riott moving to a new house – so is this like a ‘Real World’ type of deal where we follow her and other people in the house? Above all, though, do I really care?
I have binge-watched the rest of the first season of Vida – with only a sex episode first season, it wasn’t difficult – and I love it even more. I think I even like it more than its companion show on Starz, which is Sweetbitter. Vida is richer, and it successfully says something else besides your usual soapy situations. I mean, it has those, too but Vida also addresses issues like gentrification, immigration, and how people shy away- and come back from their cultures. I knwo some people have accused me in the past of being “too american,’ whatever that means, and I do feel like I am still very much attached to my original heritage. But back to the show, I love that it explores sexual orientation in a very frank manner. The sex is on the saltier side here, and is part of the overall tone of the series. The Latino characters here are not stereotypical ones – though some of those are here as well – but these are full living, breathing people. They start at as cliches – the icy older sister, the slutty younger one – but writer Tanya Saracho gives these people real depth, and we get a sense of who they are as the first season ends. As a matter of fact, we are really getting a sense of these characters now, so I hope this comes back for a second season (I hope Sweetbitter does, too)
It’s Pride month and I am just now realizing how appropriate it is that I just started watching the Starz series ‘Vida’ this month, as it centers around a lesbian character. A pair of sisters go home for their mom’s funeral, and they find out that their mother was a lesbian, who was running their family business (a bar) with her wife. Of course, this becomes the catalyst for the series. Plus, it raises the questions of how neighborhoods are being gentrified to become the next hot neighborhood, leaving out its residents, out the door. In this political climate, this is a great series to provoke your mind. For example, when one of the series suggests that they sell their building, the other asks, “and what about the other tenants here, you do know they are mostly undocumented, and they will never find somewhere to live.’ These make me like the show right away, and from the first scene I am emotionally invested. The sisters have a very complicated relationship, and the actors (Melissa Barrera and Mistel Prada) are competent, and instantly, we feel the complexity of these people, which makes them more real – it seems like nothing is cardboard here.
I have watched Episodes two and three of ‘American Woman,’ and I like it a lot more. I know this was originally billed as a comedy, but it’s more a soap, and also I think it is evolving into a ‘Sex and The City’ type of series, with minor emphasis now on the other female character. Bonnie, at the end of the first episode, finds not only her husband cheating on her, but that he has squandered other people’s money and she is left with a mostly empty checking account. While the house is in her name, she can no longer maintain it (Her pool is turning green and she has to clean it) Silverstone makes the character sympathetic, although should you really feel sorry for a rich housewife. Remember, though, that this was another time, and we see her having difficulties looking for a job due from her lack of real experience. Bonnie ends up working for May Co, at the branch where her old rich friends are shopping. As I said, Silverstone is mostly fine, but she has this habit of mouthing her words like she just swallowed chewing gum, and it is distracting me. But that’s a personal thing. I like the fact that the show is 22-26 minutes long. The commitment per episode isn’t as exhausting, akin to ‘Younger.’ This makes it easy for me to give my time to the show, and it is getting interesting to me as these episodes roll.
I have watched the first four episodes of Season Five of Younger, and I am back into it, because I have to say that the past two seasons have disinterested me quite a bit, but for me, I think it’s back in fine form. But not the first episode, though. The show in trying to be topical joins the “Me Too” movement. Its most profitable author has to deal with sexual harassment issues and had to be dropped by Empirical. This causes the company to lose some cash. But by the end of the first episode, we get a bombshell revelation: Charles finds out that Liza has been lying all along. This puts him in a tailspin – he doesn’t know how to deal with it and gets passive aggressive before finally revealing to Liza that he knows. Is this the end of the love affair between Charles and Liza? Charles admits that he has fallen for her, but now doesn’t know if he can trust her.
I have read that the show will be consciously trying t steer from all these ‘romance’ episodes but it seems like the coast is clear, too: Josh, who was newly married goes home from Ireland without his bride – she left him too. And Liza meets the character of Christian Borle, and something may be brewing there, too. (Curiously, Borle is Sutton Foster’s ex-husband, and I know it really doesn’t matter, but these things excite me)
So I feel invigorated with this new season and this show is again on my radar. Have at me, Younger.