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?
It’s Sutton’s World, we are just living in it. Sutton Foster is a different kind of triple threat – she is great in ‘Younger,’ and of course has won multiple Tonys, and now has released her new album, ‘Take Me To The World.’ And as I listen to her new album, I realize more and more, and it is very evident in this album that she falls more under ‘actress who sings.’ In each of these tracks, we get a glimpse of a character, and she tells the story of the songs via these characters. My favorite track is a slowed-down emotive ‘C’est Magnifique,’ which turns that song upside down. This isn’t a joyous can can interpretation of the song. Here’s what I get – we see a contemplative woman singing by Montmarte about love lost. It is quite dramatic, and never feels heavy handed. The rest of the songs have the same feel, with her medlettes (a fun ‘Everybody Says Don’t/’Say Yes’) and theatrified pop songs (Paul Simon’s’ Old Friends/Bookends’) She has great takes on showtunes old and new: a simmering ‘Stars And The Moon,’ and joyous ‘If I Were A Bell,’ and she does a great balance on classics old and new. This is a great album, one that grows more with each listen, and I hope to play it often.
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.
I have not written a whole lot about the fifth season of ‘Younger,’ which started fairly recently. I am still enjoying it, and by now it is great to see all the regulars so comfortable in the skin of all of their characters. And it was very interesting to see where they are going after the fourth season bombshell. Kelsey is hurt that Liza lied to her, and initially is so mad it lasted three episodes. Younger handles this story well. Crazy Ex Girlfriend did the exact same thing and their treatment annoyed (they made it run too long) And then there’s Josh’s new girlfriend, a plot point that was used to manipulate their storyline as a couple setting up the finally moment of Liza and Charles kissing and doing almost all. I predict this will be the season of ‘Chiza’
What I have noticed is that his is the season where they aimless. I like the fact so far, until the last one, they are just going on about their lives, and some episodes were quite fan. As Liza and Charles are starting to go hot and heavy, the show played around hot and heavy with Kelsey and Josh. I honestly how they were able that situation, and their resolution was dignified and classy.
So here we are, at the season finale of Season 3 of ‘Younger,’ and it is a doozy. We get to the real bottom of the love triangle between Liza, Charles, and Josh. At the end of teh episode, Charles and Liza finally kiss (while dancing to Berlin singing ‘Take My Breath Away, natch) and of course it is supposed to be this big moment, only for Josh to come in and see them (without them seeing) and he has planned to propose to Liza, by scrolling ‘Marry Me’ by roses on her bed. It’s a cliffhanger, of course, but I have a couple of points to ponder. First of all, is it just me or did it feel that the moment between Charles and Liza was rushed? I am all for both of them – he is certainly more age appropriate for her, and yes I know things have been simmering between the two of them all season, but I couldn’t help but still feel it came out of nowhere, and at the same tie unexpected. It felt like it was given to Liza so she could have a cliffhanger dilemma for the end of the season. Add to that another ‘blackmail’ storyline for her regarding her age thing, but it all felt very mechanical to me. I thought the episode was still very engaging, and it is still one of my favorite shows right now, but I just cannot help but think these are all familiar. I actually liked a lot of the ‘comic’ bits this season – one of my favorites was dumping a guy because he lived in Roosevelt Island – a joke so in no one will probably get it. I have this theory that after every season, someone else will learn about Liza’s true age (Josh was first) so I wonder which pivotal character will be next. Until next season, Liza and The Gang!
There is something a little off for me in “Younger” as Season Three progresses. I am up to the third episode and I can’t keep on wondering – is it going to be more of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol this season? Yes, I know that the whole show dangles on the premise that at any given time, Liza’s big secret has the potential of being revealed, but on both episodes, we do get that danger, but the conflict got resolved very quickly. On “The Marshmallow Experiement, the threat was the unlocking of Thad’s computer, and on ‘Last Dat=ys Of Books’ it is the threat of her old town mates snitching on her Empirical co-workers. These threats are getting close to being unbelievable at this point.
But the bigger conflict this season seems to be the love triangle between Liza, Charles, and Josh. I think at this point it has been established that Charles is into Liza, and there’s that romantic tension brewing there, but at the same time, they are making Josh very sympathetic, probably setting up the situation that Liza has to make a very difficult choice soon. I think at some point in the middle of the season she chooses Charles because if she stays with Josh, it will be a retread of previous seasons. I also think she will confess, or will have to confess with Kelsey at some point soon, too. I hope my excitement for the show doesn’t wane.
I wrote at the beginning of Younger’s second season that has started hitting its stride. And I was right – the series found its footing last season – all the characters have fallen into place. As the third season starts, I almost feel like these characters are old friends – we have had some history together, we have gone through some stuff together, and we now are all in this as we tackle what’s next.
So what’s next? At the end of last season, we see Liza on a crossroad: Charles kissed him at the department store in Paramus, and Josh has declared his love for her, regardless of that age thingy. We start the season not shortly after that, as Liza deals with the awkwardness at the office with Charles. (‘It’s just a kiss,Liza,’ he says) But you know there’s more to that – he asks her to meet at Cafe Carlysle so they can talk about it – to get everything out in the open and he says that either way he will be fine with it. But when Liza gets there, she sees him talking to a couple she met earlier in the day whose daughter is friends with, as she sends them off to college. She don’t want to so some ‘splainin – Girl, it’s Cafe Carlysle, what better place to do it?
Meanwhile, Kelsey is still mourning, and Diana sees her and they go to Marie’s Crisis for drinks and show tunes. Now, I am happy as much as anyone else about the mainstreamization of Marie’s Crisis, but I gotta confess that I feel very protective of that place. I knew it when it was just a hole-in-the-wall bar. It still is, but now it’s a very popular hole-in-the-wall. And they drink a little too much, and with Liza, all end up in Diana’s apartment. I am glad to get a whole lot more of Diana’s back story, as I think there’s a lot to mine in that character.
So it seems we end up right where we started, and I don’t know if I feel happy about that. I feel like we have been strung along here, bu I guess I just have to trust the show.
It was bound to happen. Josh and Liza has broken up, and I think this one may stick (for a while) When Josh gets an opportunity to be profiled by T, the New York Times Magazine, he isn’t able to include Liza in the article (because, obviously) and this sets up a domino of events that may be just too much for him to handle. I can’t blame him, I can just imagine the burden that he is shouldering with Liza’s secret, and there is only sop much a heart can take. And Liza, she is caught int he middle of all of this, paralyzed by how she is feeling and the situation she has put herself into. Sutton Foster has never been better than in that last scene, as she cries, pretending they are happy tears for Kelsey, who just got engaged. And you can see all the pain in her eyes as her friends get mad at Josh for not including her in the NYT article, and Josh’s dialogue – the one where he talks to the report, the more he realizes how Liza is such a big part of her life – seems more heartbreaking than it needs to be. This episode may be closer to soap opera territory, but it works, and I bet everyone who has been following the show is shedding a tear. There are things running in my mid – this will clear the path for Charles and Liza, what will happen to Josh character, will this force Liza to admit her real age – but all of that is still enveloped by the heartbreak of Liza and Josh.
On another note, Martha Plimpton is great as Cheryl, the blackmailer in Liza’s life, but isn;t Cheryl more or less the same character Plimpton plays in ‘The Good Wife?’ Hmmmm
Yes, I know I am behind with Younger, too. So I will just write about Episode 6 (Scheming) and Episode 7 (Into The Woods And Out Of The Woods) in one post. I liked Ep 6 a lot, especially the way they schemed to get Jade’s book out of Empirical. I was totally impressed by how they did it – I was wondering myself how they could they get out of that mess. Hillary Duff was particularly good in this episode, cunning and charming at the same time. And there was one part of the episode I could really relate to – when Liza pulled a muscle and suddenly was aching. Funny enough, a similar thing happened to me last week. I was tying my shoelace and bending down, and pulled a similar muscle in my back. It’s been a week and now and it still kinda aches. Liza, if you think things are falling apart when you are 40, imagine how you would feel at 50.
On Episode 7, we get to the woods. I liked that Josh is playing bluegrass music – it’s so stupidly and appropriately hip, and funny. And after this episode, I can see where the story is kind of leading to: that love triangle between Josh, Liza, and Charles. You can see it in Liza’s face as she texts Charles. But I don’t know about the message this is sending. Are Liza and Charles better together because they are more age appropriate for each other? Or is it because they are intellectually closer to each other? I think they are making it now look like Josh and Liza are getting more and more incompatible with each other. I thought this episode is one of the weaker spots this season. There were times I felt kind of bored.
Maybe it’s the power of suggestion. Ever since I read that Nico Tortorelli (who plays Josh) is, or quite possibly be gay, I am now trying hard to see gay inflections in his acting, even though I never really noticed (or cared about it) before. And yet, there it was, at the bar scene when Liza sees her New Jersey friends and they get an invitation for dinner in New Jersey, when he answers with (my imagined) camp and all of a sudden I am now convinced that he, the actor, is gay. Though I am pretty sure his character, Josh, isn’t. Because Josh is very much into Liza, even though, yet again we go through the same plot point wherein Liza is doubting her relationship with him. And can you doubt her? He is younger, and I am sure there is a part of her that thinks this all is temporary. But Josh dismisses all her insecurities, even suggesting they be together now, as they try to make babies. Yes, in some sense we as an audience have gone through this, and in fact, some may be already be tiring of this, but all this keeps Liza up at night, I am sure. Reinforce the fact that she isn’t really in on these kids’ lingo. I mean, it speaks to my age that I had to google urban dictionary to see what truffle butter means. It’s a real feeling, this insecurity, and it makes this show more relatable for me.
Elsewhere, Kelsey is having problems getting her pages from Jade, who, it turns out (surprise) is unreliable. I have only one thing to say – thats what you get when you deal with millennials.