Josh’s Burden (Television Thoughts. Younger S02 E 08, Beyond Therapy)

 

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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

Swap And Camp (Younger S02 E06, S02 E07)

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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.

 

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Truffle Butter (Television Thoughts: Younger, S02 E05, Jersey Sure)

 

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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.

Empirical Endowment (Television Thoughts: Younger S02 E04 The Jade Crusade)

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“The Jade Crusade” was a truly enjoyable fourth episode. I keep on saying this, but this show is really hitting its stride. Kelsey and Liza team up to land a book deal from fashion blogger Jade. Her agent, played deliciously by Michael Urie (Darren Starr needs to give him his own serious, seriously) wants a bidding war, and also suggested Jade will go to the imprint who is most fun. But we find out Jade has a hidden agenda – she used to date Josh, and wants revenge. So this hinders the book deal for Millennial, right? But there are cute twists ans turns at the end, well played by Hillary Duff and Sutton Foster. It really is nice to see Duff getting to do a lot more, and she owned this episode. with Liza almost becoming a sidekick of sorts, story line wise. But as my friend Melissa pointed out, why all of a sudden are we seeing Kelsey insecure and unsure, when she has always been headstrong and smart?

The other plot point involves Charles’, um, endowment. A photograph of him with a bulging element has appeared on line, and Diana and Liza do everything to make it disappear on the internet. The final scene with Diana introducing him at a book event/awarding was hilarious.

Best joke of the night was the exchange between Liza and Josh about “climbing the fire escape” being equated to anal sex was spot on, and is very timely in light of recent rumours that Nico Tortorella (who plays Josh) is going to be coming out soon (He is allegedly dating hair stylist Kyle Krieger)

Ghost Of A Chance (Television Thoughts, Like A Boss, Younger S02 E03)

younger-season-1-poster-tv-showMy main takeaway from the third episode of “Younger” this second season? The term “Ghosting,” which millennials apparently use. Apparently, it’s when someone stops communicating with you (through text or various messaging platforms) even though you still see them on social media. In my days, we just used to call that ignoring you, and people who do it basically have bad manners. It’s been done to me, and honestly in my younger years I may done it to someone as well. It just goes to show you that even in this day and age, things do not change with regards to human behaviour.

Tonight’s episode, “Like A Boss” is great. We get to see Kelsey launch her Milleanial imprint, and they have a party (In Greenpoint!) to launch it. In the beginning, though, Josh is still upset that Liza has not told Kelsey her real age. How could she, of course, when she involved with the new imprint? “But don’t you want to lead an authentic life,” he asks. Who wants to do that – and that’s when Liza realizes Josh has been ghosting her, as he had social media interactions with different people. They are definitely setting up the Liza/Josh/Charles triangle, as towards the end of the episode, a nice champagne moment between Liza and Charles gets marred by Josh’s arrival, and you can see twinkles in Liza’s eyes as Charles leaves. Subtle, but I can’t be fooled.

And they are giving Hillary Duff a whole lot more to do, even providing her the big laugh of the night, as she struggles to get out of a pretentious fashion moment from avant-garde designers. It’s great physical comedy, and Duff shows she is more than game to be out there. I loved his episode, and it looks like the show will be hitting it out of the ball park this season.

Young Again (Television Thoughts, Younger, Season 2 Episodes One and Two)

younger-season-2-poster.jpg.pagespeed.ce.VWlOQlal0dThe second season of “Younger” starts almost exactly where the first season ended. Liza’s daughter Caitlyn is coming home from India, and Liza has just ‘reconciled’ with Josh. Liza starts to confess to Caitlyn, but backs off when the latter suggests that maybe Liza is ‘transitioning’ (“Dad always says you had big hands”)  Darren Starr still knows how to pack everything in neatly in these episodes – he has such a deft eye for well-done ‘fast paced’ that you always come up begging for more. And this show always manages to delight and infuriate me all at the same time always.  For example, all the press releases for the second season hint on the fact that Caitlyn coming home will cause a different dynamic, and true, the idea is promising. So why, then does she shipped away, living with her father at the end of Episode 1, after she discovers her mother dating the guy who did her tattoo? That just seems a bit lazy. But the rest of the show, I have no complaints. I like the fact that theya re using Hillary Duff much better, and her getting her own imprint at Empirical will open up new story lines for her. And Sutton Foster is better than ever – she has now mastered just the right mix of vulnerability and chutzpah for Liza. And most of all, I love the fact that this is a very New York show – the characters act, sound, and look like the idealized version of New Yorkers I know and love. I’ll be wsatching.

To Be Young And Beautiful (Book Thoughts: Younger, Pamela Bertrand Safran)

Younger-by-Pamela-Redmond-SatranThis is that rare instance that I am reading a book after seeing an adapted version of it.  I was looking at my physical books the other day when I realized I had a copy of Pamela Redmond Satran’s “Younger.”  The Strand Bookstore used to have a dollar bin of trade paperbacks and I have a huge pile of books I have procured from there. After watching the first season of the television series, I had wanted to read the source material. And it’s a quick read. It is weird now that already have Sutton Foster as Alice (I wonder why they changed the character’s name to Liza on the television version) and even in the readings of the dialogue I hear Sutton’s delivery in my head. It’s a more compact, less fleshed out version of the character here, and her friend Maggie figures more prominently in the book. I don’t know if I would have found it as enjoyable had I not already known these characters, though. There are loophole galores in the story, but I guess we suspend disbelief. And it was nice to see where the end game is for the characters in the book and now I am wondering if the series will follow.