It's not often that we get second chances in life, but when we do, this is the moment we need to make the most of. Many times we don't see it coming, but life decides to throw us curveballs when we least expect them. For forty-year-old Liza (Sutton Foster) life decided to throw those curveballs all at once. One day her husband of countless years decides that he wants a divorce. Liza has been out of the work force for quite a while and she has to jump back in with both feet because she doesn't have time for dipping her toes into the water. Unfortunately, the corporate world of book publishing which Liza used to have her finger on the pulse of is no longer her playing field. Nothing is as it used to be and all of the younger employees have more experience, more ambition, and a lot more attitude. Based on the Pamela Redmond Satran novel, Younger shows us that when life hands you lemons you make lemonade, or in Liza's case lemon drops.
Liza has to learn to adapt to the new version of the corporate world, including ageism. She realizes that if she is going to compete and get back in the publishing game she will need to literally turn back time. After a chance encounter with a smouldering twenty something guy named Josh (Nico Tortorella) who thinks she is younger, Liza decides to adopt the age of twenty-six and live a new life to the fullest. Coupled with her wing woman and best friend Maggie, the incomparable Debi Mazar, Liza sets about to catch up on what it means to be in your twenties today. Between Twitter, Tinder, Hashtags, and Instagram Liza definitely has her work cut out for her. Liza ends up landing a job at a book publishing firm as an assistant to Diana (played by the delicious and venomous Miriam Shor). It's not easy working for Diana, who makes The Devil Wears Prada's Miranda Priestly and Disney's Cruella De Ville look like kittens. Diana has high expectations and an "I needed this done yesterday" philosophy. Thankfully Liza makes an ally of Kelsey (Hilary Duff), a hard working executive trying to prove her worth and climb her way to the top. Among many things, Kelsey helps introduce Liza to playing ball in the book publishing business, the single life dating scene, and maintaining your feminine hygiene. Liza may be pretending to be twenty-six, but she has a lot of learned lessons and wisdom to impart to Kelsey (without her knowing).
It's been a long time for Liza with a lot of life's missing pleasures including romance. Enter Josh (the hottie from the bar) whom Liza has been having textual relations with ever since their meeting. She enjoys that he is interested in her, but constantly has to catch herself making a reference to something that would be well beyond her assumed age demographic. Liza's been in a long term committed relationship with her husband, now that she is divorced can she handle the no strings attached attitude Josh seems to adhere to? It's complicated trying to keep both work and play balanced along with keeping up her age charade, but Liza rises to every challenge. Maggie double teams as Liza's confidant and reminds her she's got to learn to make a few mistakes and break a few hearts now that she has this new freedom. Maggie also keeps Liza centered and reminds her that she can play pretend all she wants, but at the end of the day forty will never be the new twenty. Making new friends for Liza comes naturally, but will she be able to keep the old along with her fast paced, wide eyed new persona? Girl code only takes you so far, but no matter what age you are, the rules still apply.
The writing on Younger is quick, clever and sharp with Foster's impeccable and effortless delivery providing quicksilver quips and banter. Shor's icy cool persona as Diana makes her cruel intentions a roller coaster ride to watch and must not miss. You'll live for her hard interior and the even harder exterior that she shares. Tortorella is sexy and charming, he and Foster have incendiary chemistry. Duff is a pure delight to have back on screen as Kelsey. Duff has phenomenal comedic timing and both she and Foster know how to infuse such heart and humor into the fantastic writing. Once you tune in to Younger, it'll be all you talk about for days after with your girlfriends. Younger keeps viewers on their toes and it reminds me why TV Land continues to excel in both comedy and casting.
As Cher sang, "if I could turn back time." Well, apparently you can. It's never too late to reinvent yourself, find a new path, or have the life you have always wanted to live. Younger takes a small period of time and infuses a lot of quick humor and heart within these constraints. Before you know it the episode is over, but you are left on edge wanting more. Tune in Tuesday nights to Younger for a look at life, its struggles, and new opportunities.
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