TV Review: Younger Season Four
When Younger premiered on TV Land in 2015, its premise mimicked the situation the network was in at the time. The show was about a 40 year old masquerading as a 26 year old in order to be more attractive to potential employers. The network, then known for showing mainly reruns of classic series like Gunsmoke and The Andy Griffith Show, was in the midst of rebranding to a much younger, digitally engaged audience. The intent of the rebranding was to better compete with the hundreds of different cable networks out there, but ironically had the effect of making TV Land indistinguishable from all those other networks vying for the young people demographic. Their original scripted programming went from delightful throwback fare like Hot in Cleveland, to quirky, comparatively edgy single camera sitcoms like Impastor and Teachers. Never heard of either of those shows? I'm not surprised. The only show since the rebranding that could reasonably be considered a hit, Younger premiered its fourth season on June 28th.
Created by Sex and the City creator Darren Star, Younger has a ridiculous premise, but that was never the reason to watch the show anyway. The reason to watch is for the star, Sutton Foster, who plays Liza Miller, the 40 year old divorcee who rejoined the workforce as a 26 year old. Foster, a two-time Tony winning Broadway superstar, is ridiculously charming in the role. Luminous and high-spirited, she is a joy to watch on screen. After four seasons, Foster has matured along with the role, as you can see the toll keeping this secret has taken on Liza just by watching Foster's face. Even is the writing is occasionally vapid, Foster never hits a false note. She can be funny, silly, heartbreaking, anguished all in the span of a couple minutes. It's time that Emmy voters catch up and figure out what the rest of us figured out long ago and reward Sutton Foster with an Emmy.
Younger is rare for being one of few shows whose ensemble is made up primarily of women of varying ages. Aside from Foster, there is the always-welcome Debi Mazar, the scene-stealing Miriam Shor, Molly Bernard, and Hilary Duff, who is surprisingly (shockingly?) pretty good as Liza's coworker Kelsey. The writing continues to be mostly solid, aside from the painfully awkward references to millennial culture shoehorned into nearly every episode.
The first episode of the new season is titled "Post Truth" and picks up after last year's cliffhanger where Liza finally tells Kelsey the truth about her age. Kelsey's reaction to the news appears to be one of the main focuses of the next few episodes, and feels like a natural evolution for the series. I'm glad the truth is slowly starting to come out, as the series was beginning to feel slightly repetitive with Liza's repeated attempts to keep her secret. Kristin Chenoweth has a hilarious guest appearance in the first new episode as a Kellyanne Conway-style spin doctor. It's an interesting take on alternative facts, especially as Liza keeps trying to rationalize lying to everyone around her.
Younger airs Wednesdays on TV Land or if you're not caught up it can be binged from the start on TV Land's website.
What did you think of "Post Truth'? What are your hopes for the new season of Younger? Let me know in the comments below!
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