June 29, 2017

SHOWBUZZDAILY Season Premiere Review: “Younger”


YOUNGER:  Wednesday 10PM on TV Land

TV Land’s flagship original series YOUNGER began to shake itself up at the end of Season 3, and the Season 4 premiere fruitfully continued that process.  Stories about Big Secrets, whether they’re being kept by superheroes or 40-year old publishing employees pretending to be in their 20s, reach a point where it’s time for the secret to be shared, before the plot becomes a repetitive scenario of almost-but-not-quite-caught.  (In the case of the latter kind of secret, things also reach the point where it gets to be a tougher sell for the star to convincingly pretend to be 15 years more youthful than they really are.)  In last season’s finale, Liza Miller (Sutton Foster) was finally going to tell her business colleague and close friend Kelsey Peters (Hilary Duff) about her subterfuge, and the beans were spilled as the premiere began.

To its credit, Younger treated the reveal seriously.  Series creator Darren Star wrote the well-crafted episode, which dealt with the consequences of falsehoods in several contexts, and the shifting tones of comedy and drama were carefully balanced by director Steven Tsuchida.  Liza and Kelsey’s friendship was at least temporarily ruptured, and since Season 3 also left Kelsey needing somewhere to live, a level of complication was added when she moved in (platonically, for now) with Liza’s newly-ex Josh (Nico Tortorella).  He had himself been fooled by Liza’s claimed age for a while, but even after she came clean about that, she hadn’t told him about her feelings for publishing house head Charles (Peter Hermann) until Josh found them locked in a kiss in the finale.  This was all bound up as well with the C story, a riff on our current universe of “alternative facts” with guest star Kristen Chenoweth wonderfully cast as the show’s version of Kellyanne Conway, who questioned the very concept of truth and got everyone even more mixed up than they already were.

Younger is a trifle, but a little emotional weight serves it well, and Foster and Duff were standouts as they bore the bulk of the premiere’s drama while preserving their comic charm.  The number of main characters who are still in the dark about Liza’s secret has diminished to her bosses Charles and Diana Trout (the droll Miriam Shor), which raises the question of what Younger will be if Liza gets to the point where she isn’t hiding anything.  But there’s enough substance to the show that while this might be the beginning of Younger‘s endgame, it could also be a point of reboot.  There’s the possibility that the series, having become wiser with age, is on the verge of becoming more interesting than it’s been so far.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."