Remember the days when all TV Land would play were reruns of All in the Family and The Brady Bunch? Well, somewhere between 2010 and now, the network made producing original content a major to do. Lucky for us, TV Land has been on point with their original scripted programs. Darren Star (famous for show running programs like Sex and the City and Melrose Place) created a promising new series called Younger, which aired this past March. Although the show’s first season wrapped in June, it can still be accessed on TV Land’s website and is the perfect show to binge watch.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am the queen of pop culture. I love watching movies, but most recently, I’ve been on a kick of watching television—copious amounts of television. With all of this content consumption, I’ve been able to navigate through trashy TV, guilty pleasure shows (which can sometimes fall into the category of trash), and pure, quality gold. I am here to write that Younger is the latter.
Ever since the show’s premiere, I’ve been a loyal follower. In fact, every Wednesday morning when I returned to my college apartment after my Media Law and Ethics class finished, I would treat myself and watch the newest episode of Younger before I began studying—but I digress.
Younger is about a 40-year-old, newly divorced New Jersey mom named Liza Miller (played by Broadway star Sutton Foster). With her daughter studying abroad, suburban house on the market, and barely any money left in the bank, she has no choice but to re-enter the job force after a fifteen-year hiatus from working. However, because she faces ageism when applying to entry-level positions in the publishing world, she decides to take a new approach to getting back on the saddle. Liza begins a new life in the trendy neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, where she moves into an apartment with her old friend Maggie (Debi Mazer) and poses as a 26-year-old to land a job as a marketing assistant at a New York publishing house. There, she works for Diana Trout (Miriam Shor), a cold and sassy 40-something, and befriends Kelsey Peters (Hilary Duff), a twenty-something junior editor who helps Liza advance at the company.
Certain elements of the show aren’t anything out of the ordinary—we’ve all seen the ice queen boss/girl-next-door assistant dynamic (The Devil Wears Prada), as well as the double life scenario (Tootsie, Never Been Kissed, Hannah Montana) before. However, Younger gives a new take to these familiar storylines by inserting innovative concepts that are relevant to the time. For instance, many of Liza’s job responsibilities are centered on social media. Similar to the theme of social media trends, there are tons of references to popular trends, from Krav Maga to the incessant verbal usage of the phrase, ‘hash tag,’ Younger is current without incessantly mocking the millennial generation.
Younger gives a fresh approach to television shows targeted for a wider audience. Since it features characters that are both young and approaching middle age, viewers—both young and old—relate to the them. What I love about Liza is when she poses as a 26-year-old, she seems wise beyond her years to those around her. It is apparent that they play with this concept of irony throughout the series, as she is actually closer in age to her work superiors. The show is like The Mary Tyler Moore Show meets Never Been Kissed. I promise, by the 12th episode, you’ll be counting down the days until season 2 premieres in January.