‘Younger’ TV Review: Stiff Competition

Younger revolves around Liza (Sutton Foster), a 40-something woman working in the publishing industry who had been lying about being in her late 20s for the past five seasons. The show, in its final season, now focuses on the Millennial imprint she helped create with Kelsey (Hilary Duff), an actual millennial, and how they’re trying to build the imprint as it becomes the top one for a longtime publisher.

The episode starts with Liza and Charles (Peter Hermann) going to a literati party. Liza even spots Colson Whitehead (not really there), but they later bump into Meg Wolitzer (really there), the author of The Female Persuasion and The Wife. It turns out both Liza and Charles set up interviews with her at a later date.

They learn Mercury is highlighted as a rising star in a New York Magazine profile. But the next day Kelsey notices she gets an awkward headshot crop at the bottom of the profile in the “low-brow” section.

“Charles is hot and I’m not!” Kelsey shrieks.

A Chip and Joanna Gaines copycat couple flipping homes in New York come into the Millennial office to pitch their couple relationship/do-it-yourself book, The Third Leg. Later that night, Charles surprises Liza with dinner—at a restaurant with the Gaines-like couple.

Of course, the couple had signed with Mercury, as they rave about Charles’ raving of his romantic relationship with Liza. They connected with that piece.

After dinner, Charles tells Liza that Mercury is doing well, but it’s all “smoking mirrors,” since they have zero sales so far.

The youngest conductor for the Brooklyn Philharmonic is the next target for Millennial as Liza pitches the musical prodigy as a potential memoirist. They soon attend a show where Liza talks to the conductor before the start to let her know she brought her team to discuss the memoir. As Liza leaves the backstage room, she bumps into Charles. She knows he’s there to sign the memoir, too, though she’s taken aback since she’d been in contact with the conductor for months. Charles sits down in his orchestra seat while Liza goes back to her nosebleed-ish seat where Kelsey and their colleague Diana (Miriam Shor) saw the couple talking near the stage.

Liza breaks the news that Charles is there for the same reason they are. Diana starts reading the conductor’s bio in the program and sees Charles’ illustrious family had funded her scholarship to Julliard. Game over.

Kelsey and Diana find themselves playing an ax game with beers. Still stressed out about losing current and potential authors, Kelsey brings up that she’s worried Liza may be helping Charles snatch the deals. Diana says the relationship between Liza and Charles isn’t compatible for the business. They soon leave, but Diana pees in the street right when a police car is driving by. So she gets caught for public urination while Kelsey, in angry mode, is raging against the officer with an ax. They both are booked in jail.

Meanwhile at the show, Charles is speaking with the conductor when Liza approaches them. The conductor says she’s still making a decision though Charles’ family has been very generous with their contributions to her success over the years. Liza stresses that Millennial is helmed by history-making women like the conductor.

Kelsey and Diana are bailed out of jail by Diana’s plumber boyfriend. They had contacted Liza, but she comes too late. Outside the jail, Kelsey asks Liza if she’s feeding information to Charles.

“Are you questioning my loyalty?” Liza asks. She then goes on a rant about how she wants everyone to be a winner.

“Stop being such a Pollyanna!” Kelsey yells. “There has to be losers.”

Charles later drops by Liza’s place that she shares with Maggie (Debi Mazar) and while her ex Josh (Nico Tortorella) is visiting with his baby Gemma. While Liza bonds with Gemma, Charles takes it as her bonding with Josh instead. Liza stops Charles outside where he tells her the good news: the conductor will sign with Millennial. Then Charles says he helped Millennial get the deal. And Liza says that’s the problem: her success can’t depend on Charles.

While the episode emphasized the downturn Millennial is taking mostly due to Mercury coming on the market, it looks like it’ll segue back to the whole Charles and Josh rivalry over Liza.

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