I admit it. I was prepared to hate, or at least be offended by TV Land’s original series, “Younger.”
The premise sounds like something that I, as a feminist, should loathe. Sutton Foster plays Liza Miller, a recently divorced 40-year-old looking for a job in publishing—a career she had enjoyed before taking time off to raise her daughter who is now in India for her first year of college. After going on dozen interviews where her age trumped her qualifications or abilities, she took advice from her best friend (played by Debi Mazar) to just say she is 26.
Sure, Foster looks great for 40. Like really great. But 26? The thing you have to buy into in order to enjoy the show is what her friend tells her—that people want to believe what they are told.
So, after a mini-makeover which involved some highlights, make-up and a new wardrobe found at vintage shops, Liza lands a publishing job an assistant to a woman who resents all the 20-something girls who work for and with her. She becomes friends with an actual 26-old junior editor played by Hillary Duff. (Seriously, wasn’t she just playing lizzie Maguire?)
After allowing myself to believe that she could pass for 26, the next thing that hooked me was that they had a Joyce Carol Oates storyline happening.
Joyce Carol Oates!
So, there’s the whole book publishing, writing, author thing going on which I love. But the more I watched, the more I felt that this wasn’t just some fluffy, misogynistic crap. Sure, some of it is fluff, it is a half-hour sit-com. But they address the differences between the generations in a funny yet thoughtful manner long with the reality of aging, especially for women. And it’s given me a different view into the lives of the 20-somethings, which, as the mom of a 20-something, I appreciate.
Since Darren Star of “Sex and the City” fame is behind the creation and production of this show, it focuses on the relationship between women. There is sex and relationship angst, of course, but at its heart (and it does have heart) “Younger” is a show about women and how we can lift each other up or not. And what a loss for all when we don’t.