Younger has made an egregious error with Season 5: The episodes are TOO DANG SHORT!
Thirty minutes isn’t nearly enough time with these fantastic characters and relationships. I DREAD seeing “Darren Star” pop up on my screen because it means I have to wait an eternity (a whole week) for more.
I literally scream out “NO!” when the creator’s name appears at the close of “#LizaToo” and “A Titanic Problem.”
It is excruciating!
The time scraps we do get with Liza, Kelsey, Charles, Diana, Josh, Lauren, Maggie, and Zane are magic. The cast’s chemistry is unmatched and there is simply no lackluster combination among them.
There is much to gush about on “#LizaToo” and “A Titanic Problem,” and gush we shall, but first: Charles knows.
Charles knows the truth!
The rather sudden, and certainly shocking, reveal by the harassing L.L. Moore is a fantastic way to set up the season.
It is also brilliant to wrap up the reveal in another game-changer– Empirical losing its top author. The confluence of events thrusts Charles into the most shaky and frightening ground he’s ever been on.
Charles is about to make some mistakes and I am loving watching the Empirical Prince crumble.
Don’t get me wrong, it hurts. It hurts to see Charles struggling in each area of his life.
And it really hurts to see this ship that I absolutely adore, and want to see together more than anything, lose trust.
They consistently eye-bang each other. Their eye contact has sustained us shippers for four seasons!
On “A Titanic Problem,” Charles shuts down the eye-banging and it is heartbreaking.
But, this separation and conflict will grow both Charles and Liza as characters and ultimately strengthen them as a couple.
This storyline is fulfilling my desires. I want the show to focus on Charles’ feelings about Liza and his ability to lead his company with integrity.
The conflict with his ex-wife is much less authentic and meaningful. There is no chemistry between Charles and Pauline and I am not even a little sad to see her go. Bye, Pauline!
Even though it seems we have not seen the last of her, the focus of the drama is squarely on Charles’ knowledge of Liza’s real age and background, not on whether Charles will go back to Pauline.
If that is the extent to which she appears in Season 5, I’m cool with it. You’ve got to stay in your lane after a Marriage Vacation, Pauline!
Charles snubbing Liz on “A Titanic Problem” is deserved and tough to see.
But I have so much hope for this ship. Team Charles is going strong, and here are the receipts:
Charles says “I was in love with her!” While, yes, he uses the past tense (Ouch! My heart!), he easily uses that word, “love.” Charles is very careful with his words. This confession reveals how deeply Charles feels about Liza and how, even though he’s shocked right now, he still loves her.
Charles also admits that he is relieved she is not in her twenties.
This is sweet, sweet, music to my ears. He doesn’t even qualify his relief or take it back. He just admits that he’s relieved.
He questions Liza’s motives and the authenticity of her personality, but he LIKES THAT SHE’S HIS AGE!
This admission supports that Charles loves Liza because of the connection they have, not because she’s hot and young. It also means that Charles wants a long-term relationship with Liza.
It is a relief to Charles because it means that things like having more kids are not hurdles in their future relationship like they would if Liza was really in her twenties.
My final receipt that Team Charles is sailing on is that L.L. Moore’s reveal includes all the details of Liza’s past.
Charles doesn’t just find out about her age. He also finds out about her daughter (that soccer mom photo of Liza HAD to make Charles fall more deeply in love with her– it’s simply too adorable not to have that effect) and her divorce.
The Band-aid is off and I think this means that when Charles finally talks to Liza, and they have it out, there is going to be so much for the pair to bond over and talk about.
Right now, Charles is questioning if the Liza he has fallen in love with is real. When he realizes that Liza is Liza, the fact that she has all of this intriguing history is going to pay-off big time in their relationship.
I can hardly wait!
I will admit, after “A Titanic Problem,” I had to go a rewatch the Season 5 trailer and pause on the under-the-stairs kiss. Charles is all scruffy and the embrace is filled with tension and passion.
I am imagining that Charles has to step away from Empirical and fall apart in order to come to terms with his feelings for Liza.
Then he comes back and is so pulled to her that he can’t even make it to a private location before he is overcome and kisses her.
THIS IS SO FUN TO FANTASIZE AND SPECULATE ABOUT!
Younger is so very skilled at setting up these dramatic romantic moments, while also endearing us to the characters and giving them real emotions.
Again, we need more than 30 minutes each week!
I am loving all of the content for my main ship on Younger, Liza and Charles. But, the most powerful thing on Season 5 so far is Kelsey.
Kelsey is wildly underrated as a character. Her loyalty to Liza and patience with her is beyond endearing. Kelsey giggles, but doesn’t really judge Liza as she helps her use age-appropriate lingo.
The “slipping into your DMs” bit makes me lol. Kelsey manages to make that funny and charming, not ageist.
On “#LizaToo” Kelsey fights for legitimacy and the power that she has earned with her imprint, Millennial. Kelsey has proven herself over and over again. Yet, as “#LizaToo” showcases well, sexism is in the publishing industry, too.
Charles does the right thing, but not by Kelsey. He continues to question and undermine her work, even when it has saved the company.
Kelsey is an incredibly inspiring example of a woman working to bust through the glass ceiling. She is also a dork who laughs over duck dicks with her competition and love interest.
Kelsey is a complex and multi-faceted character who is showing us that fighting for success doesn’t have to be a battle, it can be a dance.
Kelsey’s response to Zane’s (inappropriate) comment about her legs is a prime example of the leading lady’s magic:
And I can see the outline of your weiner in those pants.
My girl used the word “wiener” while wearing a fur coat and delivering an incisive retort to a sexist comment. We all need to be paying way more attention to Kelsey.
Kelsey is raising the bar for feminist representation on Younger, and Josh is raising the bar for erasing toxic masculinity.
He is wrecked by Clare’s rejection. Even though he knows their relationship and his feelings were not ever very real, Josh is broken.
His open sensitivity and honesty, while still being the flirty hunk that we adore, breaks the norms of what is considered “manly.”
Younger is a fun comedy, but it is also enriching our lives and our feminism. It covers real-life woes, but with zero woeful characters.
We root for Josh, even if we don’t ship him with Liza. We root for everyone, actually. There aren’t anti-heroes on Younger. Just real characters who you’d like to be friends with in real life.
The show is what I need right now in my world. It brightens my day without pretending that the world isn’t a dark place.
It finds pockets of love, light, and humor within our dark reality.
Notes for the Margins
- Diana meeting Lauren is everything I wanted it to be and more. If we could get those two and Maggie in the same scene I might die of happiness overload.
- I like that Kelsey’s a bit jealous over Zane, but the lie about him being gay is lame. Using sexual orientation as a shield is a dismissive and borderline offensive.
- I would LOVE to see Millenial at Pride and work with an LGBTQIA author.
- Are we going to see Reese?! Please, please, please!
- Diana is pretty much the only character left who doesn’t know about Liza’s real age!
- Charles Michael Davis can make any character charming AF, but Zane is kind of a terrible person. I’m excited to see more of his humanity and “real side” this season.
What did you think of Younger 5×01 “#LizaToo” and 5×02 “A Titanic Mistake,”? Let us know in the comments!
Younger airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on TV Land.