In the era of Peak TV, it may seem like all the zeitgeist cares about are prestige dramas, true crime stories and superheroes. To some extent that may be true, but every once in a while a comedy somehow fights its way onto my radar. Just to be clear: I am not a sitcom person. It's not that I don't love to laugh; I love laughing! But 30-minute, primetime comedies have never really been my thing... until I started watching "Younger."
"Younger" originally piqued interest because of the implacable charisma of its lead, Sutton Foster. The premise, of course, is ridiculous: 40-year-old divorcée Liza (Foster) attempts to keep up the charade of being a 26-year-old publishing assistant. But its glitzy charm, hot takes on ageism and sexism, and the characters' delightfully bad decision making soon won me over.
At the end of Season 1, Liza's cover as a thoroughly modern Millennial has been blown to boyfriend Josh (Nico Tortorella). So in its second season (which premieres on Jan. 13), the breezy series ups the ante by bringing home Liza's daughter Caitlin (Tessa Albertson) from her time abroad, ~ soul searching ~, in India.
Now, Liza faces her toughest challenge: keeping her life as a twentysomething publishing assistant a secret from her own daughter. It's a remarkably fun source of tension for Liza, as she faces an internal battle between divulging every detail to her daughter or risking the fallout of her finding out on her own. At its core, "Younger" is about Liza, and watching her grapple with her daughter's homecoming is a true delight. It's Foster at her comedic best.
Of course, a huge part of the second season premiere is the relationship between Liza and Josh, who's pretty much unfazed by Liza's big reveal. As Josh becomes more comfortable with their age difference, however, Liza starts to doubt the relationship's future, which makes her scenes with age-appropriate Charles (Peter Hermann) all the more interesting. A love triangle is inevitable at this point. (But I'm still holding out hope for Team Josh because have you seen Tortorella's face?)
Helping Liza figure all of this out is her best friend and trusted work confidante Kelsey (the fabulous Hilary Duff). The young hotshot at Empirical Publishing is just as ambitious as ever, pitching a new idea from a popular Tumblr called "100 Things Women Think About While Giving Blowjobs." And within the season's first 10 minutes, she gives up this brilliant, feminist moment: "I wouldn't classify oral sex as pornography."
"Younger" will always be a show that celebrates female friendships, and the relationship between Kelsey and Liza is one of my favorites on television. There's poignancy to that, and to Liza's own struggle, that would benefit from more screen time in Season 2. These women may not have it all figured out, but they don't have to. That's the point.
If you fell in love with "Younger" last season like I did, slowly and then all at once, then Season 2 won't disappoint. Somewhere among the "whisky dick" jokes and texting 101, there's a funny, compelling tale of self-discovery and friendship. Plus, it never hurt to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, graphic Diva Cup extractions and all.