Wednesday, November 2, 2016

REVIEW: 'Younger' - Liza and Kelsey are Excited About a Mysterious New Author in 'Me, Myself and O'

TV Land's Younger - Episode 3.06 "Me, Myself and O"

Liza and Kelsey pursue an erotica author writing under a pseudonym, and are shocked to discover their identity.

Younger did a very smart thing in last week's episode by getting rid of Bryce. He just wasn't working well with the rest of the show. And now, the financial problems at Empirical can begin anew. It was a simple solution to have everything continue to work out for the characters simply because of one new investor. Additionally, Bryce became annoying without shining a big light on how publishing houses need to adapt in 2016. So now, he's gone and Charles is back to worrying about his company. P Is For Pigeon may have landed that literary prize but sales aren't as great as everyone was expecting. The audience gets to hear a brief passage of the novel and it's pretty hilarious to think that this is the kind of book winning all of these prizes. It just goes to show that acclaim doesn't always equal success. That's an understandable concept that does present itself in interesting ways throughout "Me, Myself and O." Yes, the story ultimately circles back to one man being able to save Empirical from financial ruin. But the show just has so much more fun with Edward L.L. Moore than it did with Bryce.

Moore was an over-the-top character when he popped up last season. It was the show parodying Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin. Moore's book series, Crown of Kings, was coming to an end but the story was more interested in showing the eccentricities of this man. Those are still present in this story as well. He is a disgusting man with a huge sense of entitlement because his books were so popular. He's done with that particular series even though Charles desperately tries to get him to write another book. Charles hopes that will ultimately save Empirical. It's putting the future of this entire company on one book. That's a little too unrealistic. It simplifies the situation so it can be condensed down to a 20 minute episode. This company won't thrive or die because of one hit book. The characters need to do their best to continue discovering and encouraging new writers that can break through the zeitgeist. Moore has done that. So, it's easy to understand why Charles goes back to him. But the solution presented at the end of the episode isn't as easy as the show wants the audience to believe it is.

Moore won't write another Crown of Kings book because he is already working on something new. He's writing under the pen name, Aubrey Alexis, and shopping a book about a 20-something girl sleeping her way across four continents. It's powerful writing that Liza and Kelsey love. But the whole purpose of this story is anonymity. Liza and Kelsey have to pass on the book because the author refuses to do any public appearances. That's just not a risk that any publishing company can take on a first-time and unknown author. Liza and Kelsey's decision is right in this situation. But it becomes a story about a bidding war erupting over this book. No one knows that Aubrey is Moore except for Lisa and Kelsey. They are able to figure it out. They are able to do so by comparing the writing styles and plot situations of both novels. That could become problematic in the future. If they were able to figure out Moore's secret so easily, who's to say someone else wouldn't be able to do the same? Moore says that he used Aubrey as a writing exercise to cleanse himself of Crown of Kings. But it's still abundantly clear that he's not as ambitious or different a writer as he believes himself to be. Of course, Empirical needs to keep him happy. So they bid on the book and ultimately win.

All of this is presented as a major victory for Empirical. They have a new book coming out from Edward L.L. Moore. That will save the company from financial ruin. Charles won't have to sell his brownstone to keep his company afloat. He won't have to uproot his children's lives. But again, that makes very little sense considering Moore doesn't want the public to know that he wrote this new book. He has a very loyal following. But the crossover appeal of the two novels may not be all that great. There is no guarantee that this new book will be as successful as Crown of Kings was. Just because Moore is the author doesn't mean he'll be able to save the company without having his name attached. It's just a little too complicated once one starts thinking about it. The show clearly doesn't want us to. It just wants to have a fun and silly blast while Liza sucks up to Moore and tries to covertly tell Charles the truth about Aubrey. It is a pretty amusing main story. One that actually has a purpose. But if the show is presenting this book as the solution to the company's problems, it's just too easy a solution to fully accept.

The main story is the chief focus of this episode. There are a few subplots going on as well. But they are largely confided to a few brief scenes signaling importance but don't do a whole lot. It's nice to see Maggie in a new relationship. The religious angle is an interesting take on the subject. Maggie is doing her best to appeal to this new woman she's dating. She's just ruining it a whole lot by not knowing the traditions of this new world. Still that doesn't break the two of them apart. In fact, it actually brings the two of them closer together. Meanwhile, Josh and Liza are in a phase where they want to have sex in public places. There's no big reason for this sudden urge. Josh wants to do it at Charles' house during the big book party. Liza doesn't want to because of her complicated feelings for Charles. That's about as intense as that story gets. The rest is just amusing to watch Liza be so open about doing so much sexually in the public. The episode ends at a softball game where Liza and Josh are cheering Maggie on. But underneath the blanket, things are getting way more physical between them. Again, it does a solid job showing how a stable and loving couple they are. But it does very little more than that.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Me, Myself and O" was written by Lyle Friedman & Ashley Skidmore and directed by Peter Lauer.
  • Radha is definitely noticing that Liza spends a lot of her time with Charles. Whenever she shows up at a work function of his, there Liza is right next to him. She wants to know everything about this woman interested in Charles. Again, Radha hasn't existed as a character beyond being Charles' attractive new girlfriend. Hopefully, this will present a new direction for the show as Liza has to confront her true feelings for Charles.
  • Diana always seems to put her foot in her mouth whenever she's around Charles. She speaks in sexual innuendoes without even realizing it. It's funny though it is starting to feel like too much of the same after three seasons of it.
  • Liza really does seem to be great with kids - especially Charles' two girls. And yet, it appears that Radha has met them as well and is more than comfortable taking them back to bed with Charles.
  • Maggie asks Liza to pose as her ex-girlfriend who she's still best friends with to make her new girlfriend (who has a similar relationship) jealous. It actually works too. It helps that Liza looks so young and beautiful.
  • It's always fun to see Michael Urie pop up as Redmond. It's also a fine recurring joke that he can never remember Liza's name even though they've had multiple interactions now.