Wednesday, December 7, 2016

REVIEW: 'Younger' - A Pregnancy Scare Changes Things for Liza and Josh in 'Pigeons, Parrots and Storks'

TV Land's Younger - Episode 3.10 "Pigeons, Parrots and Storks"

Liza and Josh's future together is thrown into question after having opposing reactions to a near miss.

There is a clear sense throughout "Pigeons, Parrots and Storks" that the series is ramping up to the big moments it has planned for the end of the season. Right now, it's all about committing to a certain path. Introducing conflict into dynamics so that they can be satisfying to the narrative by the end of the year. It's less episodic in a way. Last week there was no clear indication of Diane's new boyfriend being a serious role in her life. But now, he is. Just like Colin is for Kelsey. Those two characters are exploring these new relationships. They are just figuring out how to be with this person. They are determining whether or not they should allow this person into their lives. Things are different with Liza, Josh and Charles. Charles is being deliberately left single so he remains a possibility for Liza in the end. Meanwhile, a new conflict is introduced that may be the thing that ultimately breaks Liza and Josh up for good. All of this is very introductory and necessary for the overall narrative. But it still brings a ton of value to the show as well.

Liza and Josh have been stable as a couple this season. The first two seasons were about them constantly breaking up and getting back together. One moment Josh could handle Liza's secret. And the next, he couldn't. It had a whiplash quality to it that didn't make it surprising whenever they broke up or got back together. It always felt inevitable that they would keep dating. This season has been different. It started with Liza needing to make a choice between Josh and Charles. She chose Josh. She did so because her secret life kept her from being with Charles. But more importantly, Josh is all in on this relationship. He's committed to every single thing Liza asks of him. He knows how complicated her life is. And he's just there for her. It's been so sweet and simple watching them be healthy as the stable couple on the show. The rest of the characters have struggled to find love this year. Liza and Josh have it with each other. This season hasn't really had a whole lot of drama for them as a couple. They are just able to go to events together and have a fun time. It's a welcome development that shows actual growth.

And yet, is Liza and Josh's relationship suppose to last? They recognize that the age difference has led to a number of problems. It's made both of them question if they can build a lasting future with each other. Can a relationship like this stand the test of time? They've both accepted that they can't worry about the future. If they do, then that would signal the end for them as a couple. They just need to live in the moment and embrace the happiness and love they feel with each other. They've lived drastically different lives up to this point. And yet, they've really grown a lot simply by having the other person in their life. Liza was able to successfully rebuild her life after her divorce thanks to Josh. He has encouraged her to experience the world more fully. Meanwhile, Liza has shown Josh just how complicated the world can really be. She has the experience and maturity to open his eyes to something new. How they meet in the middle has led to a fun main coupling over the series so far. They've experienced a lot together. They've counted on each other. They love each other. There is no denying that even though a major complication is thrown their way in this episode.

A pregnancy scare startles both Liza and Josh. They've had the conversation before. Josh has had to accept a life without kids because Liza doesn't want anymore. She has Caitlin, who she lives more than anything else in the world. And yet, she knows all the struggles and complications that come from being a parent. Plus, this is a situation where her age is factor. She may be able to pass off as a 26 year old at work. But she's really 40. She feels like that chapter of her life is over. Medically speaking, she probably could have another child. It's possible if it's something she really wants. But she doesn't. Josh thought that he was fine with that. As he waits for the test results though, he's excited about the idea of being a dad. He never thought seriously about having kids before. And now, he loves Liza. He never wants this relationship to end. But now, they are coming to a major disagreement. Josh is filled with hope about having a picture perfect family with Liza. That is something he now wants. He thinks it can happen too. The universe is sending him signs that this could work. But to Liza, this seems like the issue that will ultimately drive them apart. She loves Josh as well but he's off imagining this whole life. It's a life that Liza doesn't want though despite how happy and perfect it seems.

All of this could be the thing that ends Liza and Josh for good. And now, it feels like a breakup could be permanent. This isn't like all of the other times. Right now, they've been going strong for awhile. They haven't had to deal with any drama that could cause them to fight. Their love has only grown. But this is a serious subject they now face. They've both stated their opinions. It will be incredibly difficult to change either of their minds. If that happens, the audience will ultimately feel like one of them is caving to something they don't want. That's not a quality to build a lasting relationship on. Liza is great with kids. When people see Liza and Josh together, they feel a sense of security and normalcy. They see a couple destined to follow the path that society lays out for them. In reality though, the situation is much more complicated than that. And Maggie is the only one who Liza can genuinely talk to about all of this. She'll get it but it's unclear if she'll know what Liza should do. And again, if all of this is building to a breakup, then that could open the door for Charles once more. This season has given Liza the space away from the love triangle angst to see if there is something real and lasting with Josh. This issue could end things between them. But of course, things wouldn't be any easier with Charles. He comes with a family as well. Sure, his daughters love Liza. But how could she accept them into her life without it seeming like she ripped Josh off in the end? So all in all, this is a very complicated time for Liza. Plus, the show really could explore any of these possible story directions moving forward.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Pigeons, Parrots and Storks" was written by Dottie Dartland Zicklin, Eric Zicklin & Grant Sloss and directed by Peter Lauer.
  • Kelsey lost Colin's book to another publishing house. But she still has to learn the difference between being his editor and being his girlfriend. She wants him to succeed but she can't just do all of the work for him either.
  • Kelsey is also fighting with Charles to get Millennial out there in the big book festivals. Charles only agrees when it's just a trip to the Hamptons. That's a clear victory for Kelsey and easily the premise of the next episode. It should be fun to see what she and Liza do with this opportunity.
  • Diane and her new man skipped a bunch of relationship steps and moved in together last week. She did so to prove her therapist wrong. But now, she has to learn how to open up to this new man who wants to be with her.
  • Diane really is opening herself up to new possibilities too. She never would have kept a pet parrot or decide to share her closet space before. But now, she does so willingly.
  • Liza's pregnancy scare means the episode checks in on Caitlin at college to remind the audience of the daughter she already has. She's fine but also keeping a man hidden from her mom. So again, parenting is tough.
  • Of course, Josh really handles himself well when he's interacting with Charles' daughter. That moment shows that he would make a great dad. That only adds to the uncertainty Liza is feeling because she is denying him of that.
  • A pregnancy test that syncs up with an app is a little weird. But the fact that it plays a video of puppies while one waits for the results was pretty amusing. Liza seemed to come around on it by the end.