Wednesday, June 12, 2019

REVIEW: 'Younger' - Kelsey Struggles with the New Pressures of Being the Publisher for the Entire Company in 'Big Day'

TV Land's Younger - Episode 6.01 "Big Day"

Kelsey makes her debut as publisher, quickly realizing that the company is in trouble. The new regime - and a revelation about Liza - sends Diana into crisis. Josh finds out the paternity of Clare's baby.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of TV Land's Younger.

"Big Day" was written by Dottie Dartland Zicklin & Eric Zicklin and directed by Steven Tsuchida

The fifth season of Younger concluded with more change than ever before. That was a refreshing quality after so many years of maintaining the status quo. So now, Kelsey is the publisher for the entire company. Charles has essentially been pushed out of his family business. It's a very exciting place to start the new season. Of course, this premiere mostly wants to reassure the audience that not too much will change in the early going. We can still expect Liza's core secret to be maintained for a little while longer. That's still very annoying. It has been unnecessary for a long time. Quinn Tyler even promised to help the company handle the publicity around that secret coming out. She saw it as an opportunity to talk about ageism in the publishing industry. However, that plan is put on the back burner because the tabloids are running a story about Charles being forced out because of an affair with a 28-year-old assistant. That's the more pressing concern for the company. It means that Charles and Liza are outed as a couple here. In fact, they are already comfortable in their love as well. Sure, it's a little odd to see Charles in Liza's apartment interacting with Maggie. However, it's exciting too. Of course, it won't be long until he goes stir crazy over not having a purpose in his life. He gave up everything in order to be with Liza. He knew he was leaving his family company in capable hands. And yet, Kelsey feels that she has been handed a mess that will only explode in her face. She feels like the sacrificial lamb who can receive all the blame once the company inevitably goes under. Now, Empirical's financial problems are nothing new to the audience. The show has been very hit-or-miss when it comes to addressing those concerns too. They are pressing and could be destructive from time to time. However, there has never been any real cause for concern. The audience always had the safe assumption that some miracle would come along to keep the publisher in business. That may have been Charles' expertise behind the scenes though. Now, it's Kelsey's responsibility to keep the business running. That's a lot of pressure for her. So even though it's a very familiar story, there is the hope that it will have an exciting and new execution now because a new character has to deal with it. However, the audience still probably thinks it's safe to assume the company will survive no matter what. Right now, it's more intriguing to see the tease of Charles and Zane possibly going into business together. That should be an interesting thread worth pulling in the near future. But the true heart of this premiere comes when Liza, Kelsey and Diana are singing Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" together. Diana is in crisis because she feels like she too could be forced out at any moment. She believes she's being replaced by the younger generation even though she doesn't believe they have the skills to succeed with this business. She wants to be somewhere where she'll be valued. And yet, she is valued by Liza and Kelsey. That's important to see. The workplace needs to remain stable for the moment even though Kelsey has some difficult decisions to make. Elsewhere, the show confirms that Clare really is pregnant with Josh's baby. That story is mostly exciting because of the prospect of Josh becoming a father and not from the sudden return of Clare. She was never all that great as a love interest. It was lame when she suddenly reappeared in the finale. And now, there is the sense that she could be around longterm. But Josh will at least have the continued support of his friends as he navigates this massive chance to his life.