Wednesday, July 17, 2019

REVIEW: 'Younger' - The Race for Authors Heats Up and Divides Millennial and Mercury in 'Stiff Competition'

TV Land's Younger - Episode 6.05 "Stiff Competition"

Liza and Charles use competition to spice up their relationship. Kelsey and Diane question Liza's loyalty. Josh reaps the perks of going viral.

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 next episode of TV Land's Younger.

"Stiff Competition" was written by Joe Murphy and directed by Peter Lauer

A little healthy competition is perfectly fine. When both sides perceive it as such, it can then be beneficial to both in the long run. However, the current story here is anything but healthy. It is a fierce competition for fiscal security and stability. Both Millennial and Mercury feel the pressure to find and develop new hits that will allow their business models to stay afloat. It is incredibly personal to the leadership at Millennial because they feel as if Charles and Zane are poaching their authors and going after the same books that they are interested in. For Mercury, it's purely a race for content. They need as many big names as possible and for them to release their books quickly in order to turn a profit. Charles has invested so much in this new venture. He is risking his entire livelihood on it. That does earn him some sympathy. Liza can see the other side of this competition. She knows that it's not personal or mean-spirited. Charles needs to be in the publishing industry and is risking it all to keep his dreams a reality. That is honorable. And yet, he has an entitled view on this competition as well. He sees it as personally benefiting him no matter what ultimately happens. Liza and Kelsey see it as their necks being on the line because they are holding the reins to this profitable company. They had the vision that made Millennial such a success. They have to keep that traction going. They have a board and executives to appease. They have to keep their authors happy to ensure they aren't tempted to shop their new projects to other outlets. They are constantly running around town trying to prevent a mass exodus. It is certainly a transition period because authors from the Empirical umbrella of the company may not feel that they fit in with the goals and mission statement of Millennial. That is perfectly reasonable. Plus, they already have relationships with Charles and Zane as the editors and publishers they trust. But again, Charles doesn't really see this as a competition where people should get worked up about what might happen. He is worried about financial ruin at the moment. That's how he earns sympathy from Liza. She doesn't tell anyone at Millennial that he is using his personal money in order to get Mercury off the ground. He is still on the hunt for an angel investor to prop up the business further because he and Zane are already burning through the money. They are spending a lot in the hopes of making a lot. And yet, Charles feels secure because he can always count on the family stake he still has in Millennial. It was his family's company after all. As such, he is still entitled to profits even though he is no longer working for the company. All of this may be a win-win for him. No matter where the books land it will be successful for him in his future. He trusts Liza and Kelsey at the helm of his father's company. He is striving to do something new that is solely his own. It is just creating so much tension in all of his relationships because he doesn't quite understand how personal it has gotten. It is really destructive. The current pace of competition is unsustainable as well. At some point soon, everything is going to crack. Sure, it's lazy and lame for the show to suggest that Liza yearns for something from Josh again simply because Charles comes to the apartment when Josh and Gemma are there. That insecurity he feels could be better fleshed out. But again, the show has to have fun with this current story while also ensuring that the consequences will be far-reaching and extreme. It seems well-equipped to do so. It just now needs to follow through on some of these ideas.