Wednesday, July 31, 2019

REVIEW: 'Younger' - Kelsey and Charles Clash Over the Direction of Their New Partnership in 'Friends With Benefits'

TV Land's Younger - Episode 6.07 "Friends With Benefits"

Kelsey finds herself at odds with Charles. Liza has a flashback to her old life. Diana attends a family christening with Enzo and meets his ex.

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.

"Friends With Benefits" was written by Darren Star and directed by Todd Biermann

Growing pains were expected when it came to Millennial acquiring Mercury. It was played as a saving grace for both companies that would reunite this professional family. They could all be working together again. And yet, Kelsey is the one who has to carry the financial burden of this move. She may have only had to pay one dollar to buy Mercury. That was generous of Charles. And yet, she has to take stock of the properties Mercury has and the debt they have accumulated in a short amount of time. Charles' new office is full of boxes from a house he has had to sell. Sure, that property was put on the market as part of his divorce settlement with Pauline. But it also shows how his life continues to be influx. He continues to present with an aura of authority. Kelsey struggles telling him no. She is the publisher of this company though. The power dynamics have shifted. Charles is just an editor for a new brand that has been brought into the fold. Everyone has to get accustomed to the new power structure of the company. When Liza, Diana and Lauren are discussing the wording of the press release, the story has to be about female empowerment despite welcoming Charles back into the fray. It's a very delicate balance to strike because both Kelsey and Charles mean so much to this company and the overall publishing world. But again, it's Kelsey who is carrying all of the risks from this decision. As such, she needs to establish clear boundaries within the two brands. She needs to clarify the distinction between Millennial and Mercury so that the outside world can appreciate the books launched from within this portfolio. She has a strong hold of what Millennial's target audience is. Sure, she still went after novels that she now argues would be perfect for the Mercury brand - like The Third Leg. But she is still fighting for those novels that could provide a significant boost to the company she holds so dear. She is continuing to chase after the Audrey Colbert book. She knows it will be a big hit despite being so afraid of the author. She knows that this team of editors can create a wonderful team. Right now though, it's very intense because Charles and Zane are lashing out at Kelsey's executive decisions that make them feel insignificant in the entire process. They had a vision for Mercury. They had independence. And now, they are following new orders from someone who doesn't see the future direction of the company in the same way. They still have to respect Kelsey though. Charles understands that message. He is doing whatever it takes in order to make this a simple and smooth transition. He can still put his foot down when the time comes for it. But he is very open to collaboration. Meanwhile, Zane is the one who takes everything as a personal attack. He wasn't a cohesive member of the team back in the Empirical days. He may still struggle to work alongside everyone else now. That could be fascinating to continue seeing play out. The same should also be said of Charles potentially becoming an author. Liza and Kelsey respond very positively to the novel he wrote decades ago but never finished. He adamantly refuses to finish though. That's not something he wishes to revisit even though he recognizes everyone has at least one novel within them just waiting to be written. He has rejoined the creative side of the business this season. That may reignite his passion to finish this project. Of course, the book is also clearly being used as a parallel to the romantic choices presented to Liza, which is still a little annoying. Liza and Josh can remain friends without every interaction needing to be filled with sexual questions and teasing. It's also responsible of the show to establish that Liza and Charles do have a good thing going on right now. She isn't just expected to slip into the role that Pauline used to fill. They continue to forge their own paths together.