Wednesday, September 4, 2019

REVIEW: 'Younger' - Charles Makes Surprising Offers to Liza and Kelsey During Diana's Wedding in 'Forever'

TV Land's Younger - Episode 6.12 "Forever"

Liza struggles to balance without Kelsey. Kelsey strategizes with an unlikely ally. Diana and Charles both make moves for the future.

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 finale of TV Land's Younger.

"Forever" was written by Don Roos and directed by Peter Lauer

There is a distinct difference being Liza and Kelsey continually being indecisive and the show itself being indecisive. The former is a distinct character trait that makes both of them imperfect and thus compelling to watch. And yet, it has been frustrating this season to see the show repeat some well-worn tropes and formulas over again once more. There wasn't a whole lot of nuance added to the situation either. Sure, this was the season of big, notable changes. Kelsey became publisher and Liza's secret was exposed to the world. Neither of those actions were ultimately as big as they were built up to be. Liza's life hasn't changed in a dramatic way whatsoever. She has the freedom to enjoy her life once more because of the loving and trusting relationships she has built. There was no need for her to keep telling this lie at all. That may retroactively make the audience question some of the decisions she has made in the past. If she hasn't learned anything from this central journey, then what was its purpose overall? The show has long moved past using the secret as the core source of drama and tension. It only sparsely used it in the later seasons. It was still important though. But now, Liza seems just as indecisive as she has always been. Part of that is the narrative needing to keep Josh around as an active character. His bond with Liza is still his most well-defined relationship on the show. Sure, he has meaningful connections with many others. His interactions with Maggie, Kelsey and Lauren are important as well. But everything about him still ultimately revolves around whether or not he and Liza will get back together as a couple. Liza understands that she needs to move past these feelings if she has any hope of making things work with Charles. That blew up in her face in the previous episode with Josh having an ugly but emotional conversation with her. They agree that that shouldn't be the last conversation they ever have. They have the opportunity to end things on better terms here. It also represents the idea that they can both fondly look back at the past with love and appreciation while not yearning exactly for that once more. That is huge progress. It doesn't quite feel like it matches what the overall character arc for Liza has been this season though. This season mostly just propped her up as someone who still didn't know what she wanted. And now, the season ends with Charles proposing to her. That too is such a huge moment. But the show doesn't allow Liza to have a reaction to it. It's left as this big cliffhanger because Kelsey and Diana feel the need to interrupt them during that moment for their own big declarations. That's significant too. It just continues to lead with the feeling that these characters are forever making spur of the moment decisions without truly knowing what could happen in their lives. Nothing fundamentally changes. That is always reassuring to an extent. Kelsey is quickly back at Millennial even though she turned in her resignation letter. She was willing to get back into business with Quinn for her own company. She saw that as her chance to actually own what she works on. As such, Charles feels the pressure to top that offer. He does so because he sees Kelsey as family. That is an emotional and earned moment. It's him showing just how much she means to him on a personal level. But it also plays as nothing changing in this corporate structure despite Kelsey continuing to enjoy the success of this business. And that's also the action that sends her back to Zane with the clarity that she wants things to work out. It's just difficult to trust that as being truthful now because the audience has fooled us in the past. This finale may be a celebration of Diana and Enzo during their wedding. But it's mostly one defined by continued romantic melodrama that doesn't entirely make things easy for the characters or the audience. That's a little frustrating despite just how joyous some of these moments can actually be.