Thursday, April 15, 2021

REVIEW: 'Younger' - Liza Answers Charles' Proposal and Then Must Deal with the Fallout in 'A Decent Proposal'

Paramount+'s Younger - Episode 7.01 "A Decent Proposal"

As Diana sets out on her honeymoon, Liza considers Charles' proposal. Kelsey turns Quinn down, but some speed bumps in her personal and professional life make Kelsey doubt herself. Lauren's 30th is out of this world.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 Paramount+'s Younger.

"A Decent Proposal" was written by Darren Star and directed by Andrew Fleming

What do these characters want? That question has been central to the series throughout its entire run. It is constantly evolving. However, the show has always been consistent with its foundation. These characters can always return to a base level of understanding between them and within their work dynamics. That has been refreshing and comforting. It does limit the ambitions of the overall series a little bit. In fact, it was obvious long ago that the show loves toying with the audience's emotions. It has done so because it doesn't want to commit to one path for too long. It highlights the indecisiveness of its characters. Part of that comes from the framing of being about age and learning how to be a part of a professional world. These characters are no longer in their twenties though - or at least pretending to be. They have had a ton of professional success. Their relationships have matured as well. It has all been very welcome. Of course, it can always rebound to what was crucial for these dynamics at the start of the series. Liza remains torn between Charles and Josh essentially. It is much more complicated than that. However, the creative team still provides moments of heat between each pairing that helps inspire her next decision in life. It was annoying when the previous season ended on a cliffhanger instead of having Liza provide an answer to Charles' marriage proposal. She doesn't give an immediate answer here either. The premiere does start with them kissing as fireworks explode in the background. That offers the sense that their bond is as strong and romantic as ever before. Of course, it also set up the expectation that this would be the peak for them and the rest of the episode would be much more emotionally wrought. Sure, it's important to have these conversations about marriage and the future before actually making those commitments as a couple. Liza has come to realize that she doesn't need to put labels on her relationships. She doesn't need to be married to Charles in order to prove just how much she loves him and is committed to their future together. He is more traditional in that way. He still has a romantic notion towards marriage. It's something he wants because it's a sign of commitment. One that can't be broken. He is still technically married to Pauline as well. Liza has logistical concerns about what this potential decision would mean. She wants to be level-headed. She wants the support of their girls before rushing into this union. That seems very sensible. And then, she has a conversation with Josh. She apparently loves that they share a desire to always remain in each other's lives even though they don't want to define what their dynamic actually is. In fact, that has always played as blatant teasing. They could become a couple once more should one of them ever express a desire to do so. That always remains on the table. It's an option. That can be felt between them. Charles may want this commitment as proof that Liza doesn't want a future with Josh in that way. Everyone gets to act a little crazy and indecisive here. That quality may no longer have the cute charm it once did though. Again, Kelsey is gambling with a lot of money as she decides what her future looks like. She is potentially annoying a temperamental billionaire who can make life more complicated for her. Of course, Quinn's motives change depending on the needs of the plot. No one should be quick to forgive her. And yet, she also makes her presence known to Charles. That too may suggest that he is open to other relationships beyond what he has with Liza. That too is significant. The show has always highlighted the sexual energy that radiates throughout so many human interactions. It has been a champion of love. It has also provided total and complete respect to its characters. Life may be monotonous for some of them. Lauren freaks out by turning 30. She may even be turning into a mini Diana. That may be the path she's on. There is nothing wrong with that either. Diana is a symbol of a powerful woman who commands respect. It's aspirational. The show simply must commit to some of these paths now that this is the final season. Instead, one conversation not going how he wants is seemingly enough for Charles to walk away from Liza once more. It feels a little extreme. But it also highlights how her journey has been different and more personal than his. She sees an enlightened perspective. He isn't there yet. But again, that's only if the show commits to the two of them as end game. That would be a huge declaration that the story has been tentative about for a long time because it was more exciting to keep the love triangle alive for as long as possible.