Thursday, April 29, 2021

REVIEW: 'Younger' - Liza and Kelsey Grow Excited by a New Endeavor and Clash With Empirical's Limitations in 'The F Word'

Paramount+'s Younger - Episode 7.06 "The F Word"

Liza and Kelsey start an underground event called Inkubator. Liza debates telling Charles about Quinn's true motives. Maggie's first class lands her an invite to dinner at the dean's.

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 next episode of Paramount+'s Younger.

"The F Word" was written by Sarah Choi and directed by Jennifer Arnold

The show has had its eyes on the future for these characters beyond their lives at Empirical before this final season started. This season has amplified that appeal though. The characters absolutely chose to remain in this environment because it's a known quantity for them. It feels like a family. They are loved in this place. They have the freedom to make big and bold moves. They operate with the certainty that they will be supported no matter what happens in these business decisions. This place has been comfortable for them for a long time. However, Liza and Kelsey are starting to see the confines of the new rebrand. Their vision for authors and books worth pursuing may no longer line up with the overall identity of Empirical. They don't see that at first. It has to be spelled out to them by Redmond. This company has undergone a lot of rebrands over the course of the series. It has never truly had consistency in that regard. But it also felt the need to change up in order to remain relevant in the publishing industry. The business was always at risk of financial ruin because of how the industry has changed in a modern world. Liza, Kelsey and Lauren have helped the business adapt to the times. The new owners of the company just want safe, reliable hits. They aren't looking to reinvent the formula. They only wish to invest in projects that are guaranteed to work. And so, the company pursues broad ideas. Ones that may actually reinforce problematic and systemic structures in the world that this company has sought to tear down in their past business decisions. That has become the norm though. Redmond sees the value in providing the female perspective in that lineup as well. That's not exciting to Liza and Kelsey though. They still have big ideas about how to innovate in this profession. They launch Inkubator in the hopes of finding unpublished authors with the raw talent to change the fundamental dynamics of the industry. They find one such book they immediately become passionate about. It's too much of a risk for the company though. Liza sees that when Charles voices his concerns. It's all about the business for him now. It's not about the creative. He is no longer reading novels to see what sparks excitement and passion. He wants something steady and reliable. Quinn isn't exactly giving him that. It's simply the illusion of that appeal. Instead, she is simply using him and his family in order to appear more appealing to voters when she makes her run for Governor. She is very cynical in that way. Liza is naive in believing that she has uncovered this massive betrayal and can rush in to save Charles in time. It's a romanticized notion of what this relationship once was. It's what she wants. It's a grand, sweeping love story. It's not playing out as such. Quinn always remains in control. She won't allow Liza to disrupt her plans. She knew she had to push back a little bit to secure a future with Charles. She has executed that plan. And now, Liza feels adrift. She is energized in her career. She doesn't have all the details planned out for the future. No one does. However, it seems certain to include a break away from Empirical. These personal connections have meant so much. The professional relationships didn't have to break just like the romantic ones did. This has been an eye-opening experience. It's very practical regarding the business logistics involved. The passion can still be found underground. That excitement is still real and genuine. Issues persist though. Everyone seemingly finds that out once they start digging deeper in the choices they've made. Maggie slept with her new boss' wife. Bringing Lauren along for a dinner does nothing to dampen down that infatuation. She is concerned about the peril this places her in when she is actually quite good as an artist in residence. Meanwhile, Josh fears that he waited too long to tell KT about Gemma. As such, that relationship is lost. This may have always been the inevitable outcome. It felt that way when she previously voiced her concerns about children. But again, it pivots around a mature conversation. The characters have grown despite how much of the foundation has remained the same. The audience can see that and appreciate it. It's comfortable. Bold creative decisions appear at the forefront of the narrative though. It plays as a final season story taking these characters away from what has been seen for seven years now. That's scary. It can also be rewarding as well. They simply must trust the choices they make and are completely committed to them despite the uncertainty that is sure to pop up immediately afterwards.