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Two Olds Text About Television Getting “Younger”

tuenight younger hillary duff sutton foster

Hilary Duff and Sutton Foster in Younger (Photo: TV Land)

Last week TV Land debuted Younger, a new TV series starring Sutton Foster as Liza Miller,  a 40-something woman pretending to be 26 to reenter the workforce. Naturally Karen and Margit had to have a text about this:

BLUE_MARGIT

 

I struggled through the pilot. I mean, I see the connection to Sex and the City in its superficiality (sorry fans of SATC).

PINK_KAREN

 

Awww, I loved SATC!

BLUE_MARGIT

 

I just found myself in a constant state of eye roll.

PINK_KAREN

 

SATC was so iconic in its style, thanks in part to Patricia Field’s costuming, and this does not have that (editor’s note: we learned later Field is doing Younger too!). This show feels like they are following fashion trends, not setting them. And SATC didn’t have the gimmicky storyline. Not that anyone wants an updated SATC out of this. Well, maybe Darren Star does!

BLUE_MARGIT

 

I mean Younger deals in stereotypes (like SATC!) with no wink wink irony — unlike, say, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which deals in rich character development and satirical over-the-top stereotypes to the extent that it’s a commentary on those stereotypes…But I’m biased.

PINK_KAREN

 

I’m already worried how long they can sustain Sutton Foster pretending to be 26.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

I just don’t get that she can have a lesbian friend who lives in Brooklyn and not know that people these days have tattoos!

PINK_KAREN

 

Yeah, half the moms I know at my daughter’s school have tattoos! I will say, we went to Brooklyn Bowl with friends last year to see a band, and when we left at midnight, there was a huge line out the door of people just starting their night. And THAT made me feel old.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Oh I can’t stand lines. I couldn’t in my 20s. Or maybe I could. It’s a blur.

PINK_KAREN

 

I was telling a friend about the locker room scene where Hilary Duff is horrified by Liza’s un-waxed lady parts, and she was like, “Hello? Our generation started the whole Brazilian trend!” Although I guess the joke is that we’re now all old and married and not waxing anymore because we’re not having the sex anymore. A different kind of ouch! (P.S. Also a joke they made about Miranda in the SATC movie. What were you saying about eye rolls?)

BLUE_MARGIT

 

What’s insulting is that they are trying to make Sutton’s character Liza kind of dumb and clueless because she left her career to raise a family. The whole notion that you have to forego years of work experience because you took time off is disturbing to me. But I think as Gen-Xers we’re in that weird middle — again — where we had terribly nonexistent flexible working arrangements in our 20s and now things are a wee bit easier? So she might have been able to not give it all up as a young mom?

PINK_KAREN

 

I think a lot of our peers did choose to stay at home after having kids. I remember being surprised at how many friends made that choice. I thought we’d all keep working full time — which I did for three years. But I have to say, part of what made it somewhat easier for me to stay was that I was in publishing, and had several very good examples of working moms who made it work.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

 Ah yes — well role models are everything.  Let’s just say for the record people in their 40s know what Gmail is; tattoos and certainly One Direction.

PINK_KAREN

 

I thought it was so lame that they made her favorite band One Direction. What 26-year-old in Williamsburg would say their favorite band is One D, and that Harry is their favorite? All the real 20-somethings would be like, “NARC!!!”

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Haha. Right!

PINK_KAREN

 

Narc is probably a really 40-something thing to say.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Ha! Totes. I did like it when the guy plugged his info in to her phone without asking. There is something foreign-feeling about the way people are insta-sharing information and photos and even payments (hello Venmo).

PINK_KAREN

 

I haven’t installed FB messenger because…bad…something I read on HuffPo.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Wait did I write sharing or shaving. My eyesight is so bad.

PINK_KAREN

 

 You wrote sharing. Get some reading glasses, girl!

BLUE_MARGIT

 

 I’m too far away from my screen and I need bifocals, er, “progressives.”

PINK_KAREN

 

Welcome to the club!

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Progressives. Everything is so softened these days. It’s not turbulence it’s rough air. Ok back to Younger

PINK_KAREN

 

Back to Younger. All the characters feel really one-dimensional. Like the 40-something boss.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Miriam Shor! I love Miriam Shor. The original Yitzak in Hedwig (again, see Editor’s Note!). But it’s suuuch a Devil Wears Prada rip-off.

PINK_KAREN

 

Definitely, but it’s not like those 20-somethings are working in an office of only 20-somethings as in Younger. That’s what’s so contrived about this. She interviews as a 40-something for two 20-somethings, but then pretends to be 26 and works for a 40-something boss.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Good point. We were talking about this earlier and I think it was Adrianna who said, “how would she have been the youngest person to make junior editor” and then not be able to regain some position?”

PINK_KAREN

 

My 40-something friends who never left the workplace are at the top of their fields and kicking ass.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

But once you get to your 40s you already have several lives and several jobs, in many cases.

PINK_KAREN

 

 Well, it looks like we’ll get some hint about that in a future episode where she runs into someone who recognizes her, played by Martha Plimpton, so that’s something to look forward to! Also, if she was the youngest editor at Random House at 25, and her daughter is 20, how long could she have worked in publishing in the first place??

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Lots of faulty plot lines. We have 20-something friends

PINK_KAREN

 

 And 50-something and 60-something friends.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Exactly. The world is much more patchwork.

PINK_KAREN

 

 I hate how Younger sets it up that the generations are at odds with each other. As if the Mommy Wars weren’t bad enough! But maybe that will change as the show progresses? Why does Sutton Foster always have to be in shows with these contrived set-ups? I had the same problem with Bunheads.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Sutton Foster is über talentedI prefer to watch her tap dance — I could watch that over and over.

PINK_KAREN

 

I loved her in Anything Goes! I was in Anything Goes in high school.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Awww – what was your role?

PINK_KAREN

 

I was just in the chorus. But I was Sharon in Finian’s Rainbow, and Babe in Pajama Game!

BLUE_MARGIT

 

DAMN girl. I took tap dancing classes. It was like the best class of my life. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard your own feet tapping out a fascinatin’ rhythm

PINK_KAREN

 

I can do a double time step. Those were the days. Sigh. So where were we?

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Well, I think we’ve exhausted the commentary on this pilot.

PINK_KAREN

 

But, seriously, did you really hate SATC?

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Did I say hate? I didn’t hate it. I know this is a crushing blow.

PINK_KAREN

 

You didn’t say hate.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

 I liked it, the dialogue irked me. It always felt so forced. I did like the clothes and the cityscapes.

PINK_KAREN

 

The brunch puns got pretty painful in the later years.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Exactly. I’m actually not really a sitcom person. It has to be REALLY good for me to watch. I have a whole dark period from just after college through the 90s where I didn’t watch TV for years.

PINK_KAREN

 

GASP. NO TV FOR YEARS????

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Yeah like the Seinfeld/Friends years. I was in a hole dating a guy who had no TV and mine only worked with a VCR.

PINK_KAREN

 

No wonder you like Kimmy Schmidt! You can relate!

BLUE_MARGIT

 

HAHA totally.

PINK_KAREN

 

Dude, no Seinfeld???

BLUE_MARGIT

 

I watched it eventually. Promise.

PINK_KAREN

 

Phew. I mean, we’re going to Miami tomorrow and I can assure you at some point, we’ll be driving and I’ll turn to Michael and say “Stay on Biscayne, don’t get off Biscayne!!”

BLUE_MARGIT

 

LOL. …. Ok I have no idea what that means.

PINK_KAREN

 

The episode where Jerry and Elaine go stay with his parents because his dad is getting an award from the condo association. Take the pen, Jerry! Take the pen! It writes upside down!

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Our friend Kat wanted to start a rumor that someone was developing Seinfeld the Musical. Which is like the most brilliant idea ever. She was like, “let’s just start talking about Seinfeld the Musical and see if people overhear us and think it’s a thing.

PINK_KAREN

 

#SeinfeldTheMusical

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Then I was like “But that’s a really good idea and we should develop it!” I mean isn’t it???

PINK_KAREN

 

You need to make that happen! By the way I’m watching Sutton tap dance in the background.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Yeah the one person in the world who never really watches Seinfeld makes a musical about it. Hilarious. Maybe we should randomly create a section of TueNight called Seinfeld the Musical and then you click it and there’s nothing there. Seems apropos.

PINK_KAREN

 

I’m going to go watch Sutton do Blow, Gabriel, Blow next.

BLUE_MARGIT

 

Later days, Budddddy.

6 Comments

  1. Pingback: Editor’s Note: Back, Jack Do it Again | Tue Night

  2. Monica Dennis
    Monica Dennis (@jigsawverbiage) says

    I have never heard of this show and I suspect it’s because it’s on TVLand, which I always forget about. But really I don’t have time to watch yet another show, anyway. So far you’ve managed to convince me that this would just annoy me. The fact that women over 40 would have to jump through any kind of hoops in the first place to get back to work is bad enough. But I do hope the show ends up being a commentary on this particular issue; maybe shed some light on SAHMs or working moms, or the fact that us “old” people are not exactly as far removed as some people would like to think we are. Haven’t even watched the show and I’m feeling insulted already. Maybe one day when I’m bored, I’ll check it out so I can see just how insulted I should be. Maybe, but I doubt it.

  3. Margit Detweiler

    I mean, riiiight Monica? It’s sort of worth watching on TVland – you can see it on demand on their website. I’d be curious to hear what you think after watching!

  4. You made me have to watch the Sutton Foster tap dancing – so good! I think a good story could be told about a virtual assistant/junior editor who works remotely and pretends to be a lot younger, which would be closer to how things work these days, but also could lead to some interesting catfishing-esque plot lines. Nothing Sutton Foster would ever want to be in because she’d be sitting at her kitchen table in sweats Skyping into meetings most of the time.
    Michelle

  5. Full disclosure: I’m Karen’s mom. That said, I Ioved reading this conversation and admit that my husband and I schedule late dinner so we can watch Seinfeld reruns while we eat. Just as funny now as then. I haven’t seen Younger but may be too old to appreciate it.

  6. Margit Detweiler

    Gail I think I need to follow your lead on the Seinfeld rerun dinner idea. It never gets old. Thanks for chiming in 🙂 And Michelle, the tap dancing is something else right? I like your catfish version too…

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