Hilary Duff and Sutton Foster’s new show Younger premiered tonight on TVLand with back-to-back episodes, and millennials need to rejoice. Duff’s first big television return since her glorious Lizzie McGuire days isn’t just good: it’s absolutely delightful. If the show’s 20-minute pilot is any indication, Younger is a brisk, bubbly, and snappy dramedy filled with solid acting, glitzy story lines, and one very hot man. While it’s not innovative or groundbreaking by any means, Younger is positioning itself to be the perfect Tuesday night guilty pleasure. And with Pretty Little Liars getting ridiculous AF, we’re in desperate need of a new show. (Warning: spoilers ahead!)
The first episode introduces us to 40-year-old Liza (Foster), who is recently divorced and struggling to find a job in publishing — an industry she dominated before leaving to raise her daughter for 15 years. After a ridiculously sexy and tattooed 26-year-old named Josh (Nico Tortorella) asks Liza out on a date — thinking she’s in her 20s — Liza’s friend Maggie (Debi Mazar) suggests that she lie about her age to get a job. And it works. Liza snags a gig assisting marketing HBIC/Dragon Lady Diana Trout (Miriam Shor) at a prestigious publishing firm and meets Kelsey Peters (Duff), a junior editor who takes Liza under her wing. Liza struggles in the beginning — she had to Bing-search how to set up a Twitter account for her first project — but she gains her footing and eventually pitches an idea that her boss steals. (It’s some serious bullshit, really.)
Meanwhile, Kelsey’s boyfriend Thad (Dan Amboyer) is a grade-A prick who makes her fetch him drinks while they’re at bars together. Kelsey gets defensive when Liza confronts her about this, explaining that she likes to “do things for her man.” GORDO WOULD NEVER DO THIS TO YOU, KELSEY.
We end the episode on a cliffhanger. Liza’s daughter Caitlin (Tessa Albertson) is studying abroad in Mumbai, but she’s ready to come home — which will certainly throw a wrench in Liza’s, “I’m 26 and know who Lena Dunham is!” shtick. Also, Liza is about to go on her date with Josh, so that’s exciting. Will they kiss? Discuss the fear of turning 30? Both? WAH!
Thankfully, all is resolved in the next episode. Caitlin has a change of heart and decides to stay in Mumbai because she meets a boy. Liza and Josh keep dating and are adorable as hell; however, when Liza runs into old friends and agrees to go on a date with a divorced 40-year-old, her cover is almost blown.
Back at work, Liza pitches an idea to get buzz around a veteran author’s latest book that her boss loves. Meanwhile, Kelsey is trying to sign a hot new writer to the agency, but isn’t having much luck. (Plus, her idiot boyfriend is mad she stayed at his place and didn’t have sex with him, as if that’s a damn requirement. Dump. Him. Please.)
We end with Liza running from her failed date with the divorcé and into the arms of Josh for a quick, mysterious kiss. It’s very Carrie Bradshaw, which makes sense given Daren Star (who created Sex and the City) is the brains behind Younger.
While you wait for the third episode next week, check out the five main things you need to know about Younger. (The big picture? Watch it.)
1. Foster really does look 26.
What does she eat? What does she DO? Art definitely imitates life in Foster’s case because she IRL looks super young. Her skin is flawless, and she looks like she could run a marathon faster than most 21-year-olds. Foster and Jennifer Lopez must start a “How to Defy the Laws of Physics” skincare line. We need their secrets.
2. Tortorella is an angel-carved human.
Tortorella’s face alone is motivation to watch Younger. The actor (who also stars on Fox’s The Following) is so beautiful, it’s scary. That hair! Those tattooed-covered biceps! The way he just says the word “sexy” and makes us feel a little bit pregnant! Even if Younger’s plot lines start to feel recycled, we’ll return every week to watch Josh sex up the screen and our lives. Yes ma’am.
3. Kelsey is who Lizzie McGuire would be at 25.
Ever wonder what Lizzie looks like grown up? Look no further than Duff’s Younger character. Lizzie has officially grown out of her awkward stage, got over Ethan Craft, and created the glamorous life we were hoping for. Somewhere, Kate Saunders is looking at her middle school cheer outfit and crying into a bowl of ice cream. Revenge is sweet.
4. This show could start important conversations about ageism.
Younger opens with two 20-somethings blatantly rejecting Liza for a job because of her age. This causes her to to lie about her age to get work, and even then she has to endure snarky comments from Kelsey about older women. Ageism is no joke — just ask Madonna. This show has created the perfect platform to discuss when people are going to stop thinking it’s cool to discriminate or judge people for their age.
5. Are 20-somethings really this vapid?
You know those 20-somethings who rejected Liza? Yeah, they were awful. In the middle of their interview with Liza, they started gabbing about social media platforms and debating if Tinder was more superior than Bang With Friends. It’s cringe-worthy, but could it be totally on point? The relationship between newer and older generations will certainly be a focus on Younger, and it’ll be interesting to see if the “hip kids” respect the seasoned ones. Kelsey isn’t off to a good start by calling Diana “pathetic” for lying about her age, but that’s what character development is for. Right?
What did you think of Younger? Sound off in the comments below.
Watch Duff and Foster give their younger selves advice.
[Photo Credit: TV Land]