A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Younger is a comedy about a middle-aged mom who pretends she's 26 to get a job in a society that favors youth. The jokes can border on rude at times -- there are references to hookup ads, pubic hair, intimate selfies, and the like, but they're on the light-and-quippy side. Classism and ageism are discussed; watching with younger viewers may spark interesting discussions on these topics. Characters drink wine, beer and cocktails in bars and talk about being drunk; one character asks another to split some drugs she's held onto for two decades. But for the most part, this smart, sweet comedy is a great choice for whole-family viewing with teens.
What's the story?
When Liza Miller (Sutton Foster)'s husband suddenly leaves her for another woman and she finds herself undesirable in the job marketplace, she pretends to be YOUNGER to land a job. That job? Assistant to temperamental book editor Diana Trout (Miriam Shor), who believes Liza is 26 and only a few years out of college. Liza has similarly fooled her colleagues, such as ambitious junior editor Kelsey Peters (Hilary Duff), and she has sexy 20-something tattoo artist Josh (Nico Tortorella) similarly mesmerized. Thankfully, she also has the help of her hipper best friend Maggie (Debi Mazar) to improve her ruse. But how long can Liza keep her real age under wraps?
Is it any good?
At first glance, this series sounds exactly like the kind of high-concept sitcom that went out of style decades ago. A comedy built around a middle-aged woman trying to pass as 26 for a job? That would fit right in to a night of canned laughs about a housewife who's secretly a witch or a man living with two women pretending to be gay. Yet Younger's smart, fresh writing breathes life into the gimmicky concept, turning what could be a stale comedy into a positively adorable wish-fulfillment fantasy for older viewers. Would you want to live your twenties over again? Could you? Watching Foster learn to navigate Twitter, office politics, and the advances of elaborately tattooed Brooklyn hipsters is both hilarious and pointed satire that points out something quite modern: In the age of Google, anyone can attempt to erase the generation gap with a few clever searches.
Younger has plenty to chew on for younger viewers too, as the show smartly skewers what one character calls "bearded cheesemongers and chicks who look like Macaulay Culkin." Moms and teen/20-something daughters in particular may enjoy watching this together -- and may have a lot to talk about once the credits roll.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the premise of Younger. Is it harder for older people to get hired? For both men and women? If so, why?
How would the plot of Younger change if it were set in a small city where everyone knows each other? How about if Liza were a man? A woman in her 60s?
For kids who love funny, self-reliant women
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