This isn’t your typical company picnic.
There was Asian slaw, potato sack races, not to be confused with just “sack races” and a showdown for the ages between Josh and Charles. Spoiler alert: Josh knocked Charles out on the first try. But to be fair, he didn’t retaliate because even he knows he deserved it. And also because he’s the boss of the company so he obviously took the higher road.
The matchup is one we’ve been waiting for ever since Liza kissed Charles in the Hamptons causing Josh to call of his deeply romantic proposal. And thanks to Kelsey’s idea of turning Josh’s tattoo’s into a coloring book, we finally got to see what would happen when the two were in the same room, racing for yet another common, slightly-less important goal – the title of Potato Sack King.
Basically, all the tension that’s been building up over the weeks was released when Josh’s gripped fist met Charles’ chiseled chin. How dare he right?! But more on that in a bit.
Liza has once again found herself caught up in a love triangle, but this time, it’s with Charles and his ex-wife Pauline. Here’s the problem: Pauline is nice. We sympathize with a woman who feels like she was being held prisoner in her relationship and who finally broke free and followed her dreams. That’s why we like Liza so much. These two have a lot in common, which I’m sure is why Charles is so attracted to Liza.
The series tries to humanize her by showing her with the kids, having her give Liza the grand tour and even sharing moments from their blissfully married life together, however all I see is a woman who is pretending she did nothing wrong. She could be making amends but instead, she’s expecting everything to be as it was before she walked out, leaving Charles heartbroken and raising their two daughters. She’s jealous of the alleged “new woman” in Charles’ life and instead of focusing on the book, presses Liza into revealing any gossip.
This obviously puts Liza in a very awkward position because she had to keep reminding her that she was her editor and they had to keep it professional. Not to mention she’s the other woman so she has to keep lying to this woman who she probably would have been really good friends with under any other circumstance.
And that’s not even the worst of her problems. Josh comes to the picnic unexpectedly with his Irish video-gamer/coder girlfriend Clare to schmooze (and by schmooze I mean punch) Charles, who is giving him a $10K advance for his tattoo coloring book. Millenials and their love of coloring. Seriously, if Empirical is just giving out these advances left and right, I can see why they’re having financial problems.
Josh’s life has been a sloppy mess of highs and lows since his split with Liza. First off, he takes Clare on a Mexican date and immediately regrets the decision when his night ends with a tub of Greek yogurt on his penis after receiving a jalapeno hand job. Props to the writers for still being able to insert the most hilarious of scenes into an episode filled with angst and rising tensions. Word to the wise – never touch anything sensitive after touching jalapenos. It almost always ends badly.
But all these so-called “girlfriends” are simply proof that he’s not over Liza. And no matter how much Clare tries to help him keep his composure during the meeting, Josh needed that revenge on Charles in order to even take the first step in moving on.
Color Kelsey more confused than anyone else on the show right now. She can’t understand why Josh would throw all that money away, not to mention a career opportunity, and then claim that it was “worth every penny.” Eventually, she pieces it together as Liza comes clean – she shared a “moment” with Charles that led to the messy breakup. I think Kelsey’s finally all caught up now, don’t you think.
She gives her friend some honest advice and from a girl who has mixed business with pleasure, Liza should listen: don’t sleep with the boss. If we thought lying about her age to date a younger man was messy, just imagine what sleeping with your boss while editing his ex’s book would do. Imagine if Pauline found out SHE was the other woman. She would ruin Charles! Part of me believes that she actually already speculates it after she found out that Liza watches the girls sometimes. I bet it was painful to find out your daughters, which you abandoned to “find yourself,” actually cared for another woman.
Liza seems to have figured out as much as #TeamCharles fans did – this relationship is infuriating and will most likely never happen. I’ll say it was probably a combination of Liza seeing her relationships blow up in her face publicly, realizing that there is a lot of unfinished business between Charles and Pauline and being scared for something real and substantial.
I feel like the series keeps wanting to stretch out the tensions but I guess for good reasons. In the heat of the moment, acting on their feelings seemed like a good idea but as reality literally hit them in the face, she sees there are too many obstacles, too many hoops and too much was at risk. Will Charles keep fighting for them in the face of these obstacles or will he let the chemistry fizzle out?
And when he finds out her real age, everything will surely change. I’m just wondering if it will finally be for the better? Will her truth set her free?
- Josh to Clare: “What are you looking up?” “Jalapeno dick.”
- Diana on Liza playing matchmaker: “You set him up with a girl and a job? Later, we have to have a talk about how not to be a doormat.”
- Really, everything about Diana this episode. She gets so little screen time but she makes every scene memorable, from her being honest with Pauline about never having sexual relations with Charles (hard to believe) to her eating a corn dog to her talking about sacks.
9 TV Shows We’re Sad to Leave Behind in 2021
2021 was a strange year in TV. The production of so many shows was sidetracked by the pandemic, but we still somehow made it to the finale. So with the end of the year coming up in a couple of weeks, it seems only fitting to give a proper send-off to 9 TV shows that we’re sad to leave behind in 2021. Some ended too early, while others ended at the perfect time, but all will be greatly missed.
1. Younger (Paramount+)
This past summer we said a tearful goodbye to the cast of Younger. Originally, its producer, Darren Star had unofficially ideated Season 7 as its final season, and then it came true. Thankfully, it’s available to stream, so you can repeatedly enjoy this show in its full glory. Younger is about Liza Miller, a 40-year-old woman who resorts to lying about her age in order to return to the workforce after raising her daughter. It’s an entertaining rom-com that highlights ageism and sexism in the workplace, while also beautifully capturing the importance of friendship.
2. Insecure (HBO Max)
Insecure is a dramedy that focuses on the Black narrative, particularly Black women and the unrealistic expectation of confidence. Issa Dee’s just trying to survive and thrive in her personal and professional life. However, in order to get there, she must learn to overcome her insecurities and flaws. With the help of her best friend Molly, the two take on life in Los Angeles together all while overcoming a period of liminality.
3. Dickinson (Apple TV+)
A fantastic comedy that puts a modern twist on the mid-1800s, Dickinson, is not what you’d expect. Hailee Steinfeld leads the series as the outspoken feminist Emily Dickinson, as she strives to become the infamous poet we know and praise today. You don’t have to be an English major to enjoy this one. As long as you love a good romance, fight against the patriarchy, and maybe a little Wiz Kalifa, you’re sure to find this 3 season show, delightful.
4. Feel Good (Netflix)
Mae Martin’s original comedy, Feel Good on Netflix is a much-needed LGBTQ+ representative show. The show is a short two seasons but they sure pack quite the punch. It centers on Mae, a standup comedian who swaps her drug addiction for love. During her time in England, Mae meets and falls in love with George, a baby queer. The show dissects the qualms of their relationship, all of course, with a healthy dose of humor.
5. Shrill (Hulu)
A young journalist struggles to jumpstart her career until she begins to write about her greatest insecurity–weight. Shrill shares the life of Annie Eaton as she learns to find confidence in being unapologetically herself. Navigating the world of romance and privilege, she runs into problems and makes countless mistakes. Its three-season run feels short, but once you make it to the end, you’ll feel appreciative of the journey.
6. Kim’s Convenience (Netflix)
Kim’s Convenience is a Canadian show about a Korean-Canadian family and their acclimation to both the Canadian culture and the evolving generation. An endearing comedy about the pressures and tension between the children of immigrants and their parents. Its five-season run was the perfect length, but we will surely miss this cast.
7. The Bold Type (Freeform)
The Bold Type is a show about three fearless friends who bond over their careers at Scarlet Magazine. It has hints of Sex and the City, but with a more diverse and feminist perspective. It’s a bit more drama than comedy and includes the typical search for love, self-identity, and everything in between. The show’s fluidity was affected by the pandemic but still managed to end on a sweet note in its fifth season.
8. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)
This NBC show was cut way too short, but thankfully Roku picked it up for a movie to tie up some loose ends. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist centers on a unique premise. Following a CT scan, Zoey starts hearing people’s inner song-alogues. The power initially seems useless and annoying, but she later learns to use it for the better.
9. Atypical (Netflix)
Atypical is a sweet family comedy about Sam, a teenager who falls on the autism spectrum. The show follows his quest to find independence, love, and the meaning of life. And while his family plays a large role in his life, his newfound autonomy especially puts his mother on a new life journey–one without the constant supervision of her son. It’s a family affair, and you’ll be sure to invest in every character and the family dynamic by the end.
Younger Series Finale Review – Look How Far We’ve Come (7×12)
There is no such thing as the perfect ending.
Inevitably, someone is going to be disappointed. It’s hard to fulfill everyone’s expectations as it is, but that becomes especially true during an episodes that is meant to provide closure to a beloved series of six years.
I both loved and hated the Younger series finale. As Maggie said, love and hate tend to go hand-in-hand; they’re two sides of the same coin.
The finale was an authentic wrap-up for each character’s journey with each of them getting their own version of a happy ending. We celebrated how far everyone has come from the pilot episode.
No one was sidelined or forgotten about, even if it did take 35 minutes into the episode for Josh to get any screen time.
Can I just say, the series should have always embraced a 45-minute format! Look how much we were able to accomplish.
I’ll break up my finale review by character, but I’ll start with the most important question, the one we’ve all been dying to know for seven seasons…
Team Charles or Team Josh?
The truth is, neither. The finale ended with Josh telling Liza “I’ve been right here, by your side all along,” which implied that Team Josh won out in the end, but it was also an ambiguous ending that allowed audiences to interpret it in whatever way they saw fit. Josh and Liza could’ve remained friends, they could’ve become friends with benefits, or they could’ve given things another shot.
The line was meant to imply that Liza was ignoring what was right in front of her this whole time, but how could she ignore a man she barely even saw?
The moment may have made Team Josh hearts swoon, but I felt a little cheated. Josh was an afterthought this whole season. He barely had any storylines, and he barely interacted with Liza at all. He popped in and out of every episode for a total of a few minutes just to keep up appearances. And he’s the one she supposedly ends up with?
Why couldn’t we see them find their way back to each other. Why couldn’t we get more scenes between them?
Though, I will give it to the writers for making things come full-circle as Liza and Josh found each other at the bar once again in the same way they did in the pilot.
Liza’s love story with Charles was a special one, but sadly, it was always doomed. Their relationship, for the most part, was based on a lie. Secrets defied their relationship.
While there was plenty of love between them, there also wasn’t a lot of trust. They would never be able to get past the feeling that the other wasn’t being forthcoming and truthful. And that wasn’t fair to either of them.
However, if Charles and Liza were always going to go their separate ways, why did the show keep pushing them together this season?
It was such a tease to see them finally get back together after he broke up with Quinn only to have them ripped apart again. We saw Charles’s girls happy to see Liza back with her dad only for it to end again. It seemed like a colossal waste of time for both the characters even if it was realistic in the sense that there’s always that one person we keep going back to.
Most of the season felt rushed and as though the writers couldn’t actually decide what they wanted to do with this relationship.
Everything was shaping up for them to end up together and then bam, the rug was pulled out from under us.
If they were never endgame, it would’ve simply been better to keep them apart without the whole airport scene and give some of that screen time to Team Josh.
Though things didn’t pan out romantically between Liza and Charles, they were a necessary part of each other’s lives.
Liza reminded Charles why he got into publishing in the first place and pushed him to finish his novel, which was accepted into that YATO, a prestigious writer’s colony. He, in turn, named her Editor-in-Chief of Empirical, and I couldn’t think of anyone better for the job.
Liza started out as a woman lying about her age because she couldn’t get a job to running one of the most respected publishing house’s in New York.
And though they parted way amicably and will always remain friends, they also parted ways without actually growing much from the relationship — he remained insecure as ever and she continued to be painted as a liar.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again — Liza’s story was always one of forging her own path as an independent and badass woman. It was about finding herself after giving up her career to raise a child, owning her womanhood, her work ethic, finding her voice, becoming confident, her love of books, so it’s fitting that it ended with Liza putting herself first and getting the dream job.
What more could a woman ask for?
Okay, fine, maybe Liza should’ve reserved the rights to her story and turned it into a book, but the least they could’ve done is invested in the musical put on by Redmond’s boyfriend. She was the sole inspiration of Scamalot… and it was brilliant!
Kelsey’s story was set up for a potential spinoff, and it’s a spinoff that I’m hoping gets greenlit. Kelsey came up with a brilliant idea with Inkubator, but it wasn’t meant for Empirical. The company, and Charles, took a chance on her right out of college, but Kelsey’s time with Empirical had run its course. And she knew that. That’s why this time, she took a chance on herself and left even before she got the funding for her company.
Well, she did have some interest, but she shot those offers down immediately when she realized Rob was using her as a business transaction. Hey, Claire did try to warn her. Kelsey and Claire also made up, and I’m here for the female empowerment. They are both too good to be fighting over some worthless, misogynistic man.
Eventually, Kelsey’s persistence paid off because Hello Sunshine, Reese Witherspoon’s female-positive media company, invested in Inkubator, and Kels announced she was moving to Los Angeles (likely because Hilary Duff wants to be closer to her family in real life!). I wonder if this means that Hello Sunshine has picked up the Kelsey-focused spinoff? Wouldn’t that be the perfect TV-meets-real world situation?
The best part about Kelsey’s story arc is that she finally made it as an independent woman. She never needed a man, but she always relied on them (bad men, might I add) as a crutch. This was her moment and she’s owning it by herself and for herself! There’s a beauty in her maturity!
Six seasons and they couldn’t give Josh a last name?! As I mentioned, Josh didn’t get much screen time in the finale even though he was the “chosen” one, but we did find out that he bought the apartment building that housed Kelsey and Lauren’s place along with Inkburg.
I never knew Josh was that loaded, but I guess being a highly sought after tattoo artist likely pays well? I’m not sure. All I know is that Josh started off the series with roomies and ended up as a property owner, so good for him.
In the words of Rihanna, Maggie found love in a hopeless place. And while happiness looks good on Maggie, I’m slightly disappointed it was with the woman who was petty enough to ruin her career. Sure, she revived it as a make-good, but it just seems like Maggie could do better than Cass, who will always be a malicious woman with deep insecurities about herself.
Maggie, unlike Kels, has always been independent, and never needed to rely on anyone to help her career.
Lauren is the only person who can take something that would’ve normally been a roadblock for and turn it into a whole opportunity. She’s always been authentically herself, so pining after some heterosexual dude because her parents wanted her to settle down just wasn’t her speed. But when Max explained that she encouraged him to be himself and introduced her to his male fiancee, it all suddenly fell into place. Lauren propositioned the both of them, and well, you don’t have to ask yourself WWLD (What Would Lauren Do) because you already know!
In the end, the series has always been about the friendships you make along the way, and that’s exactly how it ended — with Liza, Maggie, Kelsey, Lauren, and Josh enjoying each other’s company while navigating this messy and unpredictable thing called life.
What did you think of the series finale? Are you happy with how it ended?
Younger Review – I Didn’t Get on the Plane (7×11)
The penultimate episode is setting up Younger for a happy ending, but will all the drama this season be worth it?
I’ll start with the positives — though I knew exactly how the episode would end, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
There was such a thrill in seeing Liza come to terms with the fact that she had to let him go while also trying to see if there was anything left between them.
And there was! When she handed him back the passport, there was plenty of tension and so much left unsaid. Charles’s feelings for her were obvious by the way his eyes lit up when she appeared at the airport. That’s the one and only thing Pauline was right about.
However, the predictability was also what made me so upset with the episode.
Younger has never been a cliche or predictable series, so having Charles realize that he has feelings for Liza moments before boarding a plane with another woman felt like cheap storytelling.
Was it romantic? Sure. It always is. That’s why near-miss airport scenes have been the backdrop for so many rom-coms, but we don’t watch Younger for a re-enactment of the classic Ross and Rachel scene in the Friends finale. We know the formula, and there’s nothing exciting about it.
There is something to be said about the writing as it managed to do what I thought was impossible and bring the focus back to Liza and Charles, but again, that’s where the focus should’ve been this whole time.
Audiences didn’t want to see this mess with Quinn dragged on, we wanted the final season to explore Charles and Liza’s blossoming relationship.
Not to mention, their reunion makes the whole season unnecessary and pointless as it unravels everything that’s happened over the course of 11 episodes with one big and predictable gesture.
Why put them through all that drama if we were always going to end up back at square one?
For the last few seasons, I’ve been Team Charles and wanted nothing more than to see them end up together, but after everything he put Liza through this season, I’m just not feeling the romance.
And as I said in previous reviews, I would’ve preferred an ending where she chose herself.
Some fans have questioned why I’m so hard on Charles and not on Liza despite the fact that she slept with the first pretty boy she laid eyes on post-split, but there’s a difference between getting under someone else casually to move on and pursuing a brand new relationship with your exes sworn enemy and proceeding to flaunt it in her face.
Charles knew better and did it anyway because he could. Liza didn’t deserve any of it, and yet, she was ready to let him go and be happy because she loved him that much.
Now, that’s not to say that Liza hasn’t had her fair of indecisive moments in the past that led Charles to question whether she was truly in it for the long haul, but even so, he should’ve been open to a conversation and let her explain why she wasn’t interested in getting married again.
This time, Liza was his and only his, and he let his insecurities get in the way of a damn good thing.
The silver lining is that he realized how stupid he was before he made any actual commitments to Quinn.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Charles shock when the real Quinn came out. As she barked orders at him and belittled him for forgetting his passport (who doesn’t double-check before a flight?!), he realized that this was absolutely not the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life or even the next hour with.
It’s further proof that this whole time, Quinn was putting on an act. She may have been in love with the idea of Charles, but she didn’t love Charles. And I’m convinced that a part of her also enjoyed flaunting the romance in Liza’s face.
And believe it or not, she is the villain in this story as it all boils down to Inkubator!
Buying Inkubator would allow Quinn to get revenge on both Charles and Liza. Not only would she be able to take it away from Empirical, and thus, Charles, but it would also make her Liza’s boss, which means she’d essentially own her.
The storyline would’ve been promising in any other season, but with one episode left, I don’t really want to see Liza and Kelsey’s company get bought up by someone who doesn’t have its best interest at heart, nor do I want their unique concept to be ripped off by publishing vultures.
Kelsey should’ve listened to her gut about sending the proposal to one of Rob’s VC’s.
He wanted to help her get the best price, but clearly the subject line “for your eyes only” means “forward this to everyone you know.”
I really hope that everything works out for them in the end because Liza and Kelsey deserve it.
They’ve worked too hard on the concept to get ripped off.
And let this be a lesson to Kelsey about keeping her ideas under wraps and only showing them to the people she absolutely trusts. Kelsey would’ve been better off researching a few investors herself and pitching them directly.
As for Rob, he doesn’t seem to be worth all the trouble.
As I said, he may have wanted to help, but in general, he’s just been causing chaos in her life both personally and professionally.
In addition to the whole Inkubator debacle that we know is coming in the series finale, Rob also caused a rift between Kelsey and Claire, which meant that she had to move out of Josh’s place.
I guess it was the little push Kelsey needed to get out on her own.
Except that she’s not actually on her own and can’t even afford to get her own place without Charles’s offer. For now, she’s relying on Rob’s kindness and living in his model apartment, which could make things super difficult and awkward if she decides to break up with him.
Then there’s Lauren’s love life, and well, it seems like she’s going to end up with her ex Max.
Now, all I want is for Lauren to find her soulmate and be happy, but I just can’t get down with her ending up with a regular dude like Max. I know opposites attract and he could be the one to level Lauren’s eccentric nature, but I don’t want Lauren’s spirit to ever be dimmed.
She needs someone just as wild and free-spirited as she is; she doesn’t need to settle down with a “nice boy” as her parents suggested.
And don’t let that steamy sex scene that ended up being just a dream fool you. Though, it was great!
I’ll admit a part of me is still rooting for Lauren and Maggie.
As we near the end, the series wanted to bring some familiar faces, but I’m willing to bet that Pauline was not the familiar face we all wanted to see. Diana, where you at, girl?
I know her appearances were limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic and prior commitments, but really… Pauline?
The whole storyline was so juvenile. She tried to make amends with Liza and thought she contributed to her breakup with Charles. Can someone please help Pauline realize that she’s not that important?
Pauline’s plan wasn’t effective in the way she hoped it would be, but it did help Charles see Quinn’s true colors, so I guess that counts for something.
There were moments where her meddling was slightly comical, but she came out of the blue and inserted herself for absolutely no reason and against Liza’s wishes.
And once again, my issue with Josh’s lack of screentime stands. Pauline got more screentime in the 25-minute episode than Josh did all season.
The only thing I did enjoy was how protective he was over Kelsey when he gave Rob a stern warning about “being a little more careful” with her heart than he was with Claire’s.
Josh has every right to call out Rob since he’s now involved with two of the women that he loves.
What did you think of the penultimate episode? Do you think Charles should be forgiven and taken back with open arms?
Will you be happy with Liza and Charles as endgame?
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