If you’re late to one of the most popular rom-coms on Showmax, Younger is the story of single-mom Liza Miller (Tony winner Sutton Foster, who was nominated for a Critics Choice Award this year for the role). Divorced at 40, she reboots her career and love-life by pretending to be in her late-twenties. Soon she has her dream career in publishing, but as her personal and professional lives become irreversibly intertwined, keeping her secret becomes increasingly difficult.
Things come to a head in season five, now first on Showmax, with Sutton and her co-star Peter Hermann (Charles) both warning during a recent fan Q&A that “all hell is about to break loose.”
Here are five reasons Younger is the romcom to keep you warm this winter.
It’s the new Sex and the City – but better
Younger has frequently been compared to Sex and The City: not just because both shows were created by Darren Star, but because they’re both New York-set series about dating and female friendship, featuring designer outfits. As The Daily Beast wrote, Younger is “the Sex and the City replacement we all craved… one of the best TV shows about dating since the days of Carrie Bradshaw.”
But Younger is more ambitious than Sex and the City, making the women’s workplace much more central, while poking fun at both millennial’s quirks and how ageist our society is, all while reminding audiences how lies are contagious. It’s also always topical: this season features a #metoo subplot that critiques earlier episodes of the show. As San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “As funny as it is, it’s actually more mature than the writing on Sex and the City.”
It puts the romance back into romantic-comedy
For much of the first four seasons, Liza’s been caught in a love triangle between the much-younger tattoo-artist Josh (The Following’s Nico Tortorella) and her boss Charles (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’s Peter Hermann), trying to decide between being age-inappropriate or work-inappropriate. TV.com called Younger “a breezy and sometimes surprisingly daring romantic comedy featuring one of the best – if not the best – love triangles on TV.”
But the show’s not just about Liza’s love life: this season Kelsey (Hilary Duff) is caught up in a love triangle of her own. The show’s also been praised for showing love from multiple perspectives: Kelsey’s best friend Lauren (Molly Bernard) is pansexual while Liza’s best friend Maggie (Debi Mazar) is lesbian. The Hollywood Reporter hailed the show’s portrayal of Lauren as “groundbreaking,” adding “The reminder that Lauren is sexually fluid is intentionally subtle. Though Lauren is exploring her sexuality, she doesn’t struggle with it — a representation of bisexual and pansexual characters that is rarely seen on TV.”
You’ll covet the clothing
Last year, Vulture hailed Younger as “one of the most fashionable shows on television… Any fan of TVLand’s Younger will be quick to tell you how utterly and completely fabulous the outfits are in every episode.“ This has been a mixed blessing for the cast. As Molly Bernard (Lauren) said during the recent fan Q&A, “I had about four pairs of shoes when I started working on Younger. I now have a rack that goes over my closet door – a 24 pair rack – and it’s not enough space. This show has ruined me – and my bank account.”
You’ll recognise your favourite authors in fictional form
The New Yorker recently called Younger “a Gossip Girl for the publishing industry – a glossy, winking take on a bounded universe of writers and editors and marketing campaigns.” Book clubs will have fun matching the show’s fictional authors to their real-life inspirations, from Candace Bushnell to George RR Martin to John Green. The likes of Jennifer Weiner and Erica Jong have also appeared as themselves on the show. Interestingly, The Marriage Vacation, a fictional book that has become a key plot-point, is now available to buy in real-life, having been published by Simon & Schuster under the show’s fictional Millennial imprint. As The New Yorker wrote, “The lines between Younger and the actual publishing industry feel pleasurably blurry.”
It’s one of the best reviewed series in the world
Younger has a rare 99% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, not to mention Critic’s Choice, People’s Choice, Teen Choice, and Women’s Image Network nominations. It keeps getting better too: season four was the highest-rated and most watched run yet, ranking as the number one original ad-supported cable sitcom among women 18-49 and women 25-54, according to Nielsen.
“Younger, one of my personal favourites, has been a huge hit with South African audiences, taking bingeing to all new levels season after season,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content: Africa. “It has released at the perfect time, while hubby is hooked to the soccer so I can indulge. Like Sex and the City, which is also on Showmax, it ticks all the romantic comedy boxes for the winter.”
The first four episodes of season five are now available, first on Showmax, followed by episodes 5-8 on 1 August 2018, with the last three episodes express from the US.