'It almost felt like a season finale rather than a premiere'
If you just finished the season 5 premiere of Younger and don’t know what to do with all those holy crap I can’t believe that just happened thoughts and feelings, we’re here to let you know we’re in the exact same place — oh, and to help.
Luckily, EW had the chance to catch up with the TVLand comedy’s star Sutton Foster (Liza) to find out how she felt about the #MeToo content and, of course, that HUGE reveal in the final moments. Consider this your official warning: SPOILERS AHEAD. Proceed at your own risk.
Season 5 kicks off with Liza back in New York City and ready to get back to work at book publishing house Empirical, where she’s greeted with the exciting news that the publisher’s biggest author Edward L.L. Moore is ready to announce a new prequel in his Crown of Kings series. Not so fast…
You’ll remember a couple of seasons back when the author made Liza dress up in a barely-there costume to appear as his character Pam Pam and then made some lewd comments? Well, apparently she wasn’t the only victim of his sleazy antics, and by episode’s end, Charles (Peter Hermann) has done the right thing and denounced the author.
“Between season 4 and season 5 the world changed,” says Foster. “[Creator] Darren Star and the writers were like, ‘L.L. Moore isn’t funny anymore,’ and when you look back at those episodes where he’s trying to give me his hotel key and flirting with me, it’s obvious we now had to hold this guy to task. Charles is put into the position of having to do the right thing, but at the cost of putting his company at major risk. He choses to do the right thing and I’m put in that position too, at first I’m saying ‘No, it’s okay’ and then realizing later on, ‘No, we have to do something.'”
Thanks to the show’s main premise — Liza posing as a twenty-something when actually in her forties — Younger is able to include varying experiences and perspectives with dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace over the years. In the premiere, Diana (Miriam Shor) shares her encounters, which, while sadly deemed commonplace 20 years ago, would be considered questionable (at the very least!) in 2018. “Back in the day we didn’t call it sexual harassment,” Diana tells Liza of the dirty innuendoes and male bragging she experienced. “We just called it business as usual.”
“It is cool to see the different perspectives from different generations on the show,” says Foster. The show inserts humor to keep the tone light, but Foster still believed it necessary they embrace such a prevalent issue. “I was proud of the writers for tackling this with strength and humor,” she adds. “It’s an opportunity for them to do the right thing and also create a lot of drama for the show. Then, with the huge reveal at the end of the episode, it almost felt like a season finale rather than a premiere!”
Ah, yes, that. After Charles steps up and postpones the publication of the Pam Pam Chronicles, L.L. Moore decides to discredit his accusers rather than admit any fault. With Liza among those bringing allegations against him, Moore comes to Charles with proof of Liza’s true age to discredit her. With that, the secret Liza has kept from her boss and love interest for four seasons is out!
“It takes Charles a bit of time to get his head around all of it,” says Foster. “Also, the company isn’t in a great place now, so any more negative attention drawn to it would not be a good thing, so he sort of holds it close to his chest for a little bit. It all plays out in a very interesting way.”
With more and more characters aware of the truth and the season just underway, it seems we’re in for a rollercoaster run of episodes that aren’t about to slow down. “Another major character finds out this season,” Foster teases. “Or you could say several more characters find out.”
While Charles’ revelation will undoubtedly confuse things further romantically for he and Liza, Foster’s enjoying the secret getting out. “I’m thrilled!” she says. “The more people that know the easier it is. The one regrettable thing, though, is that Liza doesn’t get to tell Charles; he finds out in this crazy way whereas she got to tell Josh (Nico Tortorella) and Kelsey (Hilary Duff). Still, it’s fun! Obviously I know what happens next, but I can’t wait for everyone else to find out.”
Younger airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on TVLand.