One of my favorite new TV shows this year is Younger, a TV Land dramedy starring Sutton Foster and Hillary Duff. Season two premieres tonight but if you haven’t started watching yet no worries you can stream season one and catch up. (Do it!)
Younger centers on Liza (Foster), a newly divorced forty-year-old mother looking to start over. She looks younger than she is and gets an even more youthful makeover from her BFF Maggie (Debbie Mazar). Now she looks like she’s in her mid-twenties and that assists her in landing a publishing assistant job. She meets and falls for a twenty-six year old tattoo artist named Josh (Nico Tortorella) and that helps make her new younger persona more believable. Liza strikes up a friendship with Kelsey (Duff) at work and Kelsey shows her the ropes and brings her into her posse of young twenty-somethings. Each week Liza struggles to navigate her new life and to keep her secret.
I watched all the episodes of Younger when they first aired on TV and recently streamed season one a second time with my teen. It’s such a fun show and explores issues like ageism, sexism, sexuality, workplace dynamics, and friendship. Plus, since Liza works in publishing there is lots of book talk for reader types like us. The series creator is Darren Starr of Sex and the City fame and you can definitely get a little of that vibe on Younger.
The series is based on Pamela Redmond Satran’s 2005 book of the same name, and after binge-watching the show I decided to listen to the audiobook to compare it.
The book has basically the same premise as the show, with some names and circumstances changed, such as our heroine called Alice instead of Liza. Alice gets the chance to reinvent her life after divorce. Her husband left her for a younger woman, her daughter is out of the country living her life, and Alice needs to move on and go after her own dreams.
It’s hard to find a job since she’s been out of the workforce for so long. Liza’s former publishing house (she left to raise her family) isn’t interested, but after her younger makeover she eventually lands a job there again. The book has a more Devil Wears Prada feel to it than the show, with Alice’s boss playing more of a villainous role. I like in the TV series that the boss is someone in a similar age and situation as Liza though Liza can’t let on.
The Josh-Alice romance is very sweet, and Josh seems a little more mature and career driven than TV-Josh. The friendships are stronger on the show though, and the side characters are more fleshed out. There is also more focus on the publishing job on the show.
The audiobook is a quick listen at just under 7 hours. Narrator Meghan Wolf does a fine job inhabiting Alice’s voice. If you love audiobooks I’d borrow this one to listen to but overall I think you’d enjoy it just as well in print.
This book is a rom-com that deals with very relatable issues and I’m glad the powers that be saw the book’s potential to be a successful TV series. I’m happy I got to check out the book to read the original story though I think that the adaptation really improves on the source material. How often can you say that, right?
Listen to an audiobook excerpt:
Watch the Younger Season 2 trailer: