Bleats

Younger Is The Latest Series To Reflect #MeToo On Screen, Reminding Us That The Next Year Of TV Will Probably Be Full Of Takes

Liza’s life is about to blow up all over again, but something tells us she won't go down without a fight.

Spoiler alert!

No, but really, if you haven’t seen the first episode of the latest season of Younger and you’re not keen on reading about all the juicy details – abort, abort, abort.

You have been warned.

It’s been an agonising wait for fans of Younger, who have patiently stood around while Season 5 was scripted, filmed, and then finally released into the big, wide, world for our binging pleasure.

Except, you know, Younger isn’t on Netflix… awkward.

While the premiere had plenty of hilarious Diana lines (of course) and Kelsey’s fashion was bold and fabulously-sleeved as always, the main theme of the first episode centred around Edward L.L. Moore’s sexist and inappropriate behaviour towards Liza and pretty much all the young women he’s ever come across throughout the series.

#Lizagate? #Lizatoo?

When Charles steps up to take action against an anonymous sexual harassment claim involving Moore, he puts Empirical’s new multi-book deal (inspired by Liza’s Princess Pam Pam cosplay) in jeopardy.

This leads a furious (and let’s face it, guilty as hell) Moore to do everything in his power to discredit every potential claim made against him.

Flashes of Weinstein.

Moore cajoles Charles into a face-to-face meeting and for some reason Charles agrees. That’s when things finally start to get interesting.

Just as we were prepared to settle in for a season of ‘it’s her word against mine’, Moore, the dirty bugger, reveals the surprise of the season – proof of Liza’s real age and identity, which he smugly hands over to a shocked Charles.

OH MAN, IT’S ON.

Naturally, Charles’s jaw hits the floor and the end credits start flashing just as we’re coming to terms with the brutal and unflinching way Moore revealed Liza’s big secret.

Damn, Younger. I haven’t been this hooked on a soap opera-esque ending since Passions!

So, while we were all hoping this season would focus on whether Liza would choose between Josh or Charles, it looks like we might have to wait a little longer. This season has a bigger fish to fry.

But I have questions…

Will the season focus on indirectly addressing #MeToo? Will it explore the ways a powerful man can blackmail others into staying quiet? Is Moore’s character a fictionalised Weinstein that will eventually be brought to justice?

Or is this just a lazy way for the creators of Younger to further the scandalous plotline between Charles and Liza?

Of all people to reveal Liza’s big secret, I’ll be honest, I never thought it would be L.L. Moore. None of us did, and that’s the beauty of the surprise.

It’s also nice to see something onscreen that reflects where we are right now as a society, especially with Weinstein recently pleading not guilty to multiple rape and sexual assault charges.

The Younger Season 5 premiere concept eventually makes for great viewing, but the moments leading up to the reveal feel really rushed and for the most part, unbelievable. Things would never go down that easily and quickly in real life.

Let’s hope the creators tread carefully as they broach this topic, and they move forward with respect and insight throughout the rest of the season.

After all this isn’t just about entertainment. It’s real, and there are women living with the consequences of #MeToo every day.

The Younger Season 5 Trailer Is Finally Here And It’s Team Charles All The Way

Umm, Josh who?

If you feel like you’ve been waiting years for the new Younger season to drop – you’re not alone.

It’s been so long that many of us die-hard fans have even re-watched the entire series two or three times over while eagerly awaiting a measly morsel of information about the next instalment in this ridiculously additive series.

But wait no more – the trailer for Season 5 is officially here and it’s deliciously perfect.

It’s the also the exact kind of steamy content that will keep us warm throughout the winter months.

Even though there’s lots of quick cuts, there’s actually a lot we can divulged from this epic and intense trailer including the fact that Josh is basically a complete non-event.

Instead, the focus is entirely on Charles… as it should be.

In classic Younger fashion it looks like there are love triangles galore (we’d expect nothing less).

Liza (Sutton Foster) appears to be dealing with Josh (Nico Tortorella), Charles (Peter Hermann), and third mystery guy.

Kelsey (Hilary Duff) has two hotties on the go at once (naturally, love you Kelsey).

Even Diana (Miriam Shor) has a new love interest, and she’s brought her power necklaces along for the sexy fun ride.

 Speaking of necklaces, can we talk about Liza’s Christmas lights jewellery for a second? What is going there?

The only reason I’ll forgive this fashion faux pas is that she makes up for it in that amazing power-suit at the end of the trailer.

Not to be mistaken with this power suit…

But back to the love interests.

Poor Josh seems to be teary-eyed and hittin’ the booze, so it’s probably safe to say his relationship with Clare (Phoebe Dynevor) is done and dusted. Shock horror! And we all thought those crazy kids would make it.

Even Maggie (Debbie Mazar) is getting her kiss on and smooching a mystery blonde – could this maybe turn out to be Pauline or possibly even Clare? I damn well hope so.

Whether Charles and Liza finally end up together, or she tells him her deep, dark secret remains to be seen but it looks like we’re getting close to some majorly steamy content here.

Charles also appears to have been holding back a few secrets of his own, telling his former wife Pauline that “I have to pretend so much in my life and I just can’t do it anymore.”

FASCINATING.

Maybe Lisa isn’t the only one with a major secret?

Only time will tell.

The series will be back on screens on June 5, so that’s less than a month.

We can do this, guys.

We can survive until then but only by watching the trailer on repeat again and again.

Aaaaaand go!

The Hollywood Reporter's Profile On Jeffrey Tambor Glosses Over The Real Issues While Attempting to Portray The Actor As The Victim Of An On-Set Coup

Jeffrey Tambor says his firing from Transparent was part of a larger scandal orchestrated by those who objected to a cisgender man playing a transgender woman.

There are plenty of comments to be made about The Hollywood Reporter’s most recent interview with Jeffrey Tambor.

None of them necessarily positive.

From the author going out of his way to mention that Tambor is the first accused member of the #metoo movement in Hollywood to actively speak out about the claims (like he somehow deserves a medal for summoning the courage), to the three-worded “Lines Got Blurred” headline quote, it was clear early on that this profile was always going to be in favour of Tambor no matter how careful the publication was in attempting to remain non-biased.

It’s not a short read. It is however a passive profile that doesn’t take pause to ask Tambor the tough questions.

It doesn’t force the actor to confront or consider responsibility for the situation he’s found himself in, instead it allows Tambor (who is sympathetically referred to as a “veteran” actor) to seek the reader’s sympathy by going as far as mentioning the tears Tambor sheds throughout the interview (amongst other things).

The author spends time describing the actor’s shaking hands and makes note of Tambor’s post-Transparent “fugue state”, which has led him to reading books on the subject of death and mourning as a way of bidding farewell to the character he was fired from playing.

With an opening paragraph that documents Tambor’s alleged sexual misconduct claims as something that “will surely go down as the darkest chapter of his four-decade career”, it’s clear we’re meant to feel empathy for a man struggling to come to terms with a recent series of unfortunate events…

Throughout the profile, Tambor says outright that he doesn’t want to delve into the two 10-hour inquiry sessions he had with Neftlix in light of the allegations, “… I responded to the questions. And that’s pretty much what I want to say about that”.

The author of the article doesn’t poke or prod, but allows the narrative of the piece to move onto the next topic of conversation: Tambor’s suggestion that the circumstances around his firing could be part of a larger conspiracy.

This shift in perspective acts as a distraction, pulling readers away from their focus on the actual sexual misconduct allegations as well as the victims’ experiences – instead providing Tambor with a platform to play the victim himself.

The article states:

“Faith Soloway, sister to showrunner Jill Soloway, allegedly emailed Tambor shortly after his firing alleging that the show was in a “coup.” The email, according to Tambor, read: “‘We are in a coup. You are f**king fantastic. You have changed the world. We have changed the world. We will get through this. Love, love, love, Faith.” An additional source confirmed the content of the email to THR. In addition, before he was fired, Jill Solloway wrote to Tambor in a text, “They have been after Maura [Tambor’s character] from the beginning.”

 

This portion of the profile then leans in to Tambor insinuating that not only was he in clear sights of those who wanted him out in the first place, but that his temper and on-set mood swings were caused by the stress of playing the transgender character of Maura.

“I drove myself and my castmates crazy,” he says. “Lines got blurred. I was difficult. I was mean. I yelled at Jill — she told me recently she was afraid of me. I yelled at the wonderful [executive producer] Bridget Bedard in front of everybody. I made her cry. And I apologized and everything, but still, I yelled at her. The assistant directors. I was rude to my assistant. I was moody. Sometimes I didn’t talk at all.

And this is where the reader says, ‘So what?’ You know? ‘You’re coming in from the Palisades, you drive in, you get a good paycheck, you get to play one of the best roles in the world. So. What.’” He stares down at his barely touched lunch, a grilled ham and cheese sandwich propping up a pile of french fries. “But I was scared, because I was a cisgender male playing Maura Pfefferman. And my whole thing was, ‘Am I doing it right? Am I doing it right? Am I doing it right?’ To the point that I worried myself to death.”

 

That the author of the articles presumes to know what the reader is thinking  isn’t just patronising, it’s also his way of telling us why we should care about Tambor and his mood swings.

But wait, there’s more.

While the overly sympathetic article makes a point of talking about all the time Tambor spends with his wife and young children (this is peppered throughout the piece but acts as a scene-setting tactic especially in the first paragraph and in the very last), it does nothing for Trace Lysette or Van Barnes (Tambor’s accusers) besides reducing their lives prior to Transparent to a mere few sentences that are aimed at painting a particular picture…

The (male) author sets the scene for Lysette by focusing on her looks, simultaneously objectifying her while focusing on her past as a stripper who once attempted suicide.

“A striking brunette with fair skin and aquamarine eyes, Lysette, who prefers not to disclose her age, grew up in Dayton, Ohio — she was the only male on her high school cheerleading team — then moved to New York City, where she began transitioning to female. She later found work at a Manhattan strip club, where she never let on to the clientele that she was transgender. After a bad breakup led to a suicide attempt — she slit her wrists on a side street walking home from the strip club one night — Lysette was admitted to Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric ward.”

 

Barnes doesn’t fare much better either as she’s described as having a reputation for “a raunchy sense of humor”, which somehow means she’s deserving of whatever sexual advances come her way, right?

““… she’s the dirtiest f**king talker in the world,” is how one staffer puts it — Tambor’s alleged offensive talk and occasional “butt pats” made Barnes increasingly uncomfortable.”

Lysette mentions the fact that she told multiple people of Tambor’s alleged assault, both on and off the show, yet nothing was done about it.

This is glossed over in favour of discussing the ways in which Solloway and Tambor had planned to make the fifth season of the show come together in light of all the on-set and off-set drama.

“Soloway suggested that, going forward, Tambor appear in the series only in flashback, as Mort Pfefferman, Maura’s pre-transition self. It was a not ideal but potentially workable concession to those who felt Tambor’s performance was an offensive example of “transface,” as some critics referred to it.”

At the end of the day, this entire article and the handling of the Tambor situation in general has been a great example of how not to approach accusations of sexual misconduct.

But is anyone really surprised? Are we shocked at the real lack of consequences?

After all, everything has worked out in Tambor’s favour.

He has a number of former cast-mates happy to defend him publicly and the debut of Season 5 of Arrested Development is just around the corner…

Sounds about right.

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