THE SHOW "Younger"
WHEN | WHERE Premieres Tuesday night with two episodes 10-11 p.m. on TVLand (also on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr).
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Series star Sutton Foster's 40-year-old character Liza has a dilemma: "Do I really want to trade my dignity, wisdom and self-respect for another chance at my 20s?"More coverageMore TV show reviewsMORE FROM OUR CRITICVerne Gay's latest
Umm, there wouldn't be a show if she didn't. Foster, the "Bunheads" (and Broadway) delight, plays a woman starting over with no money (her ex gambled it away), no suburban Jersey house (ditto), no daughter to mother (the teen's studying in India) and no job. Really, what 25-year-old publishing exec wants to hire somebody almost her mother's age who's been "out of play" since before Facebook? I mean, eww.
But then a tattooed "dude" (Nico Tortorella) cozies up to Foster in a dark bar, and artsy older pal Debi Mazar imagines she can de-age Liza to match the stud's age. Can Foster pass for 26, get a starter job, advance fast with her "grown-up" smarts and still schmooze the dude? Hey, are vinyl records retro cool?
MY SAY This breezy single-camera dramedy from "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star should grab the same mom-and-daughter demos as his HBO fave. Shot in that same city, it's just as realistic (ahem), yet its wish fulfillment speaks soulfully. What grown-up doesn't want to look younger, bed a hardbody and rank smartest among her crew? Meanwhile, 26-year-olds get to envision it's fine after 30, even if future life futzes with your script.
The show's crisp, witty dialogue is mostly egalitarian among the ages, and everyone's great at working the words. (Can't be easy wrapping your tongue around "My fantasy is restarting my career, not macking on some sweet kid who would take tattoo needles to his eyes if he knew how old I was.") Even Foster's snotty young office BFF (Hilary Duff) and bitter boss (Miriam Shor) get humanized when next week's episode widens its focus to deliver them depth.