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S05.E04: The Talented Mr. Ridley

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Has Liza ever mentioned being a writer? I'm just confused about why so many people think she's going to write a book -- but maybe I missed something?

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She’s not a writer, but it’s a hell of a story and she edits for a living, so she certainly knows how. Lots of people who aren’t writers still become one when they have a noteworthy story. And the show is loosely based off a woman who pulled a Liza, then wrote a book about her experience. 

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I'd like to see Liza, Kelsey, and Diana take over Empirical and make it a raging success. Charles can retire to his country place and sulk for all I care. Romantically, I'd like to see all three women be at the start of a new relationship with men who are smart, emotionally mature, and in love with who the women actually are.

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2 hours ago, gesundheit said:

Has Liza ever mentioned being a writer? I'm just confused about why so many people think she's going to write a book -- but maybe I missed something?

Kind of.. when she was ghost writing that one book a couple seasons ago, she complained to Maggie that she wishes she had known about ghost writing for something to do when she was married and back in New Jersey. 

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There's also the dog book being a success because of Liza's editing. When the dog book writer got a little cocky about her dog idea being successful, Kelsey pointed out to her she was lucky to have a great editor. Kelsey reminded the girl that Liza rewrote the entire book and gave the book it's wit and irony.

I remembered the incident but looked up the details in that episode's thread. 

Edited by Stuffy
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I work in book publishing. Most people who work in editorial, marketing, publicity and even sales are usually competent writers, and usually after working in publishing for a while try their hands at writing. So that's not farfetched. Farfetched was the reaction to "not making payroll" - which was really weird. No one blinked? People would be freaking out. More likely they'd be late on paying authors royalties, but a big publisher can't get away with that either, for very long.  A realistic storyline would be Charles talking to a a bigger publisher about merging. But I guess without Crown of KIngs, they're not bringing a lot to the table.

I don't mind Charles being bitter and childish about Liza's big lie. If it goes on all season, it will get old, but I think it would be weird if he was fine with it? Also, Charles is hot, hot, hot and some of us find emotionally constipated men appealing. 

I love Josh-one of the things I most like about this series is Liza & Josh together, and her being able to do things like lie on the couch on a Saturday and just cuddle with Josh with his stoner friends in the room. You get older and all of sudden your weekends are spent doing errands and being responsible. I loved the escapism of her relationship with Josh. I also do think Josh is more emotionally aware than Charles. But as a book person-Josh said he does not read books-and even if he's a talented artist-if you love books enough to work in publishing it would be very, very hard to commit to someone who doesn't read books/understand any of your references.

i am hoping that they show some emotional growth for Charles, let us see him parent a bit, let us see him turn Empirical around. I agree he's a bit passive but I also think right now he is at his lowest point (getting divorced, company failing, falling out with Liza) so a good story arc will be him fighting back from that.

Diana Trout continues to be the BEST. "As you'll realize when you are old enough to rent a car....." I love her.  I love her new boyfriend. I just want her to be happy. Also, she looked really gorgeous in this episode.

Christian Borle-I didn't find his character that appealing. I didn't find stiffing the waitress to be particularly zany either. I hope he goes away soon. Unpopular opinion, I guess.

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1 hour ago, Heathrowe said:

A realistic storyline would be Charles talking to a a bigger publisher about merging. But I guess without Crown of KIngs, they're not bringing a lot to the table.

Empirical seems to have a decent backlist, though, as well as some solid employee talent. That's worth something even if there's no future for Empirical and/or Millennium. I think at one point a sale or merger was mentioned, but obviously it never happened. If the company finances are bad enough that Charles is thinking of stiffing his workers, he really has to start seriously considering selling, merging, or some sort of drastic bank loan. Otherwise he just looks inept, which I'm pretty sure the show isn't trying to do.

1 hour ago, Heathrowe said:

But as a book person-Josh said he does not read books-and even if he's a talented artist-if you love books enough to work in publishing it would be very, very hard to commit to someone who doesn't read books/understand any of your references.

I worked in book publishing in another life and have always been a massive reader. What disappointed me in the guys I dated wasn't not reading but them having contempt for it. ("Why do you read? It's a waste of time." Etc.) That was a deal breaker for me. Intellectual curiosity comes in many forms. In my experience, not sharing/understanding references has more to do with an age/cultural difference than if you read. For instance, I lived overseas for five years when I was growing up, and when we returned to the States, I hadn't a clue what was popular. I caught up somewhat, but when people my age mention something from that time, I often still have to shrug and say I don't know what they're talking about.

I don't think Liza and Josh are incompatible because he doesn't read; they're incompatible because he wants kids and she's done with that. They're also at vastly different stages in life even aside from the kid stuff, and sometimes that's hard to overcome.

1 hour ago, Heathrowe said:

Diana Trout continues to be the BEST. "As you'll realize when you are old enough to rent a car....." I love her.  I love her new boyfriend. I just want her to be happy. Also, she looked really gorgeous in this episode.

YES. YES. YES. YES. I can't wait for her to find about Liza not being 26 and not giving a rat's ass, because you know Diana Trout doesn't have time for that nonsense. She'll be ticked off she was fooled, but two minutes later she'll be asking Liza to confirm her lunch date, send her the marketing ideas for the new cookbook being published, and oh, yeah, find her some pens that come in royal blue ink, because blue/black doesn't match the office stationery and is she the only one who cares about stuff like this?!

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13 hours ago, Heathrowe said:

I don't mind Charles being bitter and childish about Liza's big lie. If it goes on all season, it will get old, but I think it would be weird if he was fine with it? Also, Charles is hot, hot, hot and some of us find emotionally constipated men appealing. 

Hahaha, I secretly agree with you on that, and despite not liking the direction the show has taken Charles I always tend to soften on him after a while just because he is so freaking HOT.  I'm still hopeful that once he straightens himself out he will become less constipated.  Perhaps he can have an awakening of sorts.  He would be even hotter!

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I’ve never found Charles hot but that’s just me.. to each their own. And I’ve never got the Liza and Charles ship. Just not into it and not because I was rooting so much for josh,I mean I like them better but I’m mostly meh on either of her choices when it comes to those two. I’ve just never really liked Charles. 

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I feel like the writers boxed themselves into a corner with the Liza/Josh breakup. Josh isn’t going to just decide not having kids is OK and Liza isn’t going to (or shouldn’t) suddenly say “Oh, I want to start a second family.” It was an easy way to write a breakup, but now there’s nothing for Josh to do. There were many other reasons they could have split up that they could get back to a relationship.

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2 hours ago, WhosThatGirl said:

I’ve never found Charles hot but that’s just me.. to each their own. And I’ve never got the Liza and Charles ship. Just not into it and not because I was rooting so much for josh,I mean I like them better but I’m mostly meh on either of her choices when it comes to those two. I’ve just never really liked Charles. 

 I don't find him hot either. I can't help it, I just see the Green Goblin when I look at him. If he was at all funny, charming, or charismatic, that might make a difference, but he's not so here we are, LOL.

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16 hours ago, chitowngirl said:

I feel like the writers boxed themselves into a corner with the Liza/Josh breakup. Josh isn’t going to just decide not having kids is OK and Liza isn’t going to (or shouldn’t) suddenly say “Oh, I want to start a second family.” It was an easy way to write a breakup, but now there’s nothing for Josh to do. There were many other reasons they could have split up that they could get back to a relationship.

I think you brought up a good point about the writers boxing themselves in with Liza/Josh, but I think there is a way it can still work out for them.  If Clare suddenly reappears with a baby she didn't let Josh know about, or he somehow unknowingly impregnates another woman that can take care of his need to have children.  When Josh married Clare I never thought it would work out between them, but even last season I thought she may end up pregnant, thus removing Josh's urgency to have kids with Liza.

Even as I say that I was never a Josh shipper.  I'm not a fan of age differences that big.  I tried it once and it wasn't for me.  To each his own, though.  And Josh is a great guy but as a character he is in my opinion a little dull.  Usually the one the heroine ends up with is the guy she can't have that she has always wanted and gives her that longing desire deep in the pit of her gut.  And Josh isn't that guy on this show, while Charles is.

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On 7/7/2018 at 1:28 PM, Heathrowe said:

Christian Borle-I didn't find his character that appealing. I didn't find stiffing the waitress to be particularly zany either. I hope he goes away soon. Unpopular opinion, I guess.

You're not alone. I generally like him, but he looked so short and I wasn't a fan of the goatee. 

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I feel like the writers have boxed themselves into corners regarding a lot of things with this show lately. The title of this show doesn’t make sense, the premise is pretty much completely gone.. 

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While I like both Josh and Charles, I am team Charles all the way. Especially since I went back to the beginning and watched all the episodes again while waiting for season 5. I picked up on a lot of things that I missed the first time around. Josh is hot and fun and he does love Liza. I think that Liza will always love Josh to a certain extent but to me the interaction of Charles and Liza getting to know each other and the build up of their feelings is just more realistic. Like their feelings are on a deeper level. Lots of people are hating on Charles right now. He is acting immature but he is extremely hurt. Age has nothing to do with it. He thought he knew her and now he doesn't know what to believe. But they shouldn't drag out the "Angry Charles" story line. They need to talk it out. Also I find it funny how many comments say that Charles is boring. Mostly what we see is Charles in his work environment. Where I would like this season to go from here is for Charles to come out of his shell, admit to everyone his feelings for Liza and become more focused on getting what he wants. Maybe show him on a more personal level and have the relationship between Liza and Charles really heat up. I think that Charles could really have a fun, way more likable side to him. He just needs unlock the door. I think Liza has the key :) And Damn he is so HOT!!

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12 hours ago, itsreal said:

Also I find it funny how many comments say that Charles is boring. Mostly what we see is Charles in his work environment. Where I would like this season to go from here is for Charles to come out of his shell, admit to everyone his feelings for Liza and become more focused on getting what he wants. Maybe show him on a more personal level and have the relationship between Liza and Charles really heat up. I think that Charles could really have a fun, way more likable side to him. He just needs unlock the door. I think Liza has the key :) And Damn he is so HOT!!

While I don't really like the way the show has written Charles I'm still hoping that he's like an onion, and that we haven't gotten more than a few layers down yet.  I have said that I thought that he had more depth than it looks like he does and that once he and Liza get together he may open up more and reveal a more interesting side of himself.  

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On 7/15/2018 at 2:01 AM, Yeah No said:

While I don't really like the way the show has written Charles I'm still hoping that he's like an onion, and that we haven't gotten more than a few layers down yet.  I have said that I thought that he had more depth than it looks like he does and that once he and Liza get together he may open up more and reveal a more interesting side of himself.  

Let's hope, because from what we've seen so far, his personality is seriously lacking. The man exhibits almost no charm, charisma, or sense of humor. The one time there was a spark of personality was when he was describing how the guy Liza was just dating (I forget his name) slipped a pork chop into his pocket. There was a glimmer of a personality in the way he described that scene.

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LOL, I guess we're not done with Charles' pointed remarks. Ugh, this will get old quickly. 

As a Smash fan and a Christian Borle fan, he was immediately a breath of fresh air. It was like having Zachary Levi on Mrs. Maisel. Who is this wonderful, new, and charming character? Let's spend time with him, please!

For a second, I almost thought they'd let Diana be the beautiful and charming great catch that she is. Figures the men swarming around her were gay. What is this show's deal with pretending Miriam Shor is so repulsive? I went back to revisit the episode with Enzo in season 3. I was right. He only last one episode. He was hooking up with Diana and then he moved to a different construction site and she broke the pipes to get him to come back but we never saw that on screen. So technically the writers can do what they want with how their relationship ended but it seems weird to suggest the Diana "disappeared over a year ago." She seemed into Enzo and I don't think Richard was on the scene until considerably later. The good thing is the writers didn't give him any insane quirks so I'm down with his characterization so far. Diana could use someone assertive who is genuinely into her. 

After what they did to poor Matthew Morrison, a pork chop in the pocket is nothing.

LOL, all of Don's pitches were hot topics... that people are already writing about. The writing team on Younger is so creative. XD

I get Charles' point about the potential money-making opportunities of Don's first tell-all being outweighed by the litigious nature of the wealthy and powerful but during the rest of the meeting, he was just being a dick. I feel like the writers don't realize how badly Charles is coming across. Taken with stuff from the previous seasons, it's starting to seem like Empirical is doing poorly not just because print/publishing is a dying industry but because Charles is a terrible boss/manager who makes unprofessional decisions based on his emotions. 

Sutton knows how to look like she's having fun but I think she was a little more genuinely happy at some moments being around Christian. Maybe that's just me. But I like to think they're still friends after the divorce.

It was nice to see that Liza didn't ditch Don because he's struggling to get by as a writer. I do feel like it's getting set up for him to potentially blackmail her with her secret but time will tell.

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I also don't sense that Liza has many misgivings for having split with Josh, although the show could possibly make her have some in the future, I just don't see it sticking.  She has had enough contact with him since the breakup, even attended his wedding and nothing so far makes it look like she's still holding much of any torch for him.  If she were she would have been throwing up at the wedding and declaring her love for him before it happened.

Another point along this vein is that since Ireland, I feel like she's been in mom mode. You could argue that she's being a friend but to me, she's had a very mom/caretaker vibe. She's always big spooning. 

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I wasn't implying that all powerful businessmen are devoid of personality, just that Darren Starr seems to think that's all a woman needs in order to swoon over the guy since both Mr Big and Charles seem to be nothing more than traditionally good looking men in suits with powerful jobs. Neither character seemed to be developed much beyond, "women will swoon because he's in a suit with a big important job". They are the male version of arm candy really. Pity, really, since I find both actors swoon worthy physically. It's just that both characters are such duds. I mean, this show managed to make Peter Hermann unattractive to me. That's an impressive feat. 

I think Big had a personality. He was a jerk. And even though it did a number on her, I think there was a part of Carrie that liked that. Charles has a personality, too. It's just that past all the romantic tropes and the longing looks of past seasons, it's not a very appealing one. I'm not quite sure the show realizes that. A different show like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would be able to see what they're doing by writing Charles this way. Before this he seemed sweet and thoughtful and we got scenes with his children and them bonding over books and a kind of easy, if conflicted flirtation. That's what launched the ships, not just that he's an attractive guy in a suit. But bringing in his ex and his reaction to Liza's secret has meant looking at all the other decisions he's made during the series and inevitably coming to the conclusion that he's pretty passive and doesn't seem great at his job. Maybe it would help if we saw him in scenes without Liza so he could be nice and charming to someone and we could remember why we liked him even if he can't bring himself to be polite to her right now.

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I wouldn’t mind Liza ending up single, I just don’t see that being the end(then again this is a case of almost all shows, isn’t it? Very rarely do characters end up alone). 

It's interesting. Maybe it's because I've taken long breaks from the series (since I stopped getting TVLand so I have to wait for hulu) but I've stopped seeing it as a rom-com. I know there's back and forth with Charles and Josh but the show feels much more like it's about navigating pretending to be a 20-something and working in publishing. So out of a lot of shows with female leads, I'm totally okay with her ending up single or with neither of these guys. I think it's more loaded for a show like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend or Sex in the City that's specifically about romantic relationships and dating. Liza has been torn up about Charles vs. Josh but she hasn't really been pining for a man. Even with The Mindy Project, she was much more desperate to be in a relationship. Liza has just kind of fallen into her romantic entanglements. If Josh and Charles hadn't happened into her life I could see her being totally happy enjoying being uncoupled for a while after her divorce. 

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I worked in book publishing in another life and have always been a massive reader. What disappointed me in the guys I dated wasn't not reading but them having contempt for it. ("Why do you read? It's a waste of time." Etc.) That was a deal breaker for me. Intellectual curiosity comes in many forms.

Ew. Yeah, I find that a turn off, too. Don't even get me started on guys who try to justify why they have terrible spelling or grammar and it shouldn't matter. I have a way of seeing the world. Not everyone enjoys curling up with a book. I get that. But do you keep up with news and current events in print or online? Do you enjoy going out to the theater or seeing movies and then thinking critically about them? Do you watch youtube video essays? I get that everyone has their own interests but to me being really into video games or anime is basically the same as being really into sports. For most people it's one-way consumption and it doesn't display intellectual curiosity that feels like something I can engage with. 

Josh has been game to go to her with the opera and work events but when she isn't paired with him, I've noticed the show putting her with guys like Don and Jay (Aasif Mandvhi) who seem to display that intellectual curiosity. You can compare her dating history to Kelsey who generally hooks up with relatively smart guys but only seems to exchange some banter and then have sex. 

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17 minutes ago, aradia22 said:

I think Big had a personality. He was a jerk.

Ha, I agree. He was a well-dressed jerk with fancy suits and a lot of money. I'm not sure which one of these things appealed to Carrie more. I never understood the appeal of him at all. I found him smarmy and standoffish so I couldn't understand why other people found him charming.

24 minutes ago, aradia22 said:

Liza has been torn up about Charles vs. Josh but she hasn't really been pining for a man. Even with The Mindy Project, she was much more desperate to be in a relationship. Liza has just kind of fallen into her romantic entanglements. If Josh and Charles hadn't happened into her life I could see her being totally happy enjoying being uncoupled for a while after her divorce. 

I always liked that the premise of the show was a woman dealing with life after a divorce, meaning how does she support herself and her daughter by getting a job after so many years when she was not working? I have met people like Liza who were stay at home moms and when they went back to work, they were flummoxed by all the changes in technology. Liza's primary goal/concern was never "find a man to support me." Her relationships with Josh and Charles were not because she was lonely and desperate to find a man, which is one of the things I love about the show. Yes, she is meeting guys and dating them, but there is much more to her life than that.

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Ha, I agree. He was a well-dressed jerk with fancy suits and a lot of money. I'm not sure which one of these things appealed to Carrie more. I never understood the appeal of him at all. I found him smarmy and standoffish so I couldn't understand why other people found him charming.

I mean, Chris Noth is attractive. There's that. I never watched SATC continuously, only on and off in reruns so it's possibly I would have found the character even worse if I watched the show properly. But I can kind of see it. I think Carrie is a very particular character that somehow got shifted in the cultural imagination as an everywoman. She's really not. She's a very specific person with her own quirks and hang ups. I don't necessarily dislike "bad" characters with damage or baggage getting together if they manage to make it work. Scarlett and Rhett in Gone With the Wind, Chuck and Blair on Gossip Girl... If the show understands the characters they've written, it can work. 

I think part of the problem with Younger is that Liza has done bad things but the show believes and I think can believably still sell her as mostly a good person. And Charles seems wishy-washy and emotionally stunted in his personal life and bad at his job but he's generally a good guy. But then you have to reckon with all the ways that them getting together could be harmful or toxic because otherwise you're putting two "good" characters into a situation that doesn't seem good or healthy for them. And it won't work if Charles is constantly calling her on her lying or we wonder why Liza is with him. 

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11 minutes ago, aradia22 said:

it won't work if Charles is constantly calling her on her lying or we wonder why Liza is with him. 

That was my problem with SATC - I couldn't understand Carrie putting up with Big's shitty behavior. Every time he did something crappy and she got upset, I was like GIRL, there are so many other guys in NYC who you could date - why this one? I mean, I was all in for the shoes and the clothes and the silliness, but Carrie's relationship with Big was a huge issue for me because of his behavior. And no matter how conventionally attractive someone is, their behavior can make them seem repulsive to me, which is probably why I never found Big appealing in any way (which is not a knock on Chris Noth, just the character).

I understood why Liza liked Charles earlier on (S1-S2) because they loved books so they talked about authors and novels, and he seemed genuinely kind to people (not just Liza). But later Charles seemed so different that if he had been portrayed that way from the beginning, I wouldn't understand Liza's interest in him.

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