This week, we begin a new series looking at the good, the bad and the obscure of on-demand viewing. Each week, we'll choose a series from various New Zealand streaming sites and determine whether they're worth watching.
It was 3am on a Saturday night and I was suffering severe insomnia thanks to a few too many espresso martinis. What else to do, other than grab my iPad and start trawling various on-demand services for something to watch.
I wanted something light and easy. Something that required minimal attention that would, hopefully, lull me back to sleep.
And so it happened that I stumbled upon Younger on Neon. A series I had heard so little about (it only screens online) that I assumed it must be terrible. Perfect.
But actually, the Darren Star-created series isn't nearly as bad as you might think. Set in New York City, it shares several similarities with Star's original hit series Sex and the City. It's bright, breezy and features an extensive designer wardrobe collection.
Unlike SaTC, it has characters that don't trigger an intense desire to punch someone.
Sutton Foster plays 40-year-old Liza, a New Jersey divorcee who is struggling to get back into the workforce after a 15-year absence. After a string of rejections in favour of younger, perkier applicants, Liza and her bestie formulate a plan. Why not pretend to be 14 years younger?
And so begins the story of
, following Liza as she begins a new life in Brooklyn, working alongside 'fellow' millennial Kelsey (Hilary Duff) and dating younger men.
The unlikely premise is saved by good writing and great supporting characters. Debi Mazar (Entourage) plays Liza's best friend Maggie, who bring a welcome vein of cynicism and maturity to the piece.
Duff is perky to the point of distraction to begin with, but soon settles down and becomes less clichéd as the series wears on.
Two weeks and two series on, Younger has proven itself immensely watchable. It has just enough plot to elevate it above your average sitcom offering but at just 20-minutes per episode, is light enough to binge without wasting an entire day. A guilt-free indulgence.
For fans of: Gossip Girl; Sex and the City
Better than: New Girl; Love
Not as good as: Mozart in the Jungle