the art of the scene

Younger Showrunner Darren Star Knows That Sex Scene Was a ‘Long Time Coming’

A scene from Younger.

“We can’t go back to how we were after this.”

After five unbearably long seasons of electric, age-appropriate sexual tension — which, yes, already culminated in a few smooches and many more amorous glances — Charles and Liza finally fulfilled their romantic destiny in Tuesday’s Younger episode, sleeping together for the first time in what was by all means a tender and thoughtful scene. (Sorry to all the Josh fans out there.) Alternating between the lovers reminiscing at a bar about the first time they laid eyes on each other and their bedroom romp, showrunner Darren Star told us that, frankly, it was about time “Charliza’s” relationship made it to the physical level. So why not jumpstart the episode with it?

“I felt like the connection happened at the end of the last episode. For the audience and also for us, as the writers, we didn’t want to spend any more time having the characters analyzing and discussing their relationship,” Star said. “We felt they had gone beyond that, and they finally had permission to be themselves with each other. They sit down, have a drink, and talk, but we wanted to get to the action quickly and not go through the motions step-by-step.”

In the writers’ room, choosing this nonlinear and “fairy stylized” approach was an easy decision, owing to the main inspiration that fueled the scene: George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez’s sex scene in their 1997 neo-noir Out of Sight. “Give the audience everything. The conversation, the physical intimacy, all at once,” Star said. “I think it implies, yes, that they had a really nice meeting and conversation at a bar, but we didn’t have to spend 15 minutes listening to that conversation.”

As for their level of intimacy, the writers were conscious about making Charles and Liza’s connection different from what we’ve seen with Liza and her younger boo, Josh, in the past. “I think they were very vulnerable with each other. This is something that was a long time coming, and they were really seeing each other as two adults,” Star said. “They were also enjoying the moment, like every other moment they’ve shared. It’s wonderful to frame it with a lot of intimacy of looking into each other’s eyes and looking at each other. It’s not only about physical intimacy.”

Just don’t be too overly confident with their future, though. Despite Charliza’s blissful stairway makeouts — HR alert! — and unbearably cute texts, Star cautions that Younger’s central theme will always be about Liza’s journey for fulfillment and self-discovery in the workplace. “In terms of relationships, it’s a long game. There’s two men in her life who have both been wonderful options for different reasons,” he teased. “This relationship is going to take a lot of twists and turns.”

Younger Showrunner Darren Star on Liza’s Big Sex Scene