How the Lizzie McGuire reboot will be different from Hilary Duff’s role on Younger

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: Hilary Duff attends D23 Disney+ Showcase at Anaheim Convention Center on August 23, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: Hilary Duff attends D23 Disney+ Showcase at Anaheim Convention Center on August 23, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) /

Next year, Hilary Duff will be playing two 30-somethings in New York City. So, what’s the difference between Lizzie McGuire and Kelsey on Younger?

When news of the upcoming Disney+ reboot of Lizzie McGuire hit our feeds, an overwhelming outpouring of excitement knocked over America’s sweetheart Hilary Duff, and deservedly so. The one-time Disney Channel queen announced the reboot of the beloved classic series at the D23 Expo last month, but the similarities between Lizzie’s new life and Duff’s Younger character Kelsey were markedly uncanny.

In TV Land’s hit series Younger, which will air its seventh season next year, Duff plays Kelsey Peters, a near-30-year-old book editor at one of New York’s top publishing houses. When we pick up with Lizzie McGuire, she’s on the brink of turning 30 and working as an interior designer’s apprentice in the city, complete with a cozy life in Brooklyn with a hot shot chef boyfriend. On paper, Lizzie and Kelsey are cut from the same cloth, but what separates Duff’s on-screen alter egos?

Obviously, the comparisons between Lizzie McGuire and Younger aren’t unfounded, as the characters appear to be going through the same things and exist in super-similar worlds. But it’s wildly reductive to assume the characters are interchangeable with one another simply because they bear striking similarities and share a portrayer.

In short, don’t dismiss the Lizzie McGuire reboot because you think Hilary Duff has been playing some version of the character on Younger.

The greatest difference between Lizzie and Kelsey, without question, is that Kelsey doesn’t have a 13-year-old animated conscience rumbling about in her head, narrating her every foible and folly. That’s right, Duff has confirmed that animated Lizzie, everyone’s favorite little voice, will be back to drag Lizzie’s enemies and call herself out on her missteps. Perhaps if Kelsey had one of those, she could have avoided any number of public catastrophes she’s suffered over the years.

Hilary Duff in “Younger” Ep. 611 (Airs 8/28/19)
Hilary Duff in “Younger” Ep. 611 (Airs 8/28/19) /

But the most important difference between Lizzie and Kelsey starts with who they are in the most surface-level sense. Where Lizzie’s often riddled with insecurity and self-doubt, Kelsey rejects feelings of inadequacy and leads with much more confidence than Lizzie.

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In that regard, we’re in for the side of Duff we haven’t seen since the Disney Channel series signed off so long ago. No doubt, Lizzie has grown into the badass woman we knew she could be since her show-stopping turn as a popstar in Italy, but that girl who ran into her locker will always be in there.

Also, those unmistakable geographical parallels between Lizzie and Kelsey might not stick. Duff, who’s working on the reboot with original series creator Terri Minsky, revealed that Lizzie won’t last very long in New York City after a mild existential crisis on her 30th birthday. Turning the big 3-0 appears to be the catalyst for the reboot, which sends Lizzie into a tailspin about the direction of her life and on the move to Los Angeles. Kelsey wouldn’t let an anxiety-inducing birthday drive her out of town.

Finally, Younger isn’t so much concerned with Kelsey’s past as Lizzie McGuire will certainly be with its title character’s. Six seasons in and we haven’t so much as met Kelsey’s parents or confronted someone from her pre-Millennial days. But with a reboot, nostalgia is key. Because we have access to them, there will be references to (and maybe even appearances from) friends, enemies, family members, and memorable moments. Just don’t anticipate a Gordo reunion — yet.

Next. 5 burning questions for Younger Season 7. dark

If the initial announcement of the Lizzie McGuire reboot confused you with its similar setup to Duff’s other current TV character, don’t underestimate our girl Lizzie. Duff will be back next year, pulling double duty in both roles, reminding us why she’s the unproblematic queen of our dreams. Expect more headstrong ambition from Kelsey and an older, wise but still clumsy and self-conscious Lizzie. Let’s just hope she’s no longer an outfit repeater. Kelsey would never.

What do you hope to see from the reboot, and who from the original series do you want to make a guest appearance? Sound off in the comments!

Lizzie McGuire returns to Disney+ sometime next year. Younger returns for Season 7 on TV Land in 2020.