Movie Reviews

Is Netflix’s ‘Ginny and Georgia’ (2021) Worth the Watch?

Ginny and Georgia Review

Premiering in February 2021, Ginny and Georgia was on the front page of Netflix. The clip Netflix played for the preview had one of the titular characters, Georgia, directly comparing her and her daughter, Ginny, to the Gilmore Girls. As a fan of the early 2000s Gilmore Girls as well as the Netflix reboot, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, I added this new show to my list. It wasn’t until this year that I eventually got around to watching it. Spoiler alert: it is nothing like Gilmore Girls.

The official Netflix summary reads, “Free-spirited Georgia and her two kids, Ginny and Austin, move north in search of a fresh start but find that the road to new beginnings can be bumpy.” At first glance, I could see the comparisons to Gilmore Girls. Both take place in New England and both follow a single mother. That is where the similarities end. Ginny and Georgia has one ten-episode season out with a second on the way. The first season is filled with over-sexualizing minors, crime, and fighting. 

—-Spoilers Ahead!—

There is a lot to unpack about season 1:

Ginny :

The first thing that stands out when you start watching the show is the teenage daughter’s (Ginny) poor attitude. If her character had developed through the season and had been given a redemption arc, then it would have been bearable. However, Ginny’s behavior consistently gets worse the longer your watch. She lies to her mother, participates in underage drinking, is a truly bad friend, and even cheats on her boyfriend. For a main character, I was hoping for a positive characteristic that would overcompensate for all of the negativity, but it never came. 

Georgia :

The mother, Georgia, gains the audience’s sympathy and support for being a single mother that does genuinely seem to care about her two children. As the story progresses, there is a push-and-pull feeling to her character. She breaks the law in a drastic way, but it was to protect her daughter. She makes poor parenting decisions in regards to her young son, Austin, and his violent behavior, but she didn’t have anybody with her to help her. She seems to make an effort to turn their new house into a home, but then she buys drugs from her neighbor’s teenage son. In the end, Georgia genuinely seems like a psychopath who should not have custody of her children. 

Austin :

As the youngest member of the family, I had the most hope about Austin. I was expecting him to hold on to a bit of innocence, but it quickly becomes clear that this child needs professional help. From stabbing a peer with a pencil in class to starting fires, there are red flags waving everywhere around this kid. It felt odd that we never saw him being a normal child. What little screen time he had was used up by truly scary behavior that got brushed under the rug.

Unlikable Characters :

This is not against the actors whatsoever— I think the entire cast is very talented. That being said, I could not root for a single character in this show. The main characters all scared me and made me feel like I was watching the backstory to an unsub from Criminal Minds. Ginny’s main group of friends are just okay. They make poor decisions, but a lot of them could be explained as being a dumb teenager who didn’t know better. Ginny’s first love interest, Marcus, also happens to be her neighbor and her new best friend’s twin brother. In the very first episode, Marcus literally climbs through Ginny’s window (aka a literal stranger breaks into her house) and the two have sex. These two did not know each other at all and had shared one kiss prior. Not to mention both of them are romantically involved with other people. Ginny even had a date with another classmate, Hunter, earlier in the episode. 

Hunter :

Hunter deserves his own section because this boy gives viewers so many cringeworthy scenes. It is impossible to believe that at this school, he is meant to be the popular guy. There was a scene where he tap dances down the hallway for Ginny’s sixteenth birthday. I don’t know if things have changed in the few years since I graduated high school, but I can guarantee that a sophomore tap dancing for his girlfriend would not have garnered a crowd of support. While tap dancing is fun and impressive, there is a time and a place for everything. Even though he is a part of a band and even writes a song for Ginny, his character comes off as awkward, insecure, and petty. Upon finding out that Ginny and Marcus have slept together, he punches a concussed Marcus in the face. While anger and betrayal are completely understandable feelings, his actions are completely unacceptable. Besides Marcus, nobody seems to have a problem with it, however, and it is completely forgotten about. The actor who plays Hunter is about a decade older than his character, which only adds to the awkwardness. 

Sensitive Topics :

I was surprised to see so many sensitive topics on full display. This show contains self harm, depression, body image issues, murder, strong language, sexual assault, sexual situations with minors, and violence with minors. After Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, I expected there to be more disclaimers about such content. I completely understand using shows to bring awareness to hard topics, but this felt over the top. There was a lot of suffering and absolutely no aid. Ginny is molested by her step-father, which leads her mother to poison the man in retaliation. While this succeeds in getting him away from her daughter to a very extreme degree, she never gets help for her daughter. Even the part in the season finale where Georgia turns his cremated ashes into fireworks is overly dark and twisted. 

Overall this show was hard to watch. There were an abundance of plot lines to keep up with, many of which were predictable. I’m not a fan of an excess of flashbacks and this show was littered with them. In some scenes it was fascinating to see young Georgia making it on her own. In other scenes the flashbacks spoiled any tension that was building in the show. The overly sexual behavior was extremely uncomfortable to watch. Needless to say I am not likely to tune in to the upcoming second season. This kind of show is just not my cup of tea. 

Have you watched Ginny and Georgia? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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