by Hailey Harris (’24) | March 29, 2021
Like most of us, I have been desperate for new content to binge-watch. When I saw Netflix’s Ginny and Georgia trending #1 in the U.S., I decided to give it a try. Immediately, I was shocked to find out that there was much more to the show than what I had expected.
At first glance, the show seems charming, quaint, and cute, almost Gilmore Girls-esque with the strong mother-daughter duo living in a small town. Don’t be fooled, though; the series has a seriously dark underside to it. To set the stage, Georgia gave birth to Ginny when she was just 15-years-old and has been constantly moving around with her ever since. Later in her life, Ginny gets a younger brother, Austin, who is along for the ride. When the three move to Wellsbury, a fictional town near Boston, their lives change.
For the first time in her life, Ginny makes friends and Georgia pulls her life together by working for the mayor. It appears as though they have found the perfect new start. Very quickly, though, viewers see glimpses into Georgia’s long and troubled past; each flashback leaves the audience just as shocked and confused as ever. Ginny also finds herself caught up in a typical teenage love triangle with the popular guy from school and the boy next door. The first season follows the family as they navigate through their new life while their past keeps coming back to haunt them. Every episode is jam-packed, almost to the point where it becomes too chaotic to watch. The show tries to be too much all at once; it’s like watching every teen show all wrapped into one storyline. In my opinion, this is where viewers will form their judgement: you either love or hate that this show is a big collection of interwoven dramas.
What I admire about the show is that it addresses topics such as racism, misogyny, mental health, body image issues, LGBTQ relationships, self-harm, and modern day single parenting. While it certainly addresses important topics, it comes long with controversial moments. One contentious comment referenced Taylor Swift and how fast she moves through men. It was disappointing to see such a sexist remark, even in a show written by two women, that uncovers the inequity of male-dominated social norms.
The show tries to engage its audience on a wide range of issues but simply fails to have a relatable plot. Although certain plot components may be realistic, far too many are not. To put it simply, in this series, Netflix comes across as out of touch with real teenagers. Many different clips from the show have gone viral, showing how awkward and impractical some scenarios are. Weird Snapchat videos that are supposed to be cool, tap dancing school hallway scenes, and wild parties don’t reflect real high school life. Sadly, this makes Ginny and Georgia fall into the pile of unrealistic high school films.
As a viewer, I am conflicted on Ginny and Georgia. Despite its shortcomings, I find myself wanting to see it renewed for a second season. Ultimately, there’s no denying that the show pulls viewers in and leaves them wanting more.
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