Ginny and Georgia surprised me. It was supposed to be a mother and daughter comedy like The Gilmore Girls. When the first episode began I thought it looked vapid and unwatchable. By the end of the first episode I was wondering what the heck just happened, and I was definitely going to keep watching. This series is on Netflix.
Georgia (Brianne Howey) moves her family into a new home in Massachusetts. Georgia is only 30, a single parent. Her 15 year old daughter Ginny (Antonia Gentry) and her nine year old son Austin (Diesel La Torraca) are thrilled with their new house. The neighbors are friendly.
Ginny makes friends immediately. Maxine (Sara Waisglass) grabs her up and brings her into a circle of girls that includes Abby (Katie Douglas) and Norah (Chelsea Clark).
From what seems like a cheerful and sunny beginning, we start detecting dark notes. Ginny is very sensitive about her biracial identity. She’s never had friends before because they move often.
Georgia came from very hard circumstances and has clawed and fought all her life to get herself and her kids to a place that seems safe. She has wits and beauty but not much else to fall back on. Her secrets are revealed slowly throughout the 10 episodes of season 1. She has some big ones!
Marcus (Felix Mallard) is Max’s twin brother. They live across the street. Early on (very early on) Marcus becomes a love interest for Ginny. They understand each other in ways that others in the cast don’t.
Another boy, Hunter (Mason Temple), becomes Ginny’s first official boyfriend, but Marcus is never really out of the picture. Hunter is half Taiwanese, which means there is some diversity in the racial profiling discussions that are part of this series.
Georgia works her way into a job in mayor’s office quickly. The mayor, Paul (Scott Porter), falls for her charms like everyone else. (Well, almost everyone.)
As the episodes move along we meet Ginny’s dad, Zion (Nathan Mitchell). Austin’s father is one of Georgia’s secrets.
The teenagers are interested in drinking and sex. Max is a lesbian and finds a girlfriend (Humberly González). I thought Max’s same sex relationship was more realistically handled than the ones Ginny got into.
A Lot to Like in Ginny & Georgia
I liked the diverse cast. I liked that Max and Marcus’ father was deaf and they used ASL at home. I liked the slow way the secrets behind Georgia are revealed. I liked that the ending was open for another season, which I think would be a good idea.
I liked the female oriented nature of the series. The series was created by Sarah Lampert. Most of the directors were women: Anya Adams, Catalina Aguilar Mastretta, Renuka Jeyapalan, and Aleysa Young.
The series is littered with pop culture references. That helped keep it comedic when a light touch was needed. The background songs were well-chosen and added meaning.
There are many thematic elements among the plots and subplots. Parenting and family, love, friendship, criminal behavior, abuse, racism, sexism, self-harm, body image, overcoming your upbringing. It’s a big canvas they draw on.
What do you think? Are you going to give it a try?