‘Ginny & Georgia’: It’s No ‘Gilmore Girls’
Every episode runs just under an hour, but each manages to feel like a day
Because its new show Ginny & Georgia features a young mother-daughter duo living in New England, Netflix eagerly postures it as a sort of soul-sister successor to Gilmore Girls. Comparing two shows simply because they feature similar leads feels lazy at best, and, in this instance, perhaps a smidge sexist. No one would ever declare All in the Family and Everybody Loves Raymond kindred productions because both center around a man and his family, and likewise, one show about two women does not automatically resemble another. For a show created by a woman, starring women, and largely written and directed by women, at its best, Ginny & Georgia somehow fails to surpass even the most regressive episode of Gilmore Girls.
After the sudden death of her husband, 30-year-old Georgia packs up her teen daughter Virginia and young son Austin to relocate from Texas to a wealthy Massachusetts town for vague reasons. Virginia, who goes by Ginny, detests the idea of starting all over in a new school yet again, as her life pivots around her mother’s man-chasing. Though Georgia purportedly relocated to offer her children opportunities life never afforded her, one glance at a campaign sign for the town’s yummy mayor obviously inflames her sensibilities, and sets in motion her scheming brain. Because obviously the stunning blonde woman schemes.
At school, Ginny showcases her gumption and intellect by putting her racist AP English teacher firmly in his place, which earns her instant cred with the popular girls. They encourage Ginny to date the first guy who asks her out, unaware she already lusts for her new bestie Maxine’s bad boy twin brother Marcus. Though Ginny strives to differentiate her life from her mother’s, it’s not long until Marcus secretly climbs through Ginny’s bedroom window to take her virginity before callously leaving her to buy her own Plan B. Kids these days.
Every episode runs just under an hour, but each manages to feel like a day. Ginny nobly struggles with outsider teen syndrome as she smokes weed, shoplifts, and learns to masturbate with her electric toothbrush. Georgia lands a sweet gig working for the mayor and casually blackmails the locals between bouts of credit card fraud, shoplifting, and various flashbacks of her criminal past. Meanwhile, no one notices Austin could benefit from some mental health help until about halfway through the season, even though he’s a nine year old who legit thinks his father is a wizard doing time in Azkaban.
Shamefully, Ginny & Georgia provides little dimension for its bright, able cast to explore. The uneducated Georgia is a secret criminal because that gives the show a nifty, edgy twist. Ginny burns herself so we know she suffers. Generic just-because traits never gel into vibrant characters we can care about, and the plot fails to provide purpose. These women loathe their bodies, their lives, and themselves. They lie, cheat, and steal their days away without any discernible motive, which handily gives us a motive to watch something else.