While so many shows are addressing the pandemic, Ginny & Georgia is here to offer some escapist fun, but don’t go into it expecting heavy storytelling, or you will come away feeling short-changed.
The new series, premiering February 24 on Netflix, follows 15-year-old Ginny, who is more mature than her 30-year-old mother, Georgia.
It’s hard not to compare that hook to Gilmore Girls, given that the show is supposed to focus on the relationship between the mother and daughter. Unfortunately, the only similarity present is that the mother and daughter speak a little too quickly for the average viewer to keep up with.
Ginny and Georgia desperately wants to put the relationship between the mother and daughter at the forefront, but there’s so much other stuff going on in their new world that it derives from that hook very quickly.
The family arrives in a new town to start a new life, but the place is way more upmarket than anywhere they’ve lived before. This isn’t their first rodeo, either. They’ve moved several times, to the point Ginny and her younger brother, Austin, struggle to connect with anyone.
Why build connections if you’re going to be ripped away from them the next time their mother wants to skip town? That part of the storyline actually rings very true and highlights how children can be affected by being constantly moved around in their formative years.
Relative newcomer, Antonia Gentry, is excellent in the role of Ginny, delivering a powerhouse performance as a teenager struggling with all of the changes in her life.
Ginny quickly makes a group of friends, even if she didn’t think it was first possible, and finds herself among people with similar interests as her for the first time in her life.
Brianne Howey plays Georgia, a mother who is desperate to provide for her children, even if she needs to turn to illegal ways of doing it.
Had the series led with Georgia’s darker side, then it could have been much more interesting from the jump. The unfortunate part of this muddled narrative is that many of Georgia’s actions are simply unbelievable.
Does she want to give her kids the best life, or is she using it as a thinly veiled way to escape her own past? There is a good storyline in there somewhere, but it’s hard to get on board with a character who does not keep her kids in the loop about why they’re constantly on the move.
Georgia essentially likes to play make-believe and can lie without thinking about it. These people are scary, and with her now living in one of the world’s wealthiest neighborhoods, she realizes she needs to be more careful, but that doesn’t mean she practices what she preaches.
Scott Porter plays Mayor Paul Randolph, someone Georgia is immediately drawn to, and while it seems like she’s more drawn to the power that comes with having someone of that stature in your social circle, she does have a strong connection with him.
We also have Jennifer Robertson, who is coming off a five-year stint on Schitt’s Creek, but unfortunately, she’s largely wasted on Ginny & Georgia. She plays Ellen, the neighbor of the family, and while she has a decent enough presence early on, she slowly fades into oblivion.
Had Ellen been given a meatier storyline that didn’t involve her cracking terrible jokes in her scenes, it would have felt like a more worthwhile endeavor for Robertson.
She was perfect on Schitt’s Creek, but this was not the right show to follow-up with.
The biggest concern with Ginny & Georgia is that the show largely relies on pop-culture references to make the audience laugh. This means the show lacks substance and any real stakes.
Many darker things do happen, but the consequences are too few and far between to care about.
That being said, Ginny & Georgia is still a fun watch, but if you temper your expectations before watching, then you’ll probably be able to enjoy it more.
It does feel like the type of show the Netflix audience will love. It appeals to younger viewers and young adults, and those are the types of shows that typically dominate the Netflix charts.
That’s actually the beauty of Netflix. They have a wide array of series, and Ginny & Georgia should fit in with the likes of Sweet Magnolias and the other lighter dramas.
Will you give the series a shot?
Watch the trailer below.