Title: Ginny & Georgia (Season #1)
Released: 2021

Fix: Gilmore Girls But With Diversity (And Crime?), Teenage Friendships, Mysterious Loner Dude, Small Town Shenanigans
Platform: Netflix

Netflix Summary:

Teenage Ginny and her family yearn to put down roots in a picturesque New England town after years on the run.

FYA Summary:

Wow, you guys, Ginny & Georgia is… a lot. There are about 300 different things happening in these ten episodes, and I like some of them quite a bit! Ginny is a smart, passionate teen who’s been yanked around a bunch by her wayward mom Georgia, and now she’s newly navigating the posh fictional town of Wellsbury, MA. They definitely have a Lorelai and Rory thing going, made more interesting by the fact that Ginny’s actually faced some serious struggles in her life (unlike perfect princess Rory), and in Wellsbury (which feels an awful lot like a slightly less quirky version of Stars Hollow), Ginny makes a cool new group of friends and gets herself a perfect boyfriend – all while secretly mooning over the mysterious loner dude across the street. All of that is GREAT. So into it. Very well-done. Would love more.

Georgia is also definitely compelling, especially when navigating her own love rhombus among Ginny’s dad, the town mayor and a VERY cute local restaurant owner/farmer, but once we get into her super wacky criminal history, Ginny & Georgia starts to go off the rails big time. It was sold to me as “Gilmore Girls meets Hart of Dixie,” and you KNOW how intrigued that description made me, but it’s really more like Gilmore Girls meets, like, Scandal or Revenge. Or Orange is the New Black? I dunno. There’s a lot of random crime and violence in this show, is what I’m saying, and it truly does not fit the precious quirky family drama atmosphere.

Oh yeah. There is also a small son. He is not terribly interesting to me, but he does end up, shockingly, contributing to this show’s record of violence.

Familiar Faces:

Brianne Howey as Georgia Miller and Antonia Gentry as Ginny Miller

Howey’s been in stuff like BatwomanThe Exorcist and The Passage, and she’s great. She’s definitely got that insanely charming but slightly unhinged thing Lauren Graham rocks as Lorelai, except that Georgia is much, much more unhinged. I love her Georgia accent (yes, she named herself after her birthplace, and Ginny’s full name is Virginia while the other kid’s name is Austin), however implausible it may be.

Gentry has been in very little so far, but she’s honestly INCREDIBLE as Ginny and by far the reason I stuck with this show for ten episodes in spite of all the looniness. Start fantasy-casting this girl in everything, FYA.

Sara Waisglass as Max, Katie Douglas as Abbie and Chelsea Clark as Norah

Max is a pretty unconventional fictional character, this fast-talking, perky, pop culture-obsessed lesbian, like if Six from Blossom were gay. I love her! She befriends Ginny immediately, inviting her into her tight-knit friend group (originally dubbed “MAN,” the first initials of all of their names, but amended to the dreadful “MANG” upon Ginny’s inclusion). Waisglass comes to us from the long and storied Degrassi universe.

Abbie is, as Georgia refers to her, the “scary redhead” of the group, much harder for Ginny to win over than the rest of MAN, but once we get to know her better, we see there’s a lot of pain behind her scariness, and she’s loyal as hell. Douglas is probably best known for her time on Pretty Hard CasesMary Kills People and Raising Expectations.

Norah’s a little harder to pin down. She’s a sweet character but doesn’t get as much to do as the rest of the girls. Clark is also a Degrassi alum!

Scott Porter as Mayor Paul Randolph

Helloooo, Scott Porter! Here we have the most likely reason that Ginny & Georgia reminded anyone of Hart of Dixie (except here Porter’s playing the mayor instead of the mayor’s best friend), and he’s as charming as ever as a kind but ambitious politician who quickly endangers his career by falling for the enormous liability that is Georgia Miller. Porter’s also known, of course, from Friday Night Lights.

Nathan Mitchell as Zion

Ginny’s dad is still VERY much in the picture, to my delight. He’s a talented musician and photographer who may be finally ready to put down roots with the Miller girls. (Austin, whom I have to keep reminding myself exists, has a different father.) Mitchell’s been in The Boys and iZombie, and he is, I must say, a real babe.

Raymond Ablack as Joe

Joe’s the fourth point in Georgia’s love square, and lemme tell you, TEAM JOE. He’s the long-suffering owner of Blue Farm and Blue Farm Cafe in Wellsbury, and he and Georgia have a somewhat Luke and Lorelai thing going. He’s unbelievably cute and the only one of these men who hasn’t openly admitted he’s head over heels for the criminally charismatic (both literally and metaphorically) Georgia. 

Ablack’s been in a bunch of stuff! ShadowhuntersTeenagersNarcosOrphan Black aaaaand… Degrassi! (If you can’t tell, this is a Toronto production.)

Felix Mallard as Marcus

Marcus is Max’s twin brother and Ginny’s secret shame. He’s a bit of a hot, smoldery mess and he and Ginny have mad chemistry. I’m a sucker for this exact storyline, and even though Marcus and Ginny don’t necessarily seem GOOD for each other, they do share a lot of mental health issues that they talk openly about with each other, so that’s an added element to their dynamic.

Mallard’s most recently been in Locke & KeyHappy Together and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.

Jennifer Robertson as Ellen

It’s occurring to me that there are too many damned people in this show! There are actually some other familiar faces and notable characters, but I grow weary. But I couldn’t leave out **extreme Moira Rose voice** Jocelyn! Ellen is Max and Marcus’ mother and Georgia’s new bestie. She’s hilarious in a sort of frazzled, uptight way, not entirely unlike her role on Schitt’s Creek.

Couch-Sharing Capability: High

The best way to enjoy Ginny & Georgia would be to, I believe, gently mock it with friends via text, or by half paying attention to it while baking or cleaning your kitchen (all of which I did). I know that’s faint praise, indeed, but listen, it’s 2021, our lives are hard and sometimes we need to halfheartedly binge something that requires very little focus.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: High

Oh yes, wine would help Ginny & Georgia. I mean, it certainly couldn’t hurt.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Pretty So-So!

There’s actually a good show somewhere in Ginny & Georgia, mired in a lot of bad show. There’s a chance Season Two (if Netflix orders it) could cohere into something more focused and thoughtful, and I enjoyed parts of what I saw enough to give at least the premiere of a sophomore season a shot. But I can’t technically recommend this series, so please instead just consider this article informational rather than advisory.

The Taylor Swift Of It All: Oh, lordy.

I gotta say, I don’t think Taylor’s argument that the very mild and frankly boring joke “You go through men faster than Taylor Swift” counts as sexist. It’s a pretty tired joke, for sure, but is it sexist? Truly? I roll my eyes at such pearl-clutching, and hopefully you can trust me on the basis of this VERY wishy-washy Stream It entry that it’s not because I’m so eager to defend Ginny & Georgia. I tweeted more context for my reasoning here, but really, I would love for Taylor Swift, whom I love, to get to the point where she can separate “I don’t like that joke” from “I have been victimized by that joke.”

Meredith Borders is formerly the Texas-based editor of Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death., now living and writing (and reading) in Germany. She’s been known to pop by Forever Young Adult since its inception, and she loves YA TV most ardently.