Warning: Spoilers throughout
There is just something I love about a problematic main character. Lock me up! Because I would rather have a messy and questionable coming of age series than a simply smooth ride.
And that’s what you get with Netflix’s new original series Ginny and Georgia.
First episode in and I rolled my eyes. I didn’t love the strong Southern vibe Georgia gave, but she only went on to become my favourite character. You say Ginny, I say basic. Although her character does introduce some very thought-provoking and cringe-worthy scenes.
Let’s focus on Georgia for a hot minute.
For those of you who know me, you know I love a good female villain. Sure, Georgia is hot stuff with a Southern Belle allure. Except she’s actually a cunning and wickedly intelligent woman. Someone who will take what they want and raise their children to be outspoken fighters.
But she is also a manipulative liar who I would run far and fast from. Even her kids had the same idea at the end of the day.
Most teen dramas are embroiled in a moral conflict that Ginny doesn’t seem to have. Obviously, something she gets from her mother. Her mistakes are very human, which I have to love. Now, do I support sexting another guy whilst in a relationship? No, not at all.
Much less do I love that she cheated on our darling Hunter.
There’s just so much to cover about this new series. And for me, that’s unexpected. We have a weird friend dynamic within the MANG gang. Max is the out and proud lesbian who is forever hyped, Nora is a quiet support arch and Abby is a mess with behavioural issues that everyone seems to ignore.
And that’s the kind of texture I want in a show. I don’t know about you, but I love diversity not only in people but in storylines. The creators kind of screwed the pooch on Nora since all we know is she and her boyfriend had sex in a bath once and she’s adopted.
But let’s talk about Abby for a quick moment. The ‘mean girl’ of the group whose parents are divorcing and has severe body issues. I think her character might actually be the most relatable. Is she a good person? No, she encourages Ginny to steal and then doesn’t back her up when they’re caught.
However, she is a teenage girl trying to achieve something. We don’t exactly know what, but what we do know is that she estimates her value based on how she attracts attention. Specifically the attention of fellow friend Matt, whom I do not love, and neither should she.
And not only because he called Lana Del Rey basic.
Moving on now, let’s reflect back on when young Ginny is caught stealing. It’s a direct jab at racial microaggressions that Georgia calls out when she comes strutting on the scene. And that’s what she calls out, even when her daughter was in fact stealing.
However, it does open an interesting door.
We’re not just seeing a teenage drama. We’re seeing a drama of a mixed-race teenage girl who is raised in a primarily white family. Living in what I’d say, as a mixed-race person, a very white town.
Privilege drips from every corner of the show and Ginny changes herself to blend in, which I don’t love or think was a good idea. Considering this is where her problematic tendencies manifested from.
Here we have the identity crisis of the show: who is she? I loved this because it was insightful. A young woman of colour trying to find her voice.
Now Ginny wasn’t my favourite character (not only because I loved her mother): she tends to think her problems are worse than everyone else’s.
I mean, she baited Hunter into a weird discriminating competition like-argument. Hurling hurtful stereotypes about Asian American’s at his face and then acting shocked when he then did the same. Think Pikachu face. And didn’t apologize, it was Hunter who then came later to do that.
Race is a big part of this series. Understanding it, representing it, and acknowledging it. So, yeah it’s a show about teenagers and a cunning mother who can kill a man and get away with it. But pay attention to your screen because there are so many underlying messages that you might miss.
And if you genuinely love drama then you’ll love that Taylor Swift had beef with the show. There was a very sexist line that implied Taylor Swift is a slut. I believe it went something like, “You go through more men than Taylor Swift!” which drew some nasty attention.
Ginny’s got words, guys.
And this series has some guys. Yes, it’s all stereotypes with angsty teens, scam artist mums and a perfect white town. With an obvious splash of diverse people of colour. However, imagine it as the love child of Gilmore Girls and Emily in Paris. I don’t know why it gives the latter vibe, but it does.
What I’m saying is that this is a marmite show: you either love it or you hate it.
Featured image credit: Seventeen Magazine
Deputy Editor of Brig Newspaper. Fourth year journalism and English student at the University of Stirling. Lover of covering social issues and creator of 'The Talk' column for everyone who needs to hear it.