I’ll get straight to the point: this show is bad. Terrible, even. And for some reason I couldn’t stop watching. Netflix’s Ginny and Georgia is a complete mishmash of a show that will leave you feeling both confused and slightly angry, but also keep you clicking on that “Next Episode” button. This series is definitely going on the “so bad, it’s good” list.
Ginny and Georgia follows an eccentric mother-daughter pair of the same name. Georgia Miller is a charming Southern belle, with a pretty face, dashing smile, and an alluring Southern accent. Early on in the show, we learn that she had her daughter when she was only 15 years old, but the rest of her background remains a mystery. While Georgia is confident, outgoing, and immediately liked by almost everyone she meets, her daughter Ginny is her polar opposite. Ginny is a moody 15 year old who is rude, never happy, and “angsty teen” in every way. The tumultuous dynamic between the mismatched pair becomes a driving force for the series.
The show kicks off with Georgia, Ginny, and Austin (Ginny’s much younger half-brother) moving to a nice New England town for a fresh start. While Georgia is determined to settle down and create a comfortable life for herself and her children, Ginny is pissed off and unenthusiastic about making yet another move.
Ginny isn’t a fan at first of their new living situation, and who could blame her? She constantly complains about how their new home of Wellsbury, Massachusetts is extremely white and gentrified (she isn’t wrong). With a Black father who is mostly out of the picture, the biracial Ginny feels misplaced in a predominantly white and overly bougie town. However, after meeting a bizarre cast of various neighbors and friends, the town and her new school begin to grow on her. Ginny gradually becomes more comfortable with her new environment, but in the meantime, a multitude of problems flare up for Georgia, threatening to reveal her dark past and subsequently tear down her family’s newfound life in Wellsbury.
In summary, the plot is relatively simple: a single mom and her two kids move to a new town and settle down, but the past keeps coming back to haunt them. Easy enough, right? But here’s where the problems start—the story doesn’t stick to this simple formula. While this narrative could have been sufficiently interesting on its own, the show’s writers decided to combine all kinds of themes into one absolute dumpster fire of a plot. If you’re looking for even a shred of consistency, you won’t find it here.
Let me elaborate. In addition to the basic storyline, the following themes are also thrown in: teen drama, romance, criminal activity, high school life, and comedy (you can barely call it that, but the endless cringe of the show will keep you laughing in disbelief). When the plot focuses on Ginny, you get an earful of all kinds of stupid high school-related drama and other crap that I found difficult to care about. When the focus switches to Georgia, the dumb rom-com element is still there, but it’s mixed with her sketchy past and the villains that she has to outrun. While the combination of all of the above might sound like a fast-paced, exciting plot in theory, the way Ginny and Georgia executed it made it a complete failure. There is little to no cohesion between the many themes, leading to an erratic storyline.
It would be appropriate to say that this show is about both everything and nothing at the same time. Is it a high school romantic dramedy? Not quite. A suspenseful criminal backstory? Also not exactly right. It’s so difficult to categorize this show because it has thrown so many different genres together into one messy mixture. No matter what is going on, this show can’t make up its mind about what it wants to be.
There are also several cringey and poorly done parts of the show, particularly in regards to Ginny’s character and her romantic interests. One of the worst side characters is her next door neighbor Marcus, a stereotypical “bad boy” type with greasy hair, a motorcycle, and a moody attitude. He climbs into her second-story bedroom window (because that is totally normal behavior) in the first episode, one thing leads to another, and then the two are immediately caught up in a gross back-and-forth romance that lasts for the entire season. Anyone would agree that this “boy next door” cliche is overused and boring, and frankly I’m tired of still seeing it used in 2021.
Ginny also becomes entangled with Hunter, a perfectly nice Taiwanese boy who of course gets pushed to the sidelines to make room for the mediocre Marcus. While the show tries to use this predictable and uninteresting love triangle as a main plot driver, it adds virtually nothing because this exact trope has been done countless times already. Don’t even get me started on the tap dance scene, which is arguably the worst (as well as the funniest) moment in the entire series.
The same goes for Georgia’s character. She is caught up in a similar, stereotypical love triangle between the handsome(?) mayor of Wellsbury and Ginny’s father, who unexpectedly drops back into their lives. Georgia’s secret criminal past gets pushed to the back of the line to make room for the dumb rom-com stuff, and depreciates the overall quality of the plot as a result. If I’m being honest, this kind of shit is boring and unoriginal.
Now that I’m done bashing this show, you’re probably wondering why I ever watched it past the first episode. Here’s the funny thing: as infuriatingly bad as this show is, for some reason it gets you hooked. Maybe it’s the hope that it will get better, maybe it’s the entertainment you get from watching something that is so comically terrible. Either way, I watched this show from start to finish, and I think I’ll watch the second season once it comes out. Although I originally had zero intention of ever watching this, I became intrigued after the series remained on the Netflix Top 10 list for several weeks in a row. Maybe we’re all in the same boat and just feel like watching a really bad show, much like the way we humans feel the need to slow down and stare when there’s been a terrible car accident. If you ever feel inclined to waste time on a bad TV show, then Ginny and Georgia will be waiting for you.