OPINION: An outsider takes on Netflix’s Ginny and Georgia (Season 2)

By: Tommy Dickman

There are things I do not wish to be misconstrued about this article. I am nowhere near an expert on film and television nor teen parenthood in America. I am, however, someone who has watched all of Ginny and Georgia season two…and did not like it.

<spoilers ahead>

Major Characters

Ginny is one of the main protagonists along with her mother Georgia. Ginny’s main conflict is being an outsider who is biracial and lower-income in a rich, white New England town. Georgia is Ginny’s mother who got pregnant by Zion at 15. During her early years as a mother, she faced her fair share of abuse and mistreatment. She does everything for Ginny to live a good life.

Zion, Ginny’s father, wants to keep Ginny safe and happy. He intervenes in her relationship with her mother sparingly and lets them handle things themselves. Austin is Ginny’s half brother whose father is Gil. He acts as an innocent emotional anchor for the family. He knows about their troubles but conscientiously ignores them.

Paul is Georgia’s new love interest. He is the town’s mayor and makes an active effort to be a good father figure for Austin and Ginny. Gil is Austin’s father and acts as an antagonist who is trying to ruin Georgia’s life.

Marcus is the love interest of Ginny. He is a lovable goofball who hides his conflict behind a guise of the “boy next door” cliche. He turns to alcohol and art to cope and also finds mental salvation in Ginny.

Joe acts as a “will they/won’t they” character for Georgia. They don’t end up getting together but they still have a past. He met Georgia when she first ran away and gave her a pair of Ray-Bans that she ended up returning. After this full circle event, Joe becomes even more conflicted.


For those who aren’t versed in the events of season 2, here are the key moments in chronological order:

During Fri-yay, a family holiday after Thanksgiving, Ginny gives in and returns to live with Georgia so that Zion doesn’t disclose her self harm.

Georgia’s fiance, Paul, moves in with the family and takes on a more fatherly role. Ginny takes it all as a joke and her brother Austin takes in very well. Ginny continues an aggressive disposition to Georgia.

Ginny tells her boyfriend Marcus about Georgia’s murderous past and he reacts by…not reacting.

Ginny vents at a local open mic and she gets caught in the act by Georgia who does not appreciate the brutal honesty of Ginny’s poetry.

Ginny is torn between the upper class, white family of Paul and her cultural ties to Zion’s side of the family. Paul’s side of the family can get her in at Dartmouth but Zion’s family can get her into Howard.

Ginny and Marcus break up after the play, and Marcus is depressed.

Georgia and Paul get married and the reception is raided by police and Georgia is taken away. The season ends over “Chapel of Love” by the Dixie cups. 


From the beginning of the season, the everlooming consequences of Georgia’s past creep closer and closer. The outsider theme is illuminated by Ginny and Georgia’s respective Thanksgiving dinners with Ginny among her Black relatives and Georgia among her future wealthy in laws. Ginny’s grandmother even mentions how she isn’t exposed to “her community” enough living with her white mother. The discomfort of both situations render both normally rambunctious individuals silent. On the Friday after, Ginny shows animosity towards her sister-like mother who she still suspects of being evil.

Episode 1 was probably too good for its own sake. The introduction of the outsider theme left me expecting so much more from the show. Of course it does deliver some. Ginny is treated as a Black cultural ambassador for her AP English Language class since she is the only Black student in the class. This is a fairly ironic point that makes me laugh since Ginny was fairly sheltered from the Black community before the start of the show. Another good case is Georgia’s attempts at entering into a neighbour’s club for the town’s elite; she is told she doesn’t belong there.

These moments create genuine conflict that Ginny and Georgia face. It was nice to see some emotional conflict in a show whose first season was mostly just sex and murder. Unfortunately, interspersed between these pivotal moments is filler.

One of the most blatantly unnecessary and poorly executed characters is Maxine. Honestly, as comic relief I truly hope she was written as post-irony-era satire rather than as trying to genuinely make people laugh. The character is so two-dimensional that all we really know about her is she’s sad about her ex and she is into theatre. She is the personification of the homophobic argument: “I don’t like it when people make being gay their whole personality.”

As well as Maxine acting as an unlikeable character in the plot, some holes pop up in the writing. Maxine and Ginny share a conflict over Ginny cheating on Marcus. Maxine was being immature and unwavering in shunning Ginny as a friend; but this conflict is somehow magically solved by one short conversation. The writers probably hoped viewers wouldn’t notice these problems since along with the pivotal moments; they are interspersed with needless debauchery.

Netflix definitely likes to make shows that compensate for less-than-satisfying writing with teens drinking, smoking, and having sex. These all have their respective places in media. But it feels a bit inappropriate when one scene addresses systemic racism in American education and then immediately cuts to someone either getting it on or having the munchies.

In some cases, the drinking feels like an appropriate symbol, like Marcus coping with depression. The adults notice Marcus having a drinking problem but still let him continue this unhealthy habit. From the execution of this motif for Marcus’s character, it can leave viewers wondering whether the adults allow this out of pity or sympathy. Alas, it feels unnecessary in so many of the other scenes.

The main arc of the season follows Georgia and Paul’s wedding. The hijinks of planning it fill a fair portion of the season. But as the season rounds out to the final wedding scene, viewers are introduced to new character interactions and motivations. Even though Georgia and Joe were somewhat of a “will they/won’t they,” his choice not to go inside the reception provides a new depth of conflict to the character.

The same goes for Marcus who breaks up with Ginny the episode before highlighted his depression. Marcus skips the ceremony to wallow in the lobby and enter mid reception. Shortly after Marcus arrives, the police enter and arrest Georgia Miller for murder. It was not unexpected but still somewhat surprising.

All in all, the season was neither great, nor terrible. The writing has its ups and downs but on average was only ok. The acting on the part of Ginny and Georgia was great and one could (sometimes) empathise with characters.

In regard to the side characters, it was a mixed bag. Sometimes it was on point, like when Paul disciplines Georgia for belittling him all the time. But then there is the case of Maxine. If you really want to get more of an understanding, view a few scenes with the character (even out of context) to understand better than I ever could explain with words.

The soundtrack was as expected from a Netflix series: jukebox in nature with a few good hits. The ending with “Chapel of Love” over it was an emotional and wonderful scene.

If you want a show to watch mindlessly while doing tedious tasks, if you want a show to watch when nothing else seems interesting, if you want a show to watch with the whole family (well, maybe not the little ones) then Ginny and Georgia is not a bad pick. But if you have any other new series out now in mind as well, maybe give that a try instead.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.