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You Might Recognize Characters in 'Ginny & Georgia,' but the Roads They Follow Take New Turns
February 24, 2021  | By David Hinckley

Every TV viewer knows Ginny Miller.

Ginny is the teenage girl who has been raised by an irresponsible, scatterbrained, and self-centered parent and, therefore, from a young age, quietly took on much of the parenting role herself.

As always, then, we like and root for Ginny (Antonia Gentry), who is half the title characters in Ginny & Georgia, a 10-episode drama created by Sarah Lampert and premiering Wednesday on Netflix.

The other half is Georgia (Brianne Howey), whom you may have guessed is the mother in this scenario. Georgia is now 30, and she had Ginny when she was 15, making Ginny the same age today that Georgia was then. Ah, symmetry.

Georgia, who isn't unlikeable, has spent much of her life improvising, and it will surprise no one that she hasn't always made the best decisions. As a result, she has moved a lot, hopping from one job, apartment, and relationship to the next while making nomads of Ginny and her younger half-brother Austin (Diesel La Torraca).

Fun fact: Just as Georgia's mother named her after the place where Georgia was born, Georgia has done the same thing with her own kids. Family traditions are important.

As we join the story, Georgia is about to bury the gentleman from her last relationship. He had a fatal heart attack while driving his car, but not before he had launched a chain of three successful yogurt shops that enabled him to leave Georgia more money than she had ever had before.

Like everything else in her life, that money soon falls into a grey area. But meanwhile, she moves herself and the kids to the small mythical New England town of Wellsbury, where she buys a respectable house and announces that from this point forward, they will have a normal life.

If that were true, of course, we wouldn't be having this conversation because it wouldn't be much of a story.

Still, the early episodes of Ginny & Georgia don't suggest anything apocalyptic or even dire. What they do suggest is that idyllic Wellsbury has a strong resemblance to the famous 1950s New England town of Peyton Place.

With a cluster of politically correct and humorless helicopter Moms thrown in for contemporary relevance.

Then there's the woman who lives across the street, Ellen (Jennifer Robertson). When she spots her teenage son, Marcus (Felix Mallard), smoking a joint on a street corner, she loudly announces that he's grounded shortly before she appropriates some of the weed for herself.

Meanwhile, Ginny makes a friend, Maxine (Sara Waisglass), a free spirit with no conversational filters and all kinds of intel on the town and its citizenry. This gives Ginny an unusually early entrance into local high school society, which she appreciates because, as she puts it, she's spent most of her life as "the new girl."

Georgia, meanwhile, isn't spending her time buying throw rugs or Instant Pots. She's scouted the local lineup and zeroed in on the town mayor, Paul Randolph (Scott Porter).

Georgia may not have a highly developed sense of responsibility, but she has game. Did we mention she dresses like she's applying for a job at Hooters?

The dynamic between Ginny and Georgia often revolves around Ginny's insistence that she is nothing like her mother. This hypothesis will be tested in amusing ways while the show slowly builds toward a story.

As all this implies, however, Ginny & Georgia, in many ways, aspires mostly to character drama. The parent/child dynamic may be as familiar as the small-town dynamic, but there's a reason storytellers keep returning to both.

Ginny and Georgia keep us interested in what turn they will take next because it's rarely the one we would expect.

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