Note: The use of “queer” in this article is the author’s choice.
After watching Ginny & Georgia for the first time, I simply could not stop recommending it to all of my friends. The coming-of-age show made me feel some type of way. There was nostalgia, hope, power, titillation, sadness, frustration and hilarity all pouring into my soul as I watched the well-structured and beautifully written Netflix Original.
From the memorable and emotional soundtrack to the mother-daughter relationship between the main characters Ginny and Georgia, the elements of the show make it a particularly impactful viewing experience. Here are seven reasons why I think you should add this masterpiece to your Netflix queue.
*warning* *contains spoilers*
- The soundtrack
The way the soundtrack is implemented can make or break a show. Ginny and Georgia’s certainly was one of the good ones, and I simply can’t stop repeating it on Spotify. Not only is it emotional and nostalgic, but as I listen, I can’t stop picturing the sequences in the show that go along with music because each song is timed perfectly for each scene it scores.
Listening to “Sleep Alone” by Max Styler featuring Ella Boh has me picturing Ginny and Marcus’ second kiss in her bedroom before they seal the deal. The way the song goes from diegetic – in the world of the film – to non-diegetic – outside the world of the film – when the two kiss creates a powerful moment that shatters and releases the tension that builds up to their kiss.
The way Ginny slams her mirrored cabinet door shut to look at her newly beautified face after getting ready to text Marcus a picture of herself fits perfectly with the refrain of “Cool Girl” by Tove Lo blaring through my computer speakers. She really does seem like a cool girl when the beat hits with the close of the mirror. It is one of many visually and audibly pleasing moments in the series.
Another notable moment I have to mention is when Ginny uses Marcus’ move against him by on a ding just before the beat drops with the Jauz Remix of “Trampoline” by SHAED. Her salute hits perfectly with the ding and gives me butterflies as I laugh at Marcus’ reaction while Ginny walks away to the dropped beat of the song. It is a full-on power move, and the song choice only enhances this.
- The nostalgic atmosphere
Between the high school setting that includes friend groups, a school musical and school events, characters sneaking around and the thrill of climbing through windows along with late-night text messages, this show makes me feel nostalgic for my high-school days. This is kind of the point of the show. Georgia, Ginny’s mom, never got to go to high school because her life got in the way, so throughout the series, she tries to make it so Ginny could have all the high school experiences we see in coming-of-age films.
As Ginny gets to have dreamboat Marcus Baker come into her window late at night, go to parties with her friends, stay up late texting cute boys and experience high school drama, I long for and appreciate my own high school experience just as Georgia hopes Ginny appreciates hers.
The high school setting and relationships allow for viewers to feel like they are experiencing love, friendship, break-ups and heartbreak for the first time all over again. Because Ginny & Georgia creators successfully set a nostalgic atmosphere, we gain the ability to feel that rollercoaster of emotions we long for that bring us back to our glory days.
- The classic love triangle(s)
Not only does the love triangles Ginny and Georgia find themselves in have us on the edge of our seats waiting for them to choose the men we are rooting for, but they add exciting and titillating moments to the show that help our two leading women develop into stronger people who are more comfortable with their feelings.
Through the love triangles and decisions Ginny and Georgia have to make, viewers can relate to the characters on a personal level, which makes the show all the more meaningful. Through Ginny’s debate between Marcus – a more toxic and passionate love initially – and Hunter – a purer, smarter choice at first – I found myself relating to her decision as she struggles to find which choice was right for herself. Anyone who has ever been in the situation of having to choose between the person you are drawn to for reasons unknown and the person all of your friends root for can easily step into Ginny’s shoes.
Also, it is interesting to see a shift in the classic love triangle as Marcus becomes a purer love and Hunter becomes the more toxic one for Ginny as the show progresses. This emphasizes how when it comes to choosing a partner, there is never a clear-cut difference between the people you are debating between.
In addition, the love triangle Georgia finds herself in is parallel to that of Ginny. While Ginny has to decide between Marcus and Hunter for her high school boyfriend, Georgia has to choose between Ginny’s father and the Mayor who both want to marry and settle down with her. Georgia’s love triangle affects the choices Ginny makes in her own love life. She sees her mom with her dad, who is similar to Georgia’s toxic love to whom she keeps going back to and uses this as an example of what would happen if she chooses to be with Marcus. The parallel love triangles not only heighten the drama and emotion in the series but help progress Ginny and Georgia’s child-parent relationship dynamic. Georgia’s every action affects and inspires her daughter.
- The same-sex relationships
For those of us attracted to same-sex partners, struggling to figure out if the person you’re attracted to is queer or not and want to be friends can be a stressful task. Especially when you are in your school’s drama department and the character your crush is playing misleads you into thinking they are queer — a pretty niche but a simultaneously relatable situation.
We relive this pain through Maxine, Ginny’s lesbian best friend, who has a crush on a girl in her drama department she dances intimately with. She packs up the courage to tell the girl and gets rejected because the girl is straight. This storyline is relatable to those of us who have been in or are pursuing same-sex relationships.
Also, I like how the show does not oversexualize Maxine and Sophie’s queer relationship. It is a breath of fresh air that I do not have to view the two of them kissing through the male gaze, as some television programs and films in the past have framed sapphic relationships. They are gentle and sweet with each other and talk about meaningful subjects rather than simply just have erotic sex as seen with lesbians in other films dominated by the male gaze. Their physical relationship was portrayed as an intimate one rather than an overtly sexual and eroticized one.
- The sex-positive discussions
The way that Georgia talks openly with her daughter about sex is one of the things I appreciate most about her character in the series. Having parents that can have sex-positive discussions with you can make or break your view on sex. It is interesting to see how comfortable Ginny is when she finds herself in sexual situations because of the sex-positive viewpoint Georgia instills in her.
Moreover, Marcus’s concern over whether or not Ginny had finished when they had sex and the fact that he researched after finding out she didn’t exemplify healthy conversation between people figuring out their sexual preferences, communicating their needs to their partners and caring about their partner’s needs.
When Maxine prepares to have sex with Sophie, she begins to freak out when it came time to do the deed. Sophie recognized this and told her that they did not have to continue. This scene exemplified the healthy practice of checking in with your partner throughout sexual activity and making sure you get consent before preceding a new activity.
Ultimately, Ginny & Georgia creators use their show to emphasize the importance of communication about sex rather than just having sex. This is a message I have always resonated with, which is one of the reasons why I think this show is worth the watch.
- The flashbacks
The flashbacks in the film add to the intrigue and mystery surrounding Georgia as we are slowly given memories to piece together her life when she was a teenager and when she was married to her most recent ex-husband, Kenny. The flashbacks hint to the audience that Georgia is not as innocent as she acts toward all of the other characters in the show.
It is also interesting to see how the flashbacks parallel teenage Georgia with Ginny. In doing so, they progress the story forward and help develop the dynamic between Ginny and Georgia. They also help us as an audience to understand Georgia’s motives throughout the series. Having well-thought-out flashbacks makes them enjoyable to unravel, unlike some shows where flashbacks are tedious to watch and take away from the present-day plotline.
- Ginny & Georgia’s relationship
Ultimately, what makes this show unique is the atypical mother-daughter dynamic between Ginny and Georgia. Georgia had Ginny when she was fifteen and because they are so close in age, they have an interesting friendship. Ginny sometimes has to parent her mother on being a good parent to her brother, Austen.
However, despite the pair’s closeness, they still go through the ups and downs that all mothers and daughters do. They have disagreements and fights. They realize they are more similar than they would like to be. And they protect each other even when they are angry with each other. One of the most intense scenes in the series is watching the two point guns at each other. Even though this situation was an accident, it is still terrifying because you realize that the two are more evenly matched for each other than you originally believed.
Watching the two shifts between being friends and being mother and daughter is entertaining throughout the series. Ginny’s friends also even comment that they wish they had a mom as cool and chill and Georgia. Ginny, however, like most daughters, is annoyed by her mom’s actions and is happy to pawn her off even though she is close with her.
I hope these seven reasons have convinced you that Ginny & Georgia is an original classic worth a watch!