New season of ‘Ginny & Georgia’ on Netflix warms hearts, fails to address persistent writing flaws

Original series shines light on teen issues, but continues to portray “cringe,” unable to keep up with social media trends


Photo courtesy of Netflix

Netflix’s teen drama series follows the titular mother-daughter pair through a series of complicated and emotional familial conflicts. While the show succeeds in bringing awareness to mental health and other similar issues, it falls short in its cringeworthy writing clearly drafted by out-of-touch adults. Reposted here under the doctrine of fair use.

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JoJo Barnard, staff reporter

The Netflix show Ginny & Georgia recently came out with its second season, and although it holds many high reviews and ratings, certain aspects of the series come across as cringey, or hard to watch.

Created by Sarah Lampert and Debra J. Fisher, season one of Ginny & Georgia was released in 2021, and the show has since been popular among teenagers. 

Season one left off with Ginny (Antonia Gentry) and Austin (Diesel La Torraca) running away from home after uncovering more of their mother, Georgia’s (Brianne Howey), deep secrets. The committed mom was willing to do whatever it took to protect herself and her children. She would even go as far as stealing money from the mayor’s office, altering her identity and murdering her ex-husband. When Ginny and Austin discovered that Georgia had never mailed out the letters Austin had written for his dad in prison, the siblings stole their neighbor’s motorcycle and left town. 

Season two picks up with Ginny and Austin living with Ginny’s father Zion (Nathan Mitchell) in Boston. Initially, neither Georgia nor her children are willing to be the bigger person and contact each other, and family tensions intensify. Since season one, 16-year-old Ginny has struggled with self-harm. While living with her father, Ginny decides to confide in him. Zion tells Ginny that he will keep her secret on the condition that she starts therapy and stops harming herself.

As the season continues, the children wind up moving back in with their mother. Georgia mends her relationship with Ginny, and even though Georgia finds out about Ginny’s self-harm, the two are closer than ever. Concurrently, Austin’s father, Gil (Aaron Ashmore), finished paying his dues in prison, and unexpectedly shows up with intentions of getting to know his son better. Gil is very threatening towards Georgia, and we later learn that Georgia is the reason he was arrested. She framed him for embezzlement so that she could escape his abuse. Years later, Gil still possesses the same tendencies. One night, Gil starts to get physical with Georgia. When Austin notices, he grabs a gun that Georgia had hidden away and shoots his father in the arm. Gil was fine on the outside, but his relationship with his son was never the same. 

No high schooler uses the dog filter unless it is in an ironic manner.

Meanwhile, Ginny faces her own struggles. After the iconic friend group, MANG, split up, she didn’t have many friends. Abby (Katie Douglas) was in a similar boat, and the two banded together. It took a while, but eventually Abby and Ginny were able to repair their friendship with Max (Sara Waisglass) and Norah (Chelsea Clark), bringing the group back together.

Further on, Ginny’s boyfriend, Marcus (Felix Mallard), spirals deeper into his struggle with depression. This leads to him ending his relationship with Ginny. Despite the fact that the couple is no longer together, they continue to support each other through their mental health struggles.

I really admired how season two dove deeper into mental health. It touched on a lot of problems that can be difficult to talk about, such as body dysmorphia, self-harm, depression and abusive relationships. I think many high schoolers grapple with similar issues daily, and the show has brought light to their battles.

But balancing out the show’s many strong points, I came across many weak points, too. You could tell that it was written by adults who didn’t understand the slang of younger generations, a recurring problem with the show. One of the most well-known incidents was the video Ginny’s boyfriend, Hunter (Mason Temple), sent to her over Snapchat. The video depicted Hunter with a dog filter, reciting the words, “It’s Friday, happy Friday. Good morning Ginny, welcome to Friday.” This rendition of teenagers is wildly inaccurate. Many high schoolers refrain from using the dog filter except in an ironic manner. On top of that, a good morning video is unusual to receive, as the greeting is predominantly sent over text. When Ginny laughed as she opened the video, I almost thought she was laughing at him. 

You could tell that it was written by adults who didn’t understand the slang of younger generations.

Prior to the release of season two, I was hoping that the writers would remove these faulty perceptions of teenagers in the new script, and although the new season had less of these difficult-to-watch scenes, they weren’t completely eliminated. One thing that stuck out to me was the use of TikTok slang. In one scene, Abby visits Max’s house to apologize once again for keeping quiet when she knew that Ginny had been sleeping with Max’s brother, Marcus. Max was still not ready to forgive her and had even convinced their mutual friend, Norah, to side with her. While Abby is tearing up, desperately convincing the gang to get back together, Max and Norah reply with intentions to sting. “It’s the betrayal for me” Norah blurts out, followed by Max: “it’s the secrets for me.” This part was definitely hard to watch because of the language. The “it’s the _____ for me” didn’t stay a part of adolescent vocabulary for very long, and like most Tik Tok language, and was considered “cringey” after its short lifespan. 

In the end though, if you are looking for a funny, heart-warming show, then I would recommend Ginny & Georgia. On the other hand, if the misinterpretations of life as a teen do not amuse you, or if the subject matter proves to be a little too heavy, then you may want to sit out on this one. Whether or not it’s worth watching can depend on a lot of factors, but the main make or break for me has been the many “cringey” scenes.