The latest Netflix release, Ginny and Georgia, is Gilmore Girls Satisfies Big little lies. A single mother in her 30s raising children in an East Coast town may sound eerily familiar, but the cast of characters stands out on its own, making it easier to see them as individuals rather than recycled formulas.
There’s a lot to like about this group of characters, no one is one-dimensional or represents a typical stereotype of high school drama. It’s hard to pick a fan favorite on a show where everyone has the charm of a small New England town, but there are a few personalities that stand out from the rest.
Georgia Miller, also known as Mary Atkins, teetered between the charming Southerner and the ruthless killer over the course of season 1. While initially her crimes seemed justified (shooting her abusive stepfather and running a gambling ring to have money to raise her daughter), Georgia ultimately blurred the line between protective and downright dangerous.
Audience members spend most of the season unsure they can trust Georgia, but her charm makes viewers want to be on her side. It’s not until the last episode, where she scatters the ashes of her ex-husband (whom she killed) in celebratory fireworks and subtly admits to doing it so fans can see who she really is, and that person could just be evil.
The ‘A’ in MANG went through many of his own struggles during the season. From the impending divorce of her parents to the tamponade of her thighs indicating some kind of body image problems, Abby was not without pain.
However, she constantly lashed out at her friends for not being there for her when she was rarely present for them, she let Ginny take the blame when everyone was caught stealing, and in the end, she blamed everything on Ginny, even when she was partially responsible for all the secrets among his group of friends.
Norah was the calmest member of MANG, often arguing in Switzerland and running away with her boyfriend Jordan if the group became too much.
Norah didn’t do anything wrong, but she didn’t do much either. She blindly followed Abby’s or Max’s leads, and she never spoke for herself.
Hunter was presented as the ‘good boy’ choice for Ginny as opposed to Marcus’ ‘bad boy’. He was a diligent boyfriend; wrote him a song and read pride and prejudice so they would have something to talk about. Hunter was perfect on paper.
But the Hunter that the audience sees in later episodes is not as friendly as he claimed. He challenges Ginny to the ‘Olympics of Oppression’ when they argue over who should have won the essay contest, and hits Marcus already injured for sleeping with Ginny. In the heat of their fight, he says some really hurtful things and shows his true colors under his good-boy facade.
Ginny’s father and Georgia penguin Zion appeared as Christopher Hayden on a motorcycle towards the second half of the season. He was an established photographer and writer and expressed interest in finally settling down and becoming a family.
Of course, this leaves Georgia, who is in a committed relationship with Paul, for a loop and leads her to regress in whatever growth she has achieved. Zion finally sees that Georgia is thriving in Wellsbury without him, and lets her go, hurting Ginny in the process.
Ginny’s half brother Austin spends most of the series doing Harry Potter spells and writing letters from his imprisoned father. His healthy and sweet demeanor makes it hard to watch him get bullied and to see him discover that Georgia was faking his father’s answers all the time, without having sent a single one of his letters.
Austin showed his similarities to his mother when he stabbed Zach, his bully, with a pencil and skipped school for a week. He also set fire to Georgia’s garden with his cousin Caleb. The only person who was completely there for Austin was Ginny, and he desperately needed her.
Ginny came to Wellsbury as the new girl, someone who had never had friends due to her nomadic lifestyle. She quickly became friends with Maxine Baker, who let her into her sophomore clique.
Ginny’s personality fluctuated between cute and selfish delusional; protecting the safety of her brother and her mother’s heart, but also cheating on her boyfriend and verbally attacking her parents. At the end of the day, Ginny is a good soul, who turns out to be a hormonal teenager too.
The attractive Georgia love interest and Wellsbury Mayor Paul Randolph showed a generous heart when he gave Georgia a job even though she had no political experience. He was constantly trying to do the right thing for the city and was the one who called Georgia about his behavior in more than one case.
Paul never got to see the side of Georgia that viewers saw, so it was hard to see him trust her so faithfully and propose to her, not knowing what he might be getting into. Despite his claim that they are both made of the same cloth, Paul’s naivety might finally get the better of him.
Sweet Maxine took Ginny under her wing instantly and introduced her to a group of friends she had never had. Max radiated positivity and was fiercely loyal, to the point where Ginny betrayed her.
Max’s personality can be extremely intense at times, and his tendency to do everything about himself and never give others room to talk can be frustrating. But much of Max’s energy was the result of overcompensating for his own insecurities, and he always had good intentions.
Max and Marcus’s mother, Ellen, was Georgia’s first friend when she moved to Wellsbury. The two took drugs together, complained about their children, and joined each other at Sophomore’s sleepover.
Ellen’s infinite kindness made it especially difficult for viewers to see her know that Georgia had been keeping things from her. Specifically, information about your two children.
Stoner, skateboarding, aspiring biker Marcus seemed like the idiotic love interest at first. He slept with Ginny when she first came to town and was always in the mood and melancholy.
Marcus ended up being one of the most likable characters on the show. He was open about his mental health issues and forward about his love for Ginny. Despite not doing it at times, he wanted to be good, which made it easy for viewers to fall in love with him.
Joe, the owner of Blue Farm, and a modern day Luke Danes, was the kindest person in Wellsbury. He made a facade of being cold and disinterested, but he provided Georgia with everything she asked for (or demanded).
Joe’s flashbacks, revealing that he was a boy who gave away his sunglasses and inspired young Georgia, made him even more adorable. His unrequited love for her years later was painful to watch, knowing that she deserved so much more.
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