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Netflix Ginny & Georgia (1 Viewer)

Adam Lenhardt

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Just finished watching the first season of this. It was advertised as "Gilmore Girls" for a new generation, but it's actually more of a deconstruction of the "Gilmore Girls" formula.

Superficially, they are very similar: A girl runs away from home as a teenager and has a baby, who she raises mostly alone in the face of significant obstacles. The show picks up with that baby now the same age her mother was when she had her, whip-smart and starting at a new school which will challenge her academically and open up a world of privilege that had previously been inaccessible to her.

The fundamental difference is that while Lorelei Gilmore was the rebellious scion old money Connecticut, Georgia Miller aka Mary Atkins was the product of extreme poverty, abuse, and neglect in rural Alabama. Smart and resourceful like Lorelei, she lacked a formal education or the ability to navigate the well-heeled circles that set one up for success.

Her daughter Virginia "Ginny" Miller is also biracial, which introduces complications that Rory Gilmore never had to deal with. Ginny's father is a deadbeat dad like Christopher Hayden was, but he's more involved in his daughter's life -- which only makes the pain of his frequent absences more acute.

This series doesn't have the wit or sophistication of Amy Sherman-Paladino's writing. It often gets too soapy for its own good, with some twists and turns that feel more at home in a telenovela than a mother-daughter dramedy. But at its best, it grapples with thorny, complex issues that the fairy tale world of Stars Hollow was always able to side-step.

And while Georgia did the best she could to give her children what she could, she isn't a good mother like Lorelei Gilmore. She is a dangerous criminal, and the consequences of her choices and decisions land heavily on her children's shoulders. Neither Ginny nor her younger brother got the innocent childhood that they deserved. The wealthy, privileged Boston suburb in which they now reside only emphasizes for them how different their lives are from "normal" children whose parents make them feel safe. The world is a scary, hungry place and they're only too aware of it.
 

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