Netflix’s Ginny & Georgia is back for Season 2, which means more teen drama, more questionable parenting moments, and of course, more hair-raising secrets to unravel. When we last left the dysfunctional Miller family, Ginny (Antonia Gentry) and her little brother Austin (Diesel La Torraca) were hightailing it out of Wellsbury on a motorbike in hopes of getting as far away as possible from mother dearest Georgia (Brianne Howey) and her glitter-coated web of lies and secrets (the murdery kind). From lying about sending Austin’s letters to his dad in prison to taking out credit cards in her children’s names, Georgia has always done what it takes to survive — to the detriment of her children. By the end of Season 1, Ginny and Austin have had enough of Georgia, whom we learned through a series of grim flashbacks has been something of a Bonnie-esque criminal since she was a teen as a means of survival.
Season 2 picks up shortly after the events of the Season 1 finale. Our titular mother-daughter duo is not exactly thriving. Ginny is still reeling from the discovery that her mom is a murderer, naturally, but she’s also still trying to cope with her normal teen drama on top of it all. “MANG,” her first ever real friends, have cut her off completely after finding out about her and Marcus’s (Felix Mallard) secret romance. Meanwhile, Georgia, although newly engaged and the soon-to-be First Lady of Wellsbury, is not feeling too celebratory without her kids in the house. There has always been tension between Ginny and Georgia — their complex dynamic is arguably the most compelling aspect of the series — but Season 2 finds the mother/daughter duo more distant than ever before.
Like with Season 1, there is a lot going on in Season 2 of Ginny & Georgia, from more flashbacks revealing another set of sinister secrets from Georgia’s past to more shocking schemes from Georgia in the present. Unfortunately, following in the frenzied footsteps of Season 1, it’s just too much. Ginny & Georgia‘s charm partly lies in the fact that it is no Gilmore Girls — you aren’t going to catch Lauren Graham‘s Lorelai bumming a joint off a teenage boy from across the road (who also happens to be sneaking in through the window of your 15-year-old daughter’s room to steal her virginity). Ginny & Georgia doesn’t shy away from recognizing that having a mom who acts more like a teenager isn’t actually quirky and fun. Building in more of Georgia’s tragic backstory as a young teen mom with a criminal background does work as a concept, but, as happened previously, Season 2 of Ginny & Georgia leans too hard into it, thereby losing sight of the real heart of the show: Ginny and Georgia’s relationship.
However, the first half of Season 2 starts off strong in this aspect and really takes the time to delve into Ginny and Georgia’s rocky dynamics, from Georgia’s desperate need to act like everything is all sunshine and roses to Ginny’s painful desire for just a morsel of honesty from her mother. Both Gentry and Howey give gut-punching performances, and the season allows Ginny and Georgia to slowly peel away their armor and expose their vulnerabilities to not only each other but to themselves. This is where Ginny & Georgia shines — when it focuses on its core relationships, rather than trying to make us believe that Georgia is a criminal mastermind disguised as a Georgia peach.
The pacing rapidly picks up steam in the latter half of the season, but to its detriment. It’s clear that Ginny & Georgia wants to raise the suspense, but instead, what we find is characters making somewhat outlandish decisions that don’t make sense purely for the sake of shock value or for speeding up a storyline. Again, part of what makes Ginny & Georgia fun is that it’s got a bit of Bonnie and Clyde to it, but taking time away from a cast that is already overstuffed in order to devote more time to twists that are sometimes just too outrageous to believe causes the show to neglect what makes it special.
Still, Season 2 of Ginny & Georgia does have a lot going for it when it hones in on its characters and all their idiosyncrasies (some, of course, more charming than others). Not surprisingly, Sara Waisglass is a scene-stealer as Max, no matter how obnoxious she may be, but we also get the pleasant surprise of watching an unexpected friendship bloom between Ginny and Abby (Katie Douglas), who was thrown unceremoniously out of MANG at the end of Season 1 following the Marcus/Hunter/Ginny debacle. Abby wasn’t always Ginny’s biggest supporter, so to see them bond over their ousting was a nice change of pace from the incessant Max-centric MANG hangouts.
Season 2 also showcases more of Cynthia (Sabrina Grdevich), whose Karen-esque declaration about organic school lunches in the pilot episode seemed to seal her status as the Wellsbury villain. Ginny & Georgia hasn’t always taken the time to flesh out its supporting characters – Raymond Ablack’s Joe in particular is severely lacking development in Season 2 – but when it does, it excels. Grdevich pulls off the challenging task of showing there is indeed warmth to Cynthia, and when you peel back those (albeit, insufferable) layers, there is a soft, heartbreaking vulnerability that is hard to not empathize with. The same can be said of Marcus, whose storyline this season will resonate with anyone who is struggling silently just to make it through each day.
There is a lot to love in Season 2 of Ginny & Georgia — including multilayered performances from Gentry and Howey, a much deeper, more nuanced dive into Ginny’s mental health following her and Austin’s escape from Georgia, and a more intimate look into a few key supporting characters and dynamics. Where it falters, unfortunately, is when it discards those meaningful relationships in favor of a cheap thrill.
Ginny & Georgia Season 2 is now available to stream on Netflix.