There is a Shawn Hunter reference in the first episode of Netflix’s new series Ginny & Georgia. The show also pointedly refers to Friends, Vanderpump Rules, and Bachelor in Paradise, creating a relatable world of characters you can connect with. “I felt like Sarah Lampert, the show’s creator, was talking to me,” says actress Brianne Howey, who plays the titular character Georgia.
The story of Georgia Miller, a 30-year-old single mother to a 15-year-old daughter (played by Antonia Gentry) and a nine-year-old son (played by Diesel La Torraca), actually spoke to Howey on many levels beyond the deliciously nostalgic pop culture references. “I grew up with a super young, single mom. This couldn’t have hit any more close to home,” she says. “The lack of boundaries and a little bit of codependency and oversharing and keeping secrets and then being offended that they kept the secret and the lines getting blurred of the mom wanting to protect where the daughter feels entitled to know everything because there are only so many years apart, so that part actually really resonated with me.” Howey adds that growing up as the oldest of five, she has always had a fierce loyalty for family, which definitely came in handy for this role.
Ginny & Georgia seemingly follows the recipe for any binge-worthy show with equal parts family drama, romance, and scandal. It has been likened to the new iteration of Gilmore Girls and there are similarities but it should be noted that you will never guess what happens in Ginny & Georgia.
“I love Georgia so much. It was like getting to do the acting Olympics,” Howey says of her character. “It’s Georgia’s way or the highway and she will force things into fruition. She’s very confident and calculated. She’s playing this game that nobody else even knows they’re in. She’s constantly four steps ahead of everybody.” Georgia’s way tends to take the show in many, many directions, but is always rooted in her devotion to her family, particularly her teenage daughter. “It was really fun to get to have these two complicated, dynamic women talking about sex and embracing their sexuality. It’s not something we always get to see from the female perspective. Especially in a coming of age show,” she says of the mother-daughter relationship.
The show depicts a lot of relevant storylines about topics like sex, racial status, and self-harm in overt ways, while disguising others like absentee fathers and societal norms in relatable nonchalance (again, feels like a familiar world). “I think what’s really cool about the show is it has all these really heavy subjects like race and sexuality and privilege and class, but they are married so well with the pop culture and the love triangles. It’s a little seductive and a little juicy. Every episode you laugh, tear up, and are blushing,” Howey says.
Ginny & Georgia offers a unique rollercoaster of emotions that will take audiences from the darkest depths of a teenage girl’s mind to the unrivaled protection a single mom feels for said daughter.
“I’ve always looked forward to the day I get to play a mom. My mom has passed but it made this role all the more special because it took me places and I got to sort of live on the other side of the table. I definitely have more of an appreciation for teenagers and parenting after this,” Howey says with a smile.
Watch Ginny & Georgia on Netflix on February 24.