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  • Writer's pictureSusannah Powers Stengel

Ginny & Georgia & Taylor Swift

& TV That Refuses to Shake It Off


Spoilers For: Ginny and Georgia Season One

Ah, the reckless pleasure of angst.




I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22…types of ways about season one of Ginny and Georgia.

A jovial romp and a histrionic panic attack all in one, this ultra-modern mother-daughter story gave me joy and anxiety in fierce turn. The focus of the G squared plot? The repression and the performance, the hidden pain and the potential violence of womanhood in all its phases.

Violent also was the outcry of Taylor Swift and her fans in response to a quippy throwaway joke at her expense in the show’s series finale. Intending to question her mother Georgia's partnering choices, Ginny jabs, "What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift." Check out the full maelstrom of malevolence thus inspired here.

The Swifties' meltdown and the beating, erratic, bloody heart of this DRAMATIC AF show got me thinking about the shapes and question marks women force their bodies into in an attempt to survive with self-possession and dignity.

So . . . I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22 feels about Ginny, Georgia, Taylor Swift, and the backbreaking art of women caring too fucking much, both on screen, and off.

1. Dazzled

Dazzled by the natural charisma of Georgia, played by the immaculate, bold, cold, and vibrant Brianne Howey with jagged, ineffable charm.

2. Delighted

Delighted by the frank and awkward stories of female friendship portrayed--including an all time high awareness of chauvinism and the havoc it wrecks on the female psyche.

3. Terrified

Terrified by the multiple sequences of absolute panic, gripping despair, and self-harm performed by multiple members of the teen cast, especially the incredible newcomer Antonia Gentry (Ginny).

4. Irritated

Irritated by the show's misogynistic care most for womxn's stories only when those womxn are conventionally, expectation-delivery-ready--super duper sexy.

5. Embarrassed

Embarrassed by the perfect awkwardness of teen dating in all its fumbles and fails.

6. Awestruck

Awestruck by the mamma bear intensity of Georgia, and her rapid defense of her own dark motherhood path.

7. Nostalgic

Nostalgic for the sheer hyperbole of sharing your early sexual bullshit with your friends. So delicious. So confusing.

8. Destroyed

Destroyed by memories of my own first big crushes--the bosom-heaving, life-defining power of those hormonal pulls every time he looked at me. Oh boy.

9. Heart warmed

Heart warmed by a family dynamic of playful escapism--layered with heavy secrets.

10. Inspired

Inspired by a very gay lesbian best friend character, whose exploits, crushes, and first time sexual encounters are lovingly detailed. Shout out to Maxine (played by the excellent Sara Waisglass). She killed it.

11. Titillated

Titillated by the intensity of Taylor Swift's reaction to that one errant comment.

12. Frustrated

Frustrated by the part-and parcel-feminism that so saturates our landscape, wherein a show/an artist must bow down to all positive aspects of female nature and ignore the parts of ourselves that play dirty and enjoy a snide aside. Would the show have really referenced Taylor, if the creators didn't consider her to be of ubiquitous and constant cultural relevance? No. If we're always supposed to inclusive sweeties who never say the wrong thing, then what happens when we fuck up? Are we utter failures who deserve only censure? But Queen Swift is entitled to her fiery peace of mind for sure.

13. Electrified

Electrified by the hilarious, painful chemistry of Ginny and Georgia's bond. For two such expressive queens, all they do is keep secrets.

14. Hungry for More

Hungry for more Ellen (the layered next-door-neighbor and requisite Georgia bestie played by the hardworking always excellent Jennifer Robertson). Good job lady. Each scene you were in was awesome and I love the chemistry you have with your husband--an ASL communicating only actor.

15. Dismayed

Dismayed by the casual way that Ginny and Georgia ruin their relationships with their caustic reactions. #toorrelatable

16. Bemused

Bemused by the DRAMA, the desire to self-destruct this show glorifies. Also bemused on whether or not this show handled race effectively, or sloppily. I'd love to hear you sound off if you have thoughts on this can of worms.

17. Saddened

Saddened by our twin protagonists' inability to let go of their own self-hatreds, vendettas, and pointless secrets, no matter how many times it hurts those they claim to love most.

18. Wondering

Wondering how many folks agree with Taylor Swift's defamation of the show with their singular comment failure, and wondering how easy it is for women to write each other off in this world that would devalue us at the first opportunity. As Georgia calls it TOOOOO often "a man's world."

19. Horny

Horny for Georgia. She's just so appealing. Even though she's a murderer. Those cheekbones tho.

Also horny for cafe owner Joe (played with generous charm by Raymond Ablack). Bring us more Joe in season two please. Joe, who is just as horny as me for Georgia.

20. Deeply Offended

Deeply Offended as a Theatre Kid who watched an epic confrontation happen when Ginny WALKED PAST STAGE IN THE MIDDLE OF A LIVE THEATRE PERFORMANCE AND NO STAGE MANAGERS OR DIRECTORS STOPPED HER. What? I couldn't suspend my disbelief for this epic sequence. Backstage is sacred and the show ignored that.

21. Lovestruck

Lovestruck by the femme resilience portrayed, the adaptations required of all women as they forge their dreams. This show goes too far to make its poor queens stretch, but Good Lord, the tenacity is a quest that speaks to all women on a primordial level.

22. Over It

Over the need to self-repudiate. (Also over the show's final monologue. So boring and expected.) Over the need to hold onto grudges. Over the need to repress your own desires. On screen it's illuminating but still exhausting. Off screen, it's positively passé. Forget a boycott. Taylor, let's start a pussy-forward conversation about mutual respect.

How about you?

Did you vibe on the G squad or find their striving secrets stale?


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