I accidentally started watching the series “Ginny and Georgia” after my three-year-old woke up in the middle of the night and I turned the TV on while I soothed him to sleep. I was too tired to search for anything, so I watched the first thing that popped up. I thought it was a movie and started watching between bouts of unsettled toddler screams. I feel embarrassed that I didn’t realise it was a series until it finished. And then I got hooked and finished the whole series in a week. It felt uncomfortable that I wanted to watch something that was so popular and formulaic, and that I became invested in who a 16-year-old becomes romantically involved in. But there I was, remembering my teen years where I refused to watch Dawson’s Creek and was more of an outcast than Ginny at her first school.
(Warning – mild spoiler alert)
And as I watched the series, I became invested in a raft of issues that were explicitly brought up in the show, from child abuse and trauma, to teen pregnancy, racism, self-harm, bullying, grief, anorexia, divorce and the pressures of teen years and friendships, relationships and sexuality during these times. Caring for the planet even got a mention. Then there was the diversity including: a family with a member who was deaf, another with a family member who was severely debilitated, there was single parenting and mixed-race families. Yeah, it was a real medley of issues and diverse families. After watching this show, all I could think about was, of course, transport. OK, well I also thought about the lack of a Marcus in my teen years, at a time where I didn’t have any friends and would have enjoyed a mind reading, artistic, quirky and caring guy in my life (although he came along 15 years later). But mainly I thought about transport.
So, there were a few references to transport, and now I will read way too much into them. Marcus rode his skateboard and dreamed of motorbikes (which is a connection he has with Ginny). Both skateboards and motorbikes appear to be edgy in this rich white suburban New England town, but they are both liberating and fun. The ability to play with your city can help you escape from the social norms and be more real and honest. Which I think comes out as an important connection between Marcus and Ginny, with her first kiss coming after the energy and confidence she gains through her ride on Marcus’s motorbike. However, Ginny is also wrapped up in being integrated in the social world of her new school, because it is something she has never had before, and she gets excited by the idea of living a dream of hers. Meanwhile, Hunter drives a big Porsche, and this is seen as a good thing by Georgia who wants Ginny to have a stable and successful life. Georgia has also inherited a convertible that she holds on to as a symbol of her success and sex appeal.
Apart from Max waiting for an uber driver and some mention of electric scooters invading bicycle lanes, other transport is left in the background. So much so, that I’m not really sure how the teen characters got to school or to the main part of town. One would have to assume that they could walk, or they were taking the bus, with many of the characters not being able to drive and Ginny being embarrassed when Georgia does pick her up from her school one day. Of course, I hope that there are a bunch of bicycles just off camera that they all get around on, with the bike racks at school being pretty full. However, sadly I doubt this. But even if they walked or got the bus to school, Marcus and Ginny would have had lots of opportunities to talk then, instead of just meeting in school hallways and bedrooms. So, I’m going to assume that teleportation was definitely a thing at Wellsbury.
But of course, I would have loved to see Ginny ride a bicycle. And I believe riding a bicycle can help free your mind from some of the explosive feelings that you have as a teenager. I loved that being on the motorbike gave Ginny so much joy and I can’t help feeling that if she had just got herself a set of two wheels with pedals, she would have been able to stay cooler under all the pressures she had to deal with (so maybe it would have led to less drama). It would have also been an amazing advertisement for cycling for teenagers. Perhaps it would have been one more glaringly obvious socially conscious inclusion, but who’s counting? When a show is this popular, and is gaining this much attention, why not use it to get across the messages we need?
So just a note for Season 2 for the creators of this show. Please include bicycles! I really want to see how the kids get to school and all the fun and shenanigans that can happen along the way. Although, I suspect that next season might be a bit different.
And another thought, which is just a bit related to transport, is that somewhere somehow Ginny has to bring up the fact that there really was a band called Wednesday that had that one song, which was a cover of Last Kiss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRiAMe1zsQ0. With Wednesday being a Canadian band and the show being filmed in Canada, I don’t think it was a slip up. I was waiting for this to be subtly inserted into the series… but sadly I didn’t hear it. Although it’s such a sad song, perhaps they are waiting for the second season and (my prediction) a teen dying/being severely injured in a car crash…