As an avid fan of Gilmore Girls, I fully expected the new Netflix series to be a glossy teen drama with updated pop culture references, and whilst I was partly right, the show differs from expectations and presents an enjoyable yet realistic portrayal of mature issues.
The show falls prey to numerous cliché tropes, beginning with the mother-daughter duo arriving in a new town, new school, new house, etcetera etcetera. Despite this, it’s midway through the first episode that the series establishes itself as a social commentary on more serious and realistic issues that are so commonly glossed over in recent teen dramas.
It makes for emotional viewing due to its thorough exploration and strong actors
The show brings its characters to the forefront and develops them interestingly. Georgia is immediately established as a survivor, which becomes even more impactful as her tragic and secretive past is slowly brought to light. Whereas her daughter Ginny is presented as desiring stability and her mom to be truthful; it’s through this conflict that viewers become torn between the two. The end result is an angry, dethroned, queen-bee Ginny disconnected from the real world being pushed to make the same mistakes her mother did- albeit in very different circumstances.
It’s not only through its characters that the show earns its credit, but through the exploration of real issues. Watching Ginny feel isolated and insecure about her identity as a mixed-race teen, her nervousness about her sexual activity, combined with Georgia’s sleepless nights thinking about her abuse, makes for emotional viewing due to its thorough exploration and strong actors.
The series only falls short in its premise. Gilmore Girls stood out with Lorelai, a 15-year-old upper-class debutante becoming pregnant and having to abandon high school and her luxurious life, whereas if Georgia became pregnant at 18, 20, even 22, the story wouldn’t change much at all. Georgia would still be a young mother with a dark past and Ginny would still be an isolated teen struggling with a lot of issues. Perhaps if the show explores the age similarity of the two leads in more detail in the future, the show will be able to establish itself beyond a commentator on social issues.