By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)

Antonia Gentry and Brianne Howey reprise their roles as Ginny & Georgia for season 2 of the Netflix series and are the beating heart of the show. For those who don’t remember – season 1 ended with Ginny running away from home with her little brother Austin on their neighbour Marcus’ bike. This was after finds out mom Georgia is a potential psycho killer from a private detective hired by the ex-wife of her dead step-dad. In a big relief, it is revealed in episode one that Ginny is at her dad Zion’s (Nathan Miller) place, so at least there’s no serious dangers or problems looming around the corner for the siblings.

10 episodes long, first-half of season two is quite binge-worthy and entertaining. While season 1 couldn’t bring about the strong bond between the lead characters, this edition does a much better job at fleshing out the symbiotic relationship between Ginny and Georgia. And even though Georgia is blinded by maternal love to protect her kids from everything, she fails to see Ginny’s struggle with self-harm and mental health issues and instead is busy ensuring her plan to marry Mayor Paul Randolph (Scott Porter) goes smoothly. There’s an interesting clash of two worlds, on one hand we see Ginny and friends navigating the hell that is American High School life; on the other there is Georgia trying to pull off dangerous little scams while working at the mayor’s office. And all of this is peppered with cleverly edited flashbacks to help explain what turned a helpless teen mom into a murderer with no remorse. The story unfolds in the winter, so the cinematography is petty and there’s a nice warm holiday vibe to the settings.

Creator Sarah Lampert tries to squeeze in as many themes, issues, sub-plots as possible, but does do justice to some of them, unlike season 1, where everything ended up feeling half-baked. Ginny’s father has the good sense to get her help, so the teen starts therapy, which was a major talking point in the show. The focus on mental health was laudable, what I didn’t like however was how almost every teen in the series is portrayed as ‘damaged’ or problematic. It’s almost like they romanticize it. For example, Ginny’s relationship with neighbor Marcus (Felix Mallard) sees a lot of growth in the show and the two actors have great chemistry, but the dude suddenly decides to have issues of his own. Viewers are given no plausible explanation except that he has ‘had episodes in the past and was on medication’.

All the actors are great; the series has some very poignant mother-daughter moments and Antonia Gentry and Brianne Howey make a terrific pair. Georgia as a character is vile, she isn’t likable at all, most of the fuss over her is only because she is pretty, and her maternal side is the only redeeming quality about her. But Brianne Howey is brilliant in her portrayal of the street-smart criminal/hustler/con-artist who is determined to give her kids a life she couldn’t have. Diesel La Torraca is endearing as Georgia’s son Austin and this season has his biological dad out of prison and trying to make things complicated for her.

The plot gets overbearing in the last three episodes, with a cliched expected twist in the end. A lot of supporting characters get too much screen space and the run-time could’ve easily been trimmed down. But I did enjoy it a lot more than season one.

It’s a 7/10 from me.

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