Creator talks about Taylor Swift and “messy” female characters

  • “Ginny & Georgia” creator Sarah Lampert hasn’t spoken to Taylor Swift about the season one joke.
  • She says she’s grateful that Netflix never gave her the slip to write “likable” female characters.
  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for “Ginny & Georgia” season two.

“Ginny & Georgia” creator Sarah Lampert told Insider she’s still a “huge fan” of Taylor Swift, who called out her hit Netflix show for a season one joke that referenced the pop star’s dating life.

The show centers on the complicated mother-daughter relationship between the titular characters, who move to the fictional town of Wellsbury, Massachusetts to start a new life after Ginny’s (Antonia Gentry) stepfather dies.

In the season one finale, which was written by Lampert and series showrunner Debra J. Fisher, Ginny scolded her mother Georgia (Brianne Howie) after Georgia asked about the end of her relationship with her then-boyfriend Hunter (Mason Temple).

“What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift!” Georgia screamed.

The scene prompted Swift to take to Twitter on March 1, 2021, calling the joke “lazy”, “deeply sexist” and “demeaning”.

But Lampert pointed out the nuance in Ginny’s response, noting that the teenager had just been berated by her best friend Max (Sara Waisglass) for sleeping with Max’s twin brother Marcus (Felix Mallard). So, Ginny is actually “directing” her pain onto her mother as opposed to criticizing Swift’s love life.

She said she hasn’t had a conversation with Swift (“I don’t have her number”), but that she and her team “just want these characters to be able to be messy.”

“We write them for being wrong and for not saying the right thing and for acting on emotion,” she continued, adding that she is a “huge fan” of Swift because, like the singer, she also uses her personal life as inspiration for her art.

Negative attention has overshadowed the complex writing of the show

Sarah Lampert

Lampert in 2021.

Mike Coppola/BAFTA LA/Getty Images



“Ginny & Georgia” made headlines in 2021 because of Swift. The controversy arguably distracted viewers from noticing the complex female characters Lampert created. The show initially drew comparisons to the WB and CW hit “Gilmore Girls” from the early 2000s. But Ginny and Georgia have darker secrets than Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) could ever dream of.

“As a writer, a note you often get for female characters is, ‘Is this character likable?’ Lampert said. “And I’m so thankful that Netflix never gave that note.”

Georgia is a tough single mother of two, a survivor of sexual and physical abuse, and – to protect her children from the same fate – a murderer. Still, it’s easy for viewers to root for her. Georgia’s cocky confidence and sugary Southern charm aside (both of which provide ample cover for her crimes), we can understand the lengths a mother would go to in the name of protecting her children.

Brianne Howey on season two of

Brianne Howey on season two of “Ginny & Georgia”.

Netflix



In the season two finale, the intention behind Georgia’s actions becomes unclear when she murders her former nemesis’ ailing husband Tom as an act of mercy. Cynthia (Sabrina Grdevitch) had just blocked one of Georgia’s abusers from being allowed to rent in Wellsbury and told Georgia how difficult it was for her and her son to cope with caring for a sick family member.

Lampert said Georgia thinks she is alone in the room and is “returning the favor” by killing Tom.

It’s still jarring to see her put a pillow over his face and hold it down with determination — and even more upsetting to know that her son Austin (Diesel La Torraca) is an inadvertent witness.

“I think that Georgia is a character who hasn’t been caught for anything she’s ever done,” Lampert explained. “So I don’t think she thinks she’s in danger of being caught at that moment.”

But private investigator Gabriel Cordova (Alex Mallari Jr.) watches Georgia relentlessly and puts enough pieces together to have her arrested for murder in the middle of the wedding reception in the finale. She is about to have her first dance with her new husband, Wellsbury’s mayor Paul Randolph (Scott Porter) when she is handcuffed and whisked away from her guests.

Scott Porter and Brianne Howey in

Scott Porter and Brianne Howey in “Ginny & Georgia” season two.

Netflix



All of Georgia’s wedding scenes are strangely beautiful to look at. Lampert and her team paid them close attention, she said, because Georgia’s arrest plays a key role in their four-season schedule for the show (which is still awaiting a season three renewal).

A lovely instrumental created by the show’s composers Lili Haydn and Ben Bromfield plays during the arrest, heightening the shock we see on everyone’s faces. Plus, “Going to the Chapel of Love,” originally recorded by The Dixie Cups, is the perfect song to hear as we watch Georgia stare at her family from the back of a police car.

It all reinforces the “anti-fairytale” theme of the wedding, Lampert explained.

“Ginny & Georgia” is its own deliciously soapy anti-adventure that replaces a perfect role model with a flawed woman who makes mistakes. The hit series wasn’t made to celebrate violent crimes (or insult Swift), but to show the wide, messy spectrum of what it means to be a woman.

“Ginny & Georgia” season two is currently streaming on Netflix.

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