So, you’ve binge-watched season one of “Ginny & Georgia” on Netflix. The show’s debut topped the Nielsen US streaming charts last week. Rumors of a second season are already underway. But there’s still one very big question on our minds: Where is this “progressive utopia” of Wellsbury? Or as Ginny Miller puts it: a town that looks like “Paul Revere boned a Pumpkin Spice latte.”
The answer to that needs a bit of context and a lot more Internet sleuthing than I’d like to admit. For starters, while the show takes place in the fictional town of Wellsbury, Massachusetts, the filming was done in Cobourg, Ontario, and Toronto’s TriBro Studios, according to IMDb.
However, publications and fans alike are naming the town of Wellesley as the top contender for the inspiration.
“Wellesley is what I imagine the fictional town of Wellsbury to be like,” wrote Renée Moniz via Facebook Messenger. She’s the creator of a “Ginny & Georgia” fan group on Facebook and hails from Rhode Island. “I think the whole show was trying to capture that close-knit New England town where you run into people you know everywhere you go.”
But The Swellesley Report co-editor Bob Brown is skeptical of this deduction.
“Wellesley has a lot of nice neighborhoods with big houses and mansions. It’s a fairly small town, so the retail area goes right through the center, and it’s easy to get to things,” he said. “It is idyllic in some ways. It’s kind of an easy target for what people think of as a really nice community. But then to say it’s a model for this kind of show, it seems like a little bit of a stretch.”
But what about Wellsbury’s implied name and location? The town center or the Blue Farm Café? Not even the school has a resemblance? Still a resounding no from Brown who also investigated the Wellsbury rumors for his publication in response to reader demand.
“People would be disappointed if they came on some sort of a trek to check out Wellsbury,” said Brown. “Although Wellesley is a very nice place to visit, it’s not really going to look like what you’re going to see in the TV show.”
Sarah Lampert, creator and executive producer of “Ginny & Georgia,” stated that she based Wellsbury on the city she grew up in (Newton) and the high school she attended (Newton North High) in an interview with the app and platform PopViewers.
But how much of the creator’s hometown really matches up with Wellsbury?
Molly Galler, founder of the New England-based blog Pop.Bop.Shop and who lives in Watertown, has some insight on this. Growing up in the neighborhood of Newtonville, Galler graduated from Newton North High School alongside the older brother of show co-composer Ben Bromfield.
“I noticed immediately all those things about Wellsbury High School that are specifically mimicking Newton North High School,” she said.
According to Galler, the nods to the city and high school are abundant.
“The original Newton North building, which no longer exists, had a hallway that ran the whole length of the school that was called Main Street. It was painted the colors of the rainbow and there were also potted trees, just like how you see on the show,” Galler explained.
Galler also noted episode three’s Sophomore Sleepover and the school’s tiger mascot and elaborate musical theater production, “Sing Sing,” strongly resemble Newton North traditions.
Galler also noted that Lampert may have shown her hand during an Instagram Live a few weeks back when a fan asked about the inspiration for Wellsbury.
“She said it’s a combination of Newton, Wellesley, and Lexington,” Galler said. “But she has admitted that the high school building itself and the design and the programs are a direct pull from Newton North.”
Bree Figueroa is a Lawrence-based writer pursuing her master’s in publishing and writing at Emerson College.