gEorgina Rodríguez is a woman to whom a fairy tale happened. She was 22 and working as a sales assistant in a Gucci store in Madrid when her life changed. As she was leaving the store at the end of a shift in 2016, she noticed “a very handsome guy”. The man, in fact, was Cristiano Ronaldo, the world famous footballer, then with Real Madrid (now with Manchester United).
Six years later, the couple are still together. They have a four-year-old daughter and are expecting twins. (In 2010, Ronaldo had a son whose biological mother has never been identified. He welcomed twins born in 2017 via surrogate, after he began dating Rodríguez. She is seen in the parenting series of the four children .) Rodríguez no longer works at the Gucci Boutique. Fairy tales tend to end the moment Prince Charming is secured, but Rodríguez has lived it happily ever after publicly – first, in front of his 34 million Instagram followers, and now in I am Georginaa six-part reality series released by Netflix on January 27.
Her castle is the mansion she and Ronaldo shared in Turin when the show was filmed. (They’ve since moved to Manchester.) Her float – well, sometimes it’s the private plane that takes her to Paris to try on outfits at Jean-Paul Gaultier’s atelier. Sometimes it’s Ronaldo’s yacht in Monaco. And sometimes it’s the range of luxury cars in his private garage – Bugatti, Mercedes, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, McLaren all present. Her ball gowns live in a dressing room lined with candy-colored couture handbags. (Prada, Chanel and Dior are all featured, as is Hermès. Ronaldo gave Rodríguez her first handbag from the French design house for Christmas one year. She was “blown away” — not just because it was a Hermès bag, but because she knew how difficult it is to buy certain models that are in short supply.)
The story of how it all started is told in detail by the protagonists themselves at the start of the series’ first episode. After their first meeting, Ronaldo saw Rodríguez again as a client of Gucci. One day they realized they had both been invited to the same event, and they connected there. Their courtship was done little by little, over time. There was another event, in which Ronaldo invited Rodríguez to dinner. On the way to the restaurant, their hands brushed. It was a special moment, Ronaldo says on the show. His hands, Rodríguez said, were familiar. They fit him “perfectly”. The moment he dropped her off at her house, she could feel her heart beating.
The next day, he texted her first. He offered to have dinner again. Rodríguez had already eaten, but she didn’t tell him. She accepted the invitation. He picked it up. They went to his house. “I dined again, like a lady,” Rodríguez says. She became his girlfriend. She continued to work at the Gucci store, where she occasionally arrived by bus and left in her Bugatti.
“I never imagined that I would fall in love with her so much,” Ronaldo says in his reminiscence. “But after a while I felt she was the one for me.”
Born in 1994 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Rodríguez grew up in the city of Jaca, in northeastern Spain. She studied ballet as a child and became close to her sister Ivana Rodríguez, a participant in the reality series. At the age of 18, she recounts in the fifth episode of the series, she wanted to move to Madrid but lacked the funds to do so, so she took a job in a hotel in Graus, a village located in two hour drive from Jaca. It was there that a client, who was skiing with her husband in the region, pushed her to move to Madrid for another job. She worked in retail at Massimo Dutti, a brand of the Inditex group (which also owns Zara) and tended the bar on some Fridays and Saturdays. Her career in retail brought her to work at Gucci, which in turn led her to meet Ronaldo.
In November 2019, Ronaldo and Rodríguez denied rumors that they tied the knot in a secret ceremony in Morocco. When rape allegations surfaced in 2018 against Ronaldo, Rodríguez appeared to react to the claims in an Instagram post in which she told her partner, “You always turn the obstacles in your way into momentum and strength to grow and show how great you are. are.” (Ronaldo “strongly denied” the allegations and said in a statement, “Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything I am and believe in.”)
I am Georgina, presented by Netflix as an in-depth portrait of Rodríguez and his daily life, with the watch taking care of their children’s upbringing and education, managing the decoration of their home, preparing for and attending events and creating content for his Instagram account. She was also seen visiting Nuevo Futuro, a nonprofit for vulnerable children, and received an award at the 2021 Starlite Gala in Marbella, Spain, in recognition of her charity work.
“I don’t think I’m amazing, but I think I’m a lucky woman,” she says in the show’s opener. “I know what it’s like to have nothing, and I know what it’s like to have it all.”
Throughout the documentary, Rodríguez seems perfectly content to let her life mold itself around Ronaldo’s. It is a role in which she has invested herself fully, seemingly wholeheartedly. A six-minute sequence is devoted to the redecoration of Ronaldo’s house in Madrid; selecting fabric swatches is a task that warrants two different filming locations.
I am Georgina contradicts the reality genre in this regard. It’s surprisingly tame, in a way that feels both heavily fabricated but not scripted on a molecular level. It’s miles from the Mercurial real housewives franchise. Her frivolity borrows from the Kardashian verse, but I am Georgina refuses to venture into the high-stakes material that has given this giant reality some of its finest moments.
Among the few annoyances Rodríguez acknowledges are the pressures of fame (she used to get frustrated when rumors circulated about him, but has since let go) and poor WiFi in their sprawling Turin home (four routers , and still it cuts out during a video call from her closet, as she tried to enlist a friend’s help in selecting outfits for an upcoming trip). Ronaldo himself doesn’t feature as prominently as one might expect; aside from snippets of his sit-down interview, scattered throughout the series, he appears mostly through phone and video calls.
Every reality show should be at least open to the possibility that its protagonists will be unloved. I am Georgina is determined to paint Ronaldo and Rodríguez in the most flattering light, bypassing any material they might find truly uncomfortable. For six episodes, he stays on the message: the series is there to tell a fairy tale, a love story, a story of rags to riches, and it will not deviate from it. Not in the name of depth, not even in the name of screen tension. Not for nothing. Rodríguez seems torn between her desire not to apologize for her wealth and her desire not to be hated for her good fortune.
Stick around for the end credits — which Netflix automatically cuts out in favor of launching the next episode unless explicitly stated otherwise — and you’ll see Rodríguez credited as the program’s chief content officer. This fact is not announced or actively incorporated into the series. Its aesthetic is that of any reality TV show in which a participant is supposed to lead their normal life while cameras follow them.
This tells us who I am Georgina is for: her fans, who follow her on Instagram in the millions, suggesting the promise of an embedded audience for the show. Predictably, they were thrilled, calling themselves “obsessed” and praising her through Instagram comments. For the digital newspaper El Confidential, Rodríguez’s editorial control makes the end result “quite limited”, as “we can’t see the normal, ordinary person she assures us she is”. For the free newspaper 20 minutes, the series is “weird and gripping”, giving us access to a world beyond the reach of most people. And for everyday El Paísit’s a show “designed for lowly influencers” who “dream of crying in a video saying, ‘Instagram isn’t as pretty as it looks.'”
Corn I am Georgina remains a bit stuck in his insistence that he is, in fact, as good looking as he looks. That fairy tales really come true, that a person can really have absurd luck and walk away at sunset. Fans who already know and love its protagonists will find the show suited to their needs. But for those hoping to get to know them a little more as people (imperfect, messy, complicated), that will ring hollow.