This may be our generation “A Different World”…
Spinning off the popular ABC comedy, Black-ish, Freeform’s newest series, Grown-ish follows their oldest child, Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) as she adventures on her own for the first time and attends the fictional Cal University. There she soon discovers that she may actually not know what she is doing, despite her previous thoughts.
The show started out its two-episode premiere with the pilot, “Late Registration”. Here the audience is introduced to Zoey’s narration style as well as the other members of the main cast. Throughout the episode, you hear how each character ended up in the mysterious midnight class taught by a familiar and odd face in Zoey’s life (Dean Cole). From a Muslim drug dealer, twin track stars from the hood to a bisexual Jewish girl, the show offers uniquely diverse backgrounds and perspectives to play off of.
The show’s second episode “B*tch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” begins to settle you into the show’s pacing and potential storylines. But the main one viewers are stuck on is Zoey’s struggle to adjust to not knowing anything and everything. Viewers watch as she begins to struggle in everything including classes and boys. The gesture was rather refreshing to witness on screen knowing Zoey’s history on Blackish.
Grown-ish definitely hits relatable in just the right areas without being too cringeworthy. College students (former and current alike) can relate to the various feelings and situations that the series has presented so far. Two episodes in and they are already mentions of real issues on college campuses. From the pressures of being a first generation college student to the problem of drug addiction, Grown-ish has already picked up a way to elegantly slide these issues inside the story instead of a typical forced entry. Each storyline so far seems authentic to the premise. The show is well paced and her commentary allows you to not only know the characters more but what’s going on inside her head.
Now the show is not perfect and has its flaws and has gained some criticism online for its lack of darker toned characters (especially females). But the show is just stepping out on the world. Like Zoey, it needs to be given space to play out its events and work out these flaws. While it’s not A Different World worthy yet, it definitely has the potential to level up to the socially aware young adult program that it was.There is definitely hope for this series as the season continues to play out.