Is ‘Grown-ish’ the new ‘A Different World’?

By Seneca White
May 13, 2018

The challenge of being in college is already enough but being in college while going through what so many college students go through: politically, socially and personally is quite a challenge. You ever think to yourself that someone should be documenting a day in the life of college students or there should even be a show that highlights the very things college kids go through in this current generation. Most of our parents had the 1987 show, “A Different World” which was a spin-off to the “Cosby Show” and it accurately told about what their generation was going through. As times went on and generations shifted no one ever thought there would be another relatable yet but now in 2018 there has to be shows that appeals to the generation Z’s experience.

The college experience is all something someone experiences differently. Photo by Flickr: John Newyak

On Jan. 3rd of this year Freeform’s “Grown-ish,” a spinoff from “Black-ish” premiered and it was an hour long. This show follows the oldest Johnson child, Zoey played by Yara Shahidi as she navigates life as a freshman at California University of Liberal Arts, away from the nest of parents Dre and Bow played by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross. As Zoey is coming to this college experience as a freshman she is just exploring all of her freedoms but at the same time being a confused and new at all these college experiences that she’s facing. But this show is not just a cookie cutter perfect college experience is very honest, fresh and relatable. The story lines are about common things that are often discussed and experienced by our generation like, hookup culture, the usage of drugs or alcohol, and there are many discussions about race and politics

Often times, shows depict the college experience as a bunch of young adults rebelling as soon as they step foot on campus way too often which, actually, does more harm than good since it gives those actions a sense of normalcy. Finally, there is a television series that depicts the innocence of the curious, and anxious minds of college students  as they transition from high school kids to young adults. “Grown-ish” doesn’t shy away from more serious issues, including an episode that features Zoey’s introduction to drugs as she struggles to stay up late nights in order to get a paper done.

You may not have gone through the same problems as Zoey and her friends on “Grown-ish” here at Cabrini but there is definitely some common college experiences people have that appears on the show.

Granted every person’s college experience is not the same but to get a just of what are some valuable it’s important to get some insight of how people feel about the show and how it relates to the real college experience.

“I think it’s a good show because it portrays the emotional side of college, however I don’t think it shows a an accurate enough depiction of college because it doesn’t show the times when your are so stress due to classes and you have no time for friends sometimes you has,” Isabella Millan, sophomore criminology major, said

Senior business major Shandrea Epps has a different opinion about the show and how it helps even as senior. ” I enjoy “Grown-ish” for many reasons but the main reasons is I can relate especially this is my last year being in college. I like that this show shows every kind of person that you may encounter on a college campus. Also I enjoy that I can see myself in the couple of these episodes and feeling like I could relate to the main character on some things,” Epps said.

This show is mainly from a perspective of a girl so it’s important to hear a males perspective on it. “I like Grown-ish because it’s like a show for my generation especially since I am in college. Even though it is a female lead the scenarios that she goes through have been relevant to situations I have been in,” Thomas Laws, junior education major, said.

All in all even if you haven’t watched the show and someone had just told you about it, your first thought would probably would be is this show accurate about portraying the college lifestyle in this generation? But you would have to tune in to it to find out.


Seneca White

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