No one knows who they are when they go to college. All freshman are confused and don’t know how to start their journey. It’s practically a universal truth. It’s also the reality of Freeform’s grown-ish, a spinoff from black-ish, which 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 home. Zoey’s personality was never entirely defined within black-ish, but Shahidi is a magnetic actress a spinoff seems like the best fit for her and the show hits serious topics. Which feels pitch perfect for 2018 when stories about what it means to be young and black and female are important.
The premise for grown-ish was interesting and caught the attention of many. I saw a future me inside of her and saw my friends within hers too. Even when more episodes aired, I never lost my interest in the show. It’s refreshing to see young new faces on television on I really like the actors and how their characters are portrayed.
It’s those ties back to black-ish that really weaken the first grown-ish episode: Cole’s presence feels like an unnecessary safety blanket. It’s never quite explained, adequately at least, why he’s a professor with no qualifications, or why Zoey and her gang of soon-to-be best friends were forced into the class all through a series of mishaps that involved being late to registration. Which is the actual reality of students worldwide. But Aside from the Community-esque gang of misfits who will no doubt become Zoey’s best friends: bisexual Jewess Nomi , twin track stars , a Jaden Smith-type pothead, a low-key drug dealer, and a hot woke sophomore (Trevor Jackson), the rest of the classroom is filled with adult idiots, which doesn’t ring true to the college experience.
I promise if you give this show a chance you’ll love it. Tune in for an episode and you won’t regret it.