Photo Courtesy of FreeForm.go.com
17-year-old actress, Yara Shahidi, stars in her own show that can be helpful for college students. Grown-ish, a spin-off of the hit ABC show Black-ish, follows the oldest daughter (Zoey) of the Johnson’s family as she heads to college. Drawing comparisons to the popular 90’s series, A Different World, it was also an outgrowth with the same plot. A Different World was a by-product of the Cosby Show where their oldest daughter goes off to college and begins to learn more about the world. The show tackled the dilemmas of a college student and dealt with the social issues of the 1990s. The Grown-ish sitcom is comical and modern for today’s youth culture, allowing Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family) to draw in younger viewers. Appealing to those viewers getting ready or already attending college, Grown-ish has a way of creating a youthful and valuable message out of each episode.
The sitcom flows beautifully from Black-ish where the family is dropping Zoey off at college. She is immediately missed by her father (Anthony Anderson) but goes into the phase where she gets used to not being under the roof of her parents. With going to parties, she gets exposed to the antics and culture of modern shenanigans. While in school, Zoey develops relationships with six people that she never thought she would become friends with. The six friends are a lot like the diverse people you would meet in college. Every friend has their own problems and backgrounds. During the first two episodes, the friends become closer over an emotional talk in a night class that lead to an understanding of each person’s’ differences. They shared stories about their reasoning for being in the night class which thematically sparked a mutual bond: Accepting people’s differences is a way to better the world.
Viewers are steering away from traditional television and are shifting to the Internet for series. Freeform has aired Grown-ish solely online through its website, app, and the online streaming service Hulu. The content is very honest and straight forward by displaying some of what really goes on at college campuses. The sitcom covers the social activities, school pressures, and even the problems that millennials deal with in the social media world. This show could create an understanding from the older generation while teaching the younger generation how to handle these problems that they will encounter.
Skeptics were worried about the show airing considering that it is a byproduct of Black-ish. Also, some people didn’t think that Shahidi was established enough to be a main character. Although she played the role of the oldest daughter and was a co-star, there was still hesitation as to having her own show. The fact that Shahidi is doing well with her first season is phenomenal as it received a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. With the high ratings and the number of viewers, the show has recently been approved to continue for a Season 2. Grown-ish has the potential to become a great series for the future as it exhibits the transformation of Zoey from a young lady to a woman while expounding upon the complexity of college.