As the new year rolls in, so does the new television series “Grown-ish” which airs on Freeform. The “Black-ish” spinoff tells the story of Andre Johnson’s oldest daughter Zoey and her life as a freshman in college. The main character played by Yara Shahidi is facing many challenges juggling classes, a social life and adjusting to her new environment.
“Yeah it’s funny, but not really accurate… I just continue watching to see how far they’re going to run with this,” said Sandrianna Washington, sophomore Sociology student.
Ray Robertson, Associate professor of Sociology said, “The college experience is just that, the college experience. It changes and evolves no one can ever really pin it down.”
Although the show has only aired five episodes, one can’t help but wonder how accurately is college culture represented. Zoey is portrayed to have a cool and confident exterior, all the while unsure of any decision she may make.
Throughout the show, viewers are introduced to cliche supporting cast members fueled by social media trends. The feminist, Nomi (Emily Arlook); the sensitive artist Luca, (Luka Sabbat); the activist, Aaron (Trevor Jackson); the campus plug, Vivek (Jordan Buhat) as well as student athletes Sky and Jazz (Chloe and Halle Bailey).
The show does introduce issues such as drug abuse among young adults at college and universities as well as sex culture. Zoey is cast as a virginal college student which may explain her naivety and cluelessness as far as sex goes, as if the internet was never created.
Sex is defined in the show as, ‘hooking up,’ a phrase no one has used since 2008. Compared to, “Dear White People” a Netflix original series that premiered April of 2017, Grown-ish takes on an almost childish approach to these issues, which may be due to the fact that Disney is now the parent company of Freeform.
Jasmine Johnson, junior Business Administration student said, “I honestly forget that it’s about college because it just feels like a Black Twitter reenactment.”
“Grown-ish” does show promise, it just needs to contain a tad more edge for one to consider this an accurate college experience.
Monisha Lanier, senior Interdisciplinary Humanities student at Florida State University adds, “Grownish is relatable due to the showcase of life lessons we’re learning, not so much culture or academic wise.”
Shying away from sensitive and possibly controversial topics makes the show seem less genuine and lacking in truth, but is understandable because of the show’s younger audience. It’s funny, however, the material needs to be more honest in order to gain consistent fans past the first season, although the series has already been renewed for a second season.
Freeform’s Grown-ish airs Wednesdays, 8pm EST.