Why We Need Shows Like "Grown-ish"

If you’re a 90s baby, then more than likely you’ve either watched or heard of the sitcom created by Bill Cosby titled, “A Different World.” It was a fictional American sitcom about the life of students at a fictional historically black college in Virginia. It was a spinoff of “The Cosby Show.” Both of these shows were important to the culture of black people back then. “The Cosby Show” portrayed the black family in a great light and showed what a healthy functional family looked like. “A Different World” showed what it was like to attend a Historically Black College or University and the issues that students went through during that time period. They hit on issues such as race and class relations and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. These shows were pivotal to the African American community.

Now, fast forward to the millennial generation, and we have “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish.” The two shows are similar in nature to “The Cosby Show” and “A Different World.” “Black-ish” shows today’s moderate black family, where the Johnson family moves into a predominantly white neighborhood and their kids feel the need to try to assimilate to fit in; but the man of the family, Andre (Anthony Anderson), isn’t having it and tries to keep his kids rooted in their culture. "Black-ish" has hit on a range of topics such as racism, the N-word, police brutality, the Donald Trump presidency and so on. These issues are hard to talk about and are controversial at best; nonetheless, they need to be discussed. “Black-ish” was so great at being relatable and hitting on important issues, that it got its own spinoff show titled “Grown-ish” which features Zoey, Andre’s oldest child, portrayed by Yara Shahidi transitioning from High School to college. Additionally, the show features all the ups and downs that come with figuring yourself out, not only in life, but in your collegiate career as well.

“Grown-ish” has received rave reviews and a score of 91 percent on rotten tomatoes. “Grown-ish” has done so well in the short amount of time, that it was recently picked up for 20 episodes for season two.

“Grown-ish” has discussed what all college students have gone or are going through in a matter of four episodes. From experimenting with drugs, pulling all-nighters, juggling men and women, defining your sexuality, the heart-stopping, “you up?” text, how the NCAA treats athletes and leaves them to struggle outside of their full rides to so much more. This show is important because representation matters. This show has a diverse group of actors and has something or someone that they can relate to. We’ve met at least one of these characters during our college experience. We need shows like “Grown-ish” because it shows that every action you take has consequences that will affect you, from the day you step foot on campus to the day you leave. “Grown-ish” has been very realistic about what college students face today and how these issues affect college students lives. In today’s world and political climate, we need shows like Grown-ish to explain and show how we navigate these experiences.




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