Why 'Grown-ish' Perfectly Captures the Collegiette Experience

After the great success that has been Black-ish executive producers of the show wanted to expand the brand to a younger demographic. So, the creators wisely followed the storyline of blackish actress Yara Shahidi, as both she and her character Zoey, are headed for college and created the show Grownish. Grownish follows Zoey into the world that is adulthood... well, college adulthood.

You may be thinking that this show is just another teen drama that over exaggerates the party lifestyle, but it does so much more.

1. It breaks the fourth wall

One of the really great things about the show is that in order to keep it authentic, Yara breaks the fourth wall, meaning in the middle of scenes she pauses to speak directly to the audience watching. What makes this so special is that we understand more of what her character, Zoey, is thinking or feeling about the situation. Whenever she’s confused or rationalizing, we listen to the same moments that would normally be unspoken and this creates a more realistic world and character.

2. The main character has major goals

Most shows depict a character leaving for college and heavily emphasize the sense of freedom or new experiences. In reality, while students are aware that this is possible within their new environment, most students are focused on getting their degree as well as expanding their network.

*Warning: Spoiler ahead*

In one episode, Zoey (Yara) is so focused on getting a letter of recommendation for a fellowship that she agrees to tutor the new star transfer athlete. While that situation is slightly dramatized, it doesn’t take away from the fact that as a student there are multiple hoops one must jump through just to have a good application for an internship or fellowship.

3. The way Zoey makes friends is so realistic

Most shows have students come on campus and immediately jump into Greek life or a popular organization to make friends. Although those characters typically struggle to join the organization, they usually end up making friends along the way and then everything works out fine. Well, that story is both true and false. While many people do go into college with Greek culture on their mind, many make friends the same way Zoey does.

4. The classes in the show are actually relatable 

It was very refreshing for me to see Zoey enrolled in a course that wasn’t necessary for her major or in a lecture hall. You could imagine my surprise when I first came to college and found out that not every class you take is in a lecture hall with 200 or more students. Some classes are small and quite frankly, not even relevant to your life, but are great for balancing your hard schedule.

5. It's relevant to current events

Many shows that try to depict a part of the real-world can end up flopping because they are out of touch with reality. Right along with Zoey talking to the audience during scenes, she also makes references to current things happening in the world — i.e. the Kardashians and Donald Trump and his policies. The show makes it a point to illustrate that college-aged people aren’t caught up in their own world and instead are frequently engaged in conversations about current events.

Overall, Grown-ish does a great job of both bad humor and dramatization to the reality that is college in 2018. The writers may slightly inflate a storyline for entertainment purposes, but unlike other cliché movies or shows this one is very honest in the intricacies of student’s lives. Even if you’ve never seen Black-ish, Grown-ish does a good job of separating itself from its predecessor and being a relevant voice for many college students.