STARRING: Yara Shahidi, Deon Cole, Trevor Jackson, Francia Raisa, Emily Arlook, Jordan Buhat, Chris Parnell
CREATED BY: Kenya Barris and Larry Wilmore
PREMIER: January 3
This is the thing with beloved family sitcoms. At one point or another, the children are going to grow up and leave the nest. But what do the writers do with these profound characters, because they have spent so much time developing them and built a following of like-minded peers?
Sometimes what results is a spin-off, where we follow the life of the character away from the nest. We saw it with Denise Huxtable moving into in A Different World, when she grew out of The Cosby Show. Just like Denise, it’s time for Zooey Johnson to spread her wings and fly.
Zooey leaves the security of home in Black-ish as she faces the grown-up world, which leaves her questioning her own maturity in the more appropriately named spin-off Grown·ish.
In college, Zooey faces peer pressure, drugs, freedom and questions of morality. She realises that unlike high school, she does not have college figured out, and that her whole experience there will be nothing like she ever imagined.
In her midnight marketing class, taught by her father’s colleague Charlie, Zooey befriends a group of misfit teens, each facing their own struggles.
Like its parent show Black-ish, the show tries to be socially conscious, addressing important subject matters from teenagers’ perspective.
And since Zooey has a diverse group of friends, the writers can discuss various issues without being too hard on the main character.
Of course, Yara Shahidi carries most of the show, but she manages to shine bright as lead actor without outperforming her fellow castmates.
As one of the first shows to premier in 2018, Grown.ish shows that there is versatility, vision and promise for television in the new year.