As the series premiere of the long-awaited Black-ish spin-off, Grown-ish finally hits Freeform tonight, we couldn’t be more excited to get a front row seat to Zoey Johnson’s college experience.
The show is coming almost 30 years after the heyday of the classic show A Different World, which tackled serious coming of age issues. Here are some of the things we’re hoping the show tackles to truly champion the nuances of college life.
1 Transfer Students
The reality is that the first college you attend out of high school might not be the one you graduate from. You may start out in community college to get your credits (and savings) up or decide that the school you landed at just isn’t for you. Transferring can be exciting, but can also be a complex experience that affects people in unique ways.
2 Destigmatizing Bisexuality
According to the show description, Zoey’s friend Nomi is openly bisexual. Positive, non-stereotypical representation of bisexuality is still pretty hard to find, which leads to stigma from both the hetero and queer communities. We hope that Nomi’s character isn’t shamed or stereotyped as she goes about her life at college.
3 How Conservative is Conservative?
Zoey’s roommate Ana is a first-generation Cuban-American who according to Teen Vogue holds “conservative political views that rub Zoey the wrong way.” In the era of Trump, living with someone holding “conservative views” can go from 0 to 100 real quick. However, we do hope that the series does explore the complicated reason why many Cubans tend to vote Republican and that there’s room for an educated, respectful political discourse on the show.
4 Class Privilege
This is the first time that Zoey might be surrounded by kids who don’t share her same upper-middle-class background. While she might receive care packages and an allowance away at school, there will be other kids struggling to make do with two jobs on top of classes. She’ll be confronted with her own class privilege in a brand new way.
5 Normalize Drug Use in College
Zoey’s friend Vivek is a first-generation Indian-American student who also sells pills on campus. In the first teaser trailer, we see how he tries to sell her Adderall. While what Vivek is doing is obviously illegal, it is something that is a reality on college campuses. Instead of taking the preachy route, we’re hoping it’s a representation of what actually happens in college.
With the “Me Too” conversation so fresh in our minds, college is, unfortunately, a setting where many sexual assault cases take place. In addition to having meaningful conversations about consent, we also the show take the hint from Insecure‘s lack of showing condoms and represents sex positivity and safety.