ABC's 'Grown-ish'

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L   et’s get it straight from the beginning: Grown-ish is not A Different World. And that’s okay. Because it’s still amazing and living up to all of our expectations.

Freeform’s newest addition premiered Wednesday night and it follows Black-ish’s oldest kid, Zoey, as she enters a brand new chapter in her life: her freshman year at Cal State. The two-part series premiere introduced us to Zoey’s new crew. There’s Nomi, the closeted bi Jewish girl, the track star twins Jazz and Sky, the fake-deep stoner Luca, the pretentious engineering student and drug dealer Vivek, and Ana, Zoey’s Latinx conservative religious roommate. Oh, and of course, there’s Zoey’s sophomore crush Aaron, the social justice warrior who sends fuckboi texts like “u up?” after midnight.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We hear the background stories of the characters and how they each ended up in the unfortunate situation of taking a class about drones at midnight with a bunch of questionable adult transfer students. Ultimately, they realize they have more in common than they think—they’re all just trying to make their families proud.

The first two episodes set a solid foundation for the series to address a variety of issues such as being on scholarship, code-switching, drug use, sex, and coming out. Though the plotlines will cover touchy topics, the show toes the delicate balance of being real without coming off as preachy. In the second part of the premiere, Zoey tries Adderall for the first time to get her paper done in a last-minute pinch, but we don’t see any shaming adults or peers around (yet). It’s seen as a regular part of college life, which lowkey, it kind of is (in moderation). Hopefully, Zoey can get her hectic schedule (and the addy use) under control.

Grown-ish certainly hasn’t disappointed with its first two episodes. We’ll definitely keep watching to see what’s good with Aaron, the addy, and of course, how the Johnson family is holding up with their eldest living outside the nest.

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