With college around the corner right after senior year of high school has come to a close, we are left thinking that we are “grown” and ready to take on the world. Newsflash: we really are not- but don’t tell us that because we will deny deny deny. This mentality is ever-present in the new show Grown-ish that premiered on Freeform.
A spinoff of the ABC show Black-ish, Grown-ish follows the eldest of the Johnson children Zoey, who is played by Yara Shahidi. As Zoey enters college, she finds that she really might not be as grown as she once thought she was. Zoey faces relatable challenges such as discovering new relationships, finding where she belongs and making difficult choices.
To me this show has proven to be a true grasp on how college is for freshmen. I appreciate the fact that Grown-ish covers more sensitive topics on the show such as drug abuse, procrastination, parties and sex. The show does so in such a manner that no vulgar actions or scenes are found within the show. All of it is implied, so there’s never a truly uncomfortable scene.
In the first episode, Zoey explains how often her dad calls her during Zoey’s first few days away from home. This was one of the funniest parts because it shows her dad crying in his closet and telling her how much he missed her while Zoey rolled her eyes. Episode one also introduced us to Zoey’s newest friends and how she got off to a pretty bad start with her roommate. The only true problem I had with this episode was that she had a class at midnight. I know there are night classes, but midnight was pretty darn late. This does end up being the class where she makes the majority of her friends.
Episode two faces the problems of college parties and procrastination. Zoey finds herself at her first college party and witnesses people drinking and doing drugs. In this episode, Zoey finds herself low on time (how relatable.) In a panic, she tells her friends who respond nonchalantly with, “Here’s some Adderall.” Sadly, this is way too common on college campuses. Adderall is being taken by students without a prescription to help them finish their work on time. Zoey initially responds with, “Isn’t this cheating,” but ends up taking the Adderall and finds herself stuck online shopping. She takes it a few more times and ends up getting her work done, but is not too proud of her choices. The episode showed an acceptable way to handle the drug rather than glorifying it.
In episode three, Zoey ends up trying to figure out the exact definition of “hooking up.” Is it just making out, or is it something more? This conversation takes place late one night when Zoey’s crush Aaron texts her “U up?” The show persists with Zoey eventually finding herself “casually dating” Aaron, the artsy, “woke” sophomore and Luca, the artsy, stoner freshman. Eventually the two find out and stop talking to Zoey. She swears off boys until meeting a new basketball player walking around campus. The episode ends there, and we are left waiting to be rescued from the anticlimactic cliffhanger of episode three.
All in all, I think Grown-ish is very relatable to college students- possibly more for girls rather than boys. Grown-ish airs on Wednesday nights at 8/7 central on Freeform.