I’m so excited for tonight. Tonight is the series premiere of grown-ish, which is the spin-off of black-ish, a show I love SO MUCH, starring Yara Shahidi as Zoe Johnson who goes off to university. And, of course, many people, including creator Kenya Barris, are comparing it to A Different World. As he told Vanity Fair:
“A Different World, for me, was in a lot of ways responsible for me going to college,” Barris admitted. “I wanted to go to a black college, and I wanted to get out of Los Angeles. It’s just a natural part of all of our journeys, that idea of leaving home.”
So even though black-ish took Kenya’s career to the next level, it sounds like, right now, grown-ish is the series that he wants to define his work around:
“For me, personally, this show matters more career-wise than Black-ish,” Barris said. “It’s not my family story. This is, contemporarily, a little bit in its own lane. I’m very, very excited about it, but it is scary.”
This is a big statement, to say that grown-ish “matters more career-wise” than the one that is the hit network TV comedy, nominated for all kinds of awards, consistently a ratings performer and a critics’ favourite. But this is a series about the “generation coming of age in Donald Trump’s America”. And we’ve seen both the influence and the statement that Teen Vogue has made on and about a rising class of young people, in particular young women, with something to say and a desire to learn. Grown-ish hopes to be the television series manifestation of that movement, centred around, as Yara Shahidi describes to Vanity Fair, “an imperfect woman of colour who still thrives”, surrounded by a diverse cast, both in background and in thought, all of them aiming to explore what it means to on the cusp of adulthood right now.
I can’t f-cking wait. Set your PVR for a series recording!
Yours in gossip,