Goodbye ABC and hello Freeform! ABC’s hit comedy show, Black-ish, took a step back and realized a perfect opportunity to hone in on another popular demographic. The Grown-ish. You know this demographic. It’s literally what The Young Folks is built off of – young adults who are navigating through life while working hard. So if you’re reading this, you’re most likely sort of grown or you’re really grown.
In Black-ish, we’re constantly inside the mind of Andre Johnson (Anthony Anderson), the patriarch of the Johnson family. This time around, we’re focusing our eyes on Johnson’s first child, Zoey (Yara Shahidi). If you’re familiar with her character, you know that not much focus was ever on Zoey. For the most part, we knew she was popular, Andre’s favorite child, and focused a lot on herself more than anyone/anything else. In this Saved By The Bell Zack Morris-like narrator situation, we see her for who she really is as Zoey Johnson sans family.
The first two episodes premiered Wednesday night and introduced the audience to the new fresh faces who will replace the beloved Johnson family. However, some familiar faces shouldn’t be forgotten! Deon Cole reprises his role as Charlie Telphy, Zoey’s night class drone professor/doctor. His character still doesn’t make sense, but that’s what makes Charlie… Charlie. We also have Chris Parnell, the university’s Dean, although he has yet to make a huge impact in the show. And, familiar ABC Family/Freeform face Ana Torres (Francia Raisa, Secret Life of an American Teenager) makes her comeback as Zoey’s roommate. The one character we have our eye on? The strikingly similar Jaden Smith character, Luca (Lukka Sabbat). Tell us you don’t get those Jaden vibes. There’s just something oddly… mesmerizing about him.
So far, consider us not impressed by executive producer Kenya Barris’ spin-off just yet. While we did enjoy the embarrassing drunk stories to the relatable late registration of classes, there’s something that feels like it’s missing. It’s still trying to find its voice. What that voice is? Nothing comes to mind just yet but let’s not forget, it took Black-ish about three or four seasons to find its footing and growth. Who’s to say this won’t happen again? It’s only the first season, so I’m giving it a chance.
We’re excited to see what Yara has to bring to the table, or should we say small screen? A fronted comedy with a beautiful cast of fresh, new faces that focuses on college? Yes, please. Haven’t been this excited since Undeclared or Greek. The latter being a successful ABC Family show, by the way. Who says you can’t strike gold twice?