[Review] Yara Shahidi Tackles College Life in Grown-ish Season Premiere

Last night, the highly-anticipated spin-off of the critically acclaimed series Black-ish made its premiere on the Freeform network. Yara Shahidi, one of the young break out actresses from the series, stars as a fresh faced 18 year-old navigating through her freshman year of college while tackling the many challenges of adulthood along the way.

The pilot episode titled “Late Registration” introduces viewers to Zoey’s new world as she says goodbye to her old one. While in a night class on the random subject of Drones, Zoey encounters five individuals that would end up being her core group of friends. All come from various backgrounds and they all have different ideas on what the college experience should be, yet they are able to bond and find one commonality among one another – the fact that they missed registration and were in this night class about Drones together. This episode did a great job at laying the groundwork of what we as viewers can expect this season. It also gives us insight to Zoey’s personality independent of her family.

With all the introductions out the way, episode two (titled, “Bitch Don’t Kill Me Vibe”. Are you catching the theme here?) dives right into tackling the tough topic of drug use. Zoey, now settled into her life at college, finds herself overwhelmed with the demands of college while managing a social life and turns to using pills at the advice from a friend. Heavy topics seem to be presented in a light-hearted manner, assuming that’s due to the young demographic this show is catering to.

We do get to see Zoey interact with her campus crush, Aaron (played by Trevor Jackson). Aaron is a sophomore who we see Zoey bend over backwards for in hopes of catching his attention if only for a moment. The episode ends showing a tired Zoey, who just moments before declared to her roommate that she would get back to being “herself”, receiving a text from her crush asking if she was awake and free to hang out, a request in which Zoey (against her better judgement) agrees.

Grown-ish is funny and extremely relatable to not just 18-25 years old, but to anyone who has experienced that sometimes awkward period of transition into adulthood.  Since the debut of Black-ish, Yara Shahidi has had audiences invested in the development of her character and Grown-ish allows her the opportunity to spread her wings and give an honest portrayal of a young black women in college today.

Watch Grown-ish and see for yourself! It airs Wednesday’s at 8pm EST/7pm CST on Freeform.

Follow me on Twitter @bykeenarenee

Leave a Reply