‘Black-ish’ Spin-Off Wins Praise for Accurate Portrayal of College Life

"Oh, yeah, 'Grown-ish' is that show."

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yara shahidi grown-ish
Yara Shahidi’s portrayal of Zoey, pictured, resonated with viewers. (FreeForm)

The highly anticipated “Black-ish” spin-off, “Grown-ish,” debuted on FreeForm Wednesday, Jan. 3 and viewers were delighted. Starring Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson navigating her way through college at Cal U. Much like its parent series, the two episodes focused on real issues — including drug use.

While the first episode primarily focused on Zoey meeting new friends and taking an oddly timed drone night class, the second one explored her struggle to balance her social life and classes. When it comes down to the need to concentrate on writing a 25-page paper, Zoey buckles down and pops an Adderall. And while it doesn’t work out so well with the paper, she managed to drop $3,000 on shoes before nodding off. Still, the blue pill helps her get the job done with the paper the next night.

As such, depiction on both episodes won praise from college-aged viewers who felt it accurately depicted university life.


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But ahead of the season premiere, folks expressed their displeasure with the overwhelming representation of light-skinned Black stars.

In December, one person even said they won’t tune into the show because of Shahidi’s apparent racial ambiguity.

Shahidi didn’t let the criticism fall on deaf ears. She addressed the tweet head-on on her own account.

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