A Girl of Color’s Today: Grown-ish

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Courtesy of Black Girl Nerds

Spoiler Alert

Grown-ish is the show of the moment– or at least it is among all of the girls of color I hang out with. Everyone has an opinion on Aaron’s rat tail or how Luca wears his locks “artistically.” I even had an entire group chat devoted to discussing Zoey’s boy choices in the season finale (I’m a Zuca fan all the way). I would text or Facetime my friends because at Wednesday nights at eight o’clock we all knew what we should be doing; now, on Wednesdays I am eagerly waiting for the second season.

Grown-ish follows six friends, a diverse bunch with a token white person. For me I haven’t seen a group of friends that reflect mine like that. Most TV shows have a token POC instead of one white Jewish bisexual girl named Nomi. Their ridiculous adventures– from Vivek’s drug empire to Cal U founder’s descendents’ parties –are outlandish, but the friends aren’t. Each character is fully fleshed out (although I still can’t tell the difference between the twins Jazlyn and Skylar), and many storylines involve the opposing backgrounds of different characters: Cash has to go back to his old neighborhood to see his less-than-great dad with Zoe, the track twins on scholarship try to hustle their free gear, and Ana has to push for a conservative safe space.

Many of us growing up in diverse areas don’t spend our time with one racial group or another; rather, we see many different people and don’t question the fact we have different types of friends. There doesn’t have to be a hesitation about the fact that all of these people come together in Professor Telphy’s midnight marketing class to bond. There are, however, valid hesitations about the show’s decision to only cast lights-skinned black actors and the fact that the only boy who doesn’t have a romance plotline is an Asian man. Still, it’s a half-an-hour sitcom that tackles everything from drugs to anti-blackness in dating. Despite being a bit preachy at times, so many of my friends and myself have experienced one of the the show’s long checklist of large societal issues squeezed into a college campus.

Nearing the end of my high school experience, Grown-ish is a blueprint of how I hope to approach college. I will try to go out all night and gather inspiration for my new project. There will be times I will trade my entire friend group for some boy who goes from zero to one hundred too fast. But hopefully, I can bounce back just like Zoe does and have all my problems solved in a neat half an hour show.  

 

-Amelia Dogan