Let’s just start with how fire that theme song is. Chloe x Halle killed it! They also killed their debut album so when you’re done reading this, go check it out. I’m not getting a check for this promo I just genuinely love good music and sharing the wealth.
Clearly there will be spoilers if you haven’t watched the entire season, so go ahead and handle that on the Freeform app and come back later.
Okay! Let’s dive in.
I loved black-ish immediately. I wasn’t one of those people that was turned off by the title because as a writer, a title can mean everything and nothing that the masses are thinking. A title is literally the wrapping on the box. It’s cool to look at but the good stuff is what’s inside. I was a huge Tracee Ellis Ross fan since Girlfriends (honestly, that’s the reboot the people want and need!) and Anthony Anderson’s glow up in this industry is admirable to say the least. The show came out the gate strong and has continued to stay solid episode after episode. Yes, there are some character developments that I’m not too fond of but overall it's great to see the portrayal of a millennial black family on prime time TV, covering every issue you can think of.
When they announced a spinoff, I was indifferent. Let’s be honest...Zoey wasn’t that strong of a character on black-ish. She’s beautiful and extra fly but she was kinda just there. A spinoff on Junior or Dre’s coworkers would’ve been more entertaining but it's okay because I believed in the power of Yara Shahidi.
Then the A Different World comparisons started coming and I got nervous all over again. A Different World is one of those shows that cannot be duplicated. The cast, the writing, the staff, the timing--you can’t remake magic no matter how hard you try. Yet again, I was a believer so I gave it a chance.
Season one, episode one debuted on January 3rd and I was all in.
Freeform (formerly known as ABC Family) does this cool thing of showcasing teens dealing with very big adult situations. Generation Z or iGen, as I affectionately call them, aren’t awarded the luxury of living in the unknown. They’re hip to serious shit before they even reach that adolescence stage just because they have so much access to the internet. Today, an 18-year-old college student is basically a 28-year-old adult so it made sense why this show didn’t only resonate with the teeny boppers but the millennials as well.
What I loved about season 1:
They kept Zoey, Zoey. As I mentioned before, Zoey wasn’t the strongest character on black-ish. She wasn’t even the most complex of the Johnson children but they kept her the way that made us originally fall in love with her. She was always into fashion so when they brought back the Teen Vogue internship, I loved it. She had all these fly ass fits and dope ass hairstyles which had me wondering where did she keep all this stuff in a dorm room with a roommate but I was still here for it. Zoey started college exactly how she left home and even though she learned some stuff along the way, they kept her authentically her. I truly appreciate that.
Speaking of keeping things authentic, I want to commend the writers for covering such serious topics that typically goes untouched in television. Topics such as drug use and party culture, dating while black, the pros and cons of social media, fighting for your rights and how colleges continue to fail student athletes--all of these and so much more was crammed into 13 half hour slots and I tip my hat to them. And on top of THAT, Kenya Barris and the crew were able to name each and every episode after a hip-hop/r&b song! That’s real talent. Legendary.
Lastly, the show may be centered on Zoey but the real star(s) of the show are Jaz & Sky. Jaz & Sky are played by Chloe & Halle and when I tell you these ladies delivered week AFTER week. If someone told me that there’s no script for them, everything is just straight adlibs, I would wholeheartedly believe it. They offer that black girl realism while keeping it sassy and classy. I relate to the twins on a whole other level because they’re unapologetically them.
They’ve entered a white space and never shied away from being them. They deserve all the awards for the episode when they broke down dating as a black girl that doesn’t fit the “trendy” look that social media has stamped as marketable. It was real, it was important, it was timely and it was necessary. I need them around forever.
What I hope to see in season 2:
In season two, I would love to see more of her family. It was dope having Bow visit but Dre, Junior or even Diane visiting would’ve been a good time. Plus, Zoey really needed her foundation when she was busy popping those addys. I guess we’ll see a mash up when Zoey decides to bring Luca home. Imagine Jenifer Lewis's reaction when Luca walks in wearing eyeshadow and a jumpsuit? I'm already weak.
I would also love to see more cameos! Don’t you miss when 90s shows would have a celebrity just pop up either as themselves or a random role? Let's keep that going. It was dope seeing Diggy Simmons, Elaine Welteroth and Kid Ink but I'm ready for more.
Lastly, I really want Zoey to find her independence in season two. I know that season finale had everyone stressed, wondering which guy she would choose. I was team Aaron and I wasn’t mad about her picking Luca. Honestly, anyone besides Cash.
However, there’s someone she didn’t choose and that was herself. Since the beginning of the show, it’s been about some boy and I get it. She’s 18 and in college but I feel like it would’ve been eye opening to the young girls out there that feel like they have to measure their worth by some guy who usually doesn't even know his worth yet. You are enough and always will be enough! I don’t see this thing with Luca lasting but I do hope somewhere along the way, we get to discover the real Zoey.
Overall, it’s been a great ride and I’m ready for whatever season two has for us.