The spin-off of ABC’s Black-ish follows eldest daughter Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) as she begins her freshman year at Southern California University.
The Johnson family’s eldest daughter is taking her first steps into the real world as she heads off to college. “Grown-ish” explores the first trappings of adulthood, and Zoey must navigate through the trials and tribulations of these momentous steps. Zoey discovers that once she leaves the nest, things do not always go her way.
The series features “that in between place where you’re not quite an adult but facing grown world problems for the first time,” Kenya Barris, the show’s creator and executive producer, said.
More than a worthy inheritor to its network progenitor, Grown-ish takes full advantage of Shahidi’s presence and energy to realistically explore what the undergrad experience is like in the modern age, without ginning up a cautionary tone or diluting the honesty of its plot points.
Like “A Different World,” the “Cosby Show” spin-off, “grown-ish” moves to its own beat. While it, too, tries to be socially conscious, it doesn’t force its message.
The new characters can still use fleshing out. Meanwhile, Ms. Shahidi’s laid-back, dry performance, a great fit with the more antic “black-ish” ensemble, takes getting used to as the focus of a series. What grown-ish does have from the get-go is a sense of itself and a lot to say.