Make no mistake: while the Black-ish cast have cameos, this is all about eldest Johnson child Zoey going to college, which actress Yara Shahidi was experiencing at the same time, so she could give her character an authentic feeling and speak to viewers going through the same experiences.
The styling of the two shows is exactly the same, so that narrator is Zoey’s inner voice as she tries to balance her college classes, her personal life and her family life… because while she thought that she had everything figured out, Zoey is learning that life is complicated at the best of times.
While it follows its predecessor, Grown-ish isn’t constrained by it, writes nytimes.com’s James Poniewozik: “What Grown-ish does from the get-go is a sense of itself and a lot to say. Over the years, Black-ish used family comedy to speak. The most interesting parts of Grown-ish suggests there’s a distinct show here. It’s good-hearted, but with a darker edge.”