The Ladies of 'Grownish' Are Done Conceding in Their Relationships


People have had reservations about Grownish in the past, specifically its supposed inability to accurately depict college life. Since season two has aired, however, those complaints have slowly faded away and been replaced with conversations about how relatable the episodes have been thus far. In the first season viewers couldn’t fathom that freshman Zoey Johnson could be in a relationship with a pro-bound basketball star and then have to make a choice between two completely separate guys fighting over her all within the same school year. Not to mention characters like Ana and Luca, the religious freak and the brooding artist respectively, were set archetypes with no room for complexity. These characters have finally been given layers and the situations they find themselves in have all of a sudden become more real.

So far this season, Zoey gets caught cheating on an exam, Nomi falls for her professor, and Ana finds herself in a situation-ship with Aaron. Tonight’s ‘Nice For What’ episode lives up to the female anthem it references. The ladies of the show are finally pipin’ up and taking a stand in their relationships. The episode starts off a little shaky with Aaron casually leaving Ana and Zoey’s apartment, surprising both Zoey and Luca as well as the audience. In the previous episode, Aaron essentially rejected Ana’s confession that she wanted to be in a relationship with him leaving her upset, confused, and heartbroken. Fast forward to tonight you can see the confusion one might have seeing the two in seemingly good spirits—together. Her explanation is that this is college and she wants to continue “just having fun” with Aaron. Zoey then warns her to make sure she’s not settling and Nomi quickly interjects that there isn’t anything wrong with Ana’s “untraditional” relationship, undoubtedly alluding to her own unique relationship with Professor Hewston.

Like Ana, Nomi is in denial about what she wants out of her relationship. Currently, she isn’t allowed to be seen with her partner, talk about their relationship to other people, or even come over to visit unless previously scheduled. She even gets into another argument with Zoey where she explains that compromising in a relationship is normal, in which Zoey responds that Nomi’s compromises aren’t compromises at all, but actually concessions. Nomi shocks absolutely no one by quickly becoming defensive and pointing out the flaws in Zoey’s own relationship and the fact that she is constantly making concessions for Luca, such as wearing buns so his rings don’t get caught in her hair and eating only when he wants to eat.


After some time, all three girls realize they’ve been given a reality check and decide to make a decision on whether they want to take the reigns when it comes to their partners or not. Zoey realizes it’s okay that Luca doesn’t want the same things she does all the time, and that they can always just do those things separately. Nomi admits that she just wanted to please Professor Hewston, but was ultimately unhappy being in a secret relationship and decided to end it. Anna becomes very intoxicated and wakes up with the epiphany that she is not going to get what she wants from Aaron, i.e a relationship, and has to do what is best for her, i.e block him.

While many of us could not relate to making a tough decision on whether to stay in school or drop out to follow our NBA draft pick boyfriend to his new team city, most of us can relate to season two’s character’s problems. Whether it be a secret relationship, a situation-ship, or realizing you’re losing yourself in a “perfect” relationship, a lot of college students can relate not only to the circumstance, but the tough decisions that ensue. Now that Grownish has conquered its relatability issue, its moving on to its next piece of advice from viewers which is to cast more dark-skinned actors for roles. Apparently, Ryan Destiny will be playing a transfer HBCU student next season and I for one am very excited to see where the shows takes us.

Jasmine Hardy