Grown-ish has stolen all of our hearts over the past couple of weeks and we are excited that it has been renewed for a second season. The spin-off of the hit sitcom Black-ish stars young actress and activist Yara Shahidi. What’s special about this show is that it is so on point when it comes to the depiction of the college experience, especially for Generation Z. From relationships to drugs and alcohol to social media to internships at Teen Vogue. This show brings us along for the wild ride that is one’s freshman year of college.
The main character played by Yara is Zoey Johnson, a modern-day African American girl who is just trying to find herself and make her parents proud. One of our favorite elements in the show is the diverse cast. It is refreshing to see tight friendships that involve people of all races and ethnicities on our screens. The cast is not only diverse when it comes to the color of their skins but it showcases how different lifestyles align and why it is important to have friends who are different from you. There is a lot that one can learn from surrounding themselves with people of unfamiliar backgrounds, sexual identities, and perspectives. Below we will discuss the diverse cast and what they bring to the table on and off the screen.
Zoey Johnson (Yara Shaidi)
Zoey is just a girl trying to figure out this whole “adulting” thing. She comes from an amazing home and can sometimes be naive when it comes to the evil ways of the world. She loves fashion and social media. In real life, Yara is an enthusiastic actress and activist whose college recommendation letter was written by Michelle Obama. She loves reading James Baldwin books and dancing in the mirror to Tyler The Creator or Lil Uzi Vert.
Jazlyn and Skyler Forster (Chloe and Halle)
Jazlyn and Skyler are the track recruits who aren’t from the best neighborhood. Sports was their only way out of their situation and their whole town is depending on them to make them proud. Navigating through this collegiate journey as black women isn’t always easy. They aren’t always looked at as “beautiful” and although the school has their back as track stars, they don’t really get to be anything other than that. The twins are full of life and jokes, quick to defend their friends and themselves when necessary. They don’t take any shit. In real life, Chloe and Halle are up and coming R&B sensations signed under Parkwood Ent. (Beyonce’s label.) The theme song for the show was written and sung by these lovely sisters.
Aaron Jackson (Trevor Jackson)
Aaron Jackson is the woke upperclassman who also played Zoey’s love interest. Aaron helps guide the cast through college since he is a bit older, but he also finds out that there is so much that he can learn from his younger compadres. His goal is to change the world. In real life, Trevor Jackson is an actor and artist. He played Simba in the national touring company of The Lion King and has starred in the Disney Channel original movie Let It Shine. Trevor’s singles are ‘Like We Grown’ and ‘Superman’ and he has also started a YouTube channel where he showcases more of his incredible musical talents.
Nomi Segal (Emily Arlook)
Nomi Segal is the bi-sexual Caucasian friend who prides herself on being a non-conformist. Although her parents wish she would follow societies rules, Nomi does her own thing and has her own mind. She isn’t afraid to express her opinions and is always there for her friends when they are in need. In real life, Emily Arlook plays Pillow Talk, Hand of God, The Good Place and Just Add Water. Arlook is also a college graduate who considers herself a Jewbu (a Jewish Buddhist). She advocates heavily for meditation and wants to make spirituality more accessible.
Luca Hall (Luka Sabbat)
Luca Hall is the free-spirited stoner who is always dropping gems. Luca is always around to give Zoey the best advice from a non-biased perspective. Luca is also a fashion major just like Zoey, he forces her to think outside of the box in the classroom and in her life. In real life, Luka Sabbat’s resume include modeling and styling. With over 850K followers on Instagram, Luka has made a name for himself on the fashion scene while working with brand campaigns including Yeezy.
Vivek Shah (Jordan Buhat)
Vivek is the ambitious drug dealer with a big heart. His parents are immigrants and his motivation is to become successful in America for himself and for his parents who sacrificed so much for him. Vivek is “the plug” and although he doesn’t have to sell drugs, he is a natural born hustler and get’s it by any means necessary. In real life, Jordan Buhat is into fitness and is an advocate for healthy lifestyles. Grown-ish is his first major role of what we hope to be many.
Ana Torres (Francia Raisa)
Ana Torres is an outspoken conservative and Zoey’s supportive roommate. Although her viewpoints may clash with some of the other cast mates she brings a great dynamic to the show. Ana is of hispanic descent and is very experienced. She has Zoey’s back like no other. In real life, you’ve seen Francia Raisa on The Secret Life Of The American Teenager (for which she was a Teen Choice Award, IMAGEN, and ALMA nominee), Bring It On: All Or Nothing, Dear White People, and The Mindy Project. Her father is a famous Latin DJ and radio personality by the name of Maximo Renán Almendariz Coell.
Currently, there is no released date for season two, but after premiering last January as Freeform’s highest-rated comedy debut in almost six years, the network had no choice to give us what we love. Tweet us your favorite character from Grown-ish at @VashtieDotCom.