In the January 3 premiere of the new spinoff series Grown-ish on Freeform, freshman Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi of ABC’s Black-ish) thinks she has the fictional California University all figured out after only three days on campus. Of course, just about everything she’s figured out is pretty much worthless and has some kind of political slant to it – all liberal.
Two and a half minutes into this first episode, “Late Registration,” Zoey walks us through the things that she has decided are important. It’s telling that the show decided to start the Black-ish spinoff on a new network, trying to attract new viewers, by staking their political ground. They thought it was so important their ideology was clear that they put it right at the beginning of the first episode, before any actual plot. Did they not think the story could stand on it’s own, that they had to resort to playing on the biases of the viewers?
Speaking of liberal bias, here is “everything [Zoey] needed to know to completely master” California University.
Zoey: I knew it all. I knew that Ronald J. Winthrop was our school founder, and that he dabbled in slavery. I knew that the Cal U basketball team of 1958 would get bodied by the Cal U basketball team today. I knew that this was the women’s bathroom and also the men’s bathroom. I knew this was the campus hot spot… This was the campus lame spot... And this was the campus dead spot.
Man: Hold on, Mom! Did you say Dad was gay or game?
It’s weird that the fictional school founder would have been a slave owner. California became a state in 1850 (entering the union as a free state, wherein slavery wasn’t legal) and the oldest college in the state was founded in 1851. So, it’s theoretically possible “Winthrop” owned slaves in another state, then moved to California and founded a college quickly before the end of slavery across the United States, but it seems rather unlikely. It still didn’t stop Grownish from showing an image of a white man with a jaunty Confederate flag.
Now, for sports. We see an all-white basketball team and are assured that they would be “bodied” by the basketball team today, which is represented by a black player.
Next, we have gender neutral bathrooms. You may have noticed that the door featured the traditional image of a man in pants signifying a men’s room, a woman in a dress signifying a women’s room, and one that has one leg in pants and the other in a dress. I assume that’s the transgender bathroom symbol, although it’s not the legally approved symbol for the “everyone is welcome” bathrooms. California law requires that people be allowed to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, not every gender, but sure. The more, the merrier.
Where to hang out on campus? Well, the options, according to Zoey, are the “campus hot spot,” which is full of cool-looking people (who happen to be black) dancing and the “lame spot,” which is illustrated by a bunch of white Trump supporters with a “Build the Wall” sign. Even the depiction of the “dead spot” in which there is no cell reception is somebody trying to discern whether or not a caller is trying to tell him that his dad is gay.
Is anything normal happening on this campus anywhere, or does Zoey just not find that important?
This post originally appeared on NewsBusters