The highly anticipated second season of Grown-ish proves its staying power with hotter takes, higher stakes, and a way better use of Charlie. Where did Chris Parnell go? It’s not important, because now Professor Charles Telphy (Deon Cole) has “failed up” to Dean of Students!
Zoey (Yara Shahidi) is back for her sophomore year of college, reminding her audience via vlog-style direct address that sequels have power — just look at Kendall Jenner’s second face! It’s notable that previous half hour cable sit-com Sex and the City used direct address heavily in it’s first season, eventually phasing it out by season two. Grown-ish has stuck to the motif, which works better in a world where audience are used to seeing creators speak directly to them through apps like Instagram and Snapchat.
Zoey and her girls have moved out of the dorms and into an on campus apartment with a typical, unbelievably huge, only-could-ever-exist-on-TV bathroom that Nomi (Emily Arlook) won’t stop violating other people’s privacy in.
Zoey and Luca (Luka Sabbat) have been long distance all summer, so Zoey is shocked when she discovers her beau is back in the states and hasn’t texted her yet. She stays “cool and classy” by resisting the urge to throw beer in his face when she finally tracks him down at his dorm. Luca is too tired for the reunion Zoey had planned, but the two compromise on a movie night.
Aaron (Trevor Jackson) meanwhile is still totally hung up on Zooey. His summer was spent getting ignored while doing grocery store activism and learning baby CPR. But honestly compared to Luca’s lukewarm reception, it’s starting to look like Zoey might have made the wrong choice last season. Zoey may have picked style over substance, when she picked Luca over Aaron. Not to mention that after being away from her for three months, Luca picked smoking weed over kissing her!
Luca and Zoey may be back on the same continent, but they are not on the same page. He won’t even take a real photo with his amazing girlfriend, forcing Zoey to admit that they’re not #relationshipgoals. She learns that the rest of her friends have a “Zuka 911” group chat to discuss the couple, and Anna provides body language analysis showing that there is definitely something off between the two.
After a big fight with Luca at the Hawkins movie night, Zoey turns to Aaron for relationship advice. Between his ardent love of activism and his genuinely good advice, Aaron in these two episodes seems like he would get along well with Zoey’s dad, Andre Johnson. The two share a passion for educating and elevating the people around them — and they both clearly love Zoey.
Despite Luca’s non-chalant attitude and total inability to put Zoey’s needs first, the two make it through two episodes without breaking up. But as many fans on Twitter lament, can Zoey really stay with a guy who seems so uninterested in her? Especially with Aaron around, demonstrating just how interested he is.
Grown-ish, a Black-ish spinoff continues its 13 episode season Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Freeform.