Grown•ish is not shying away from any element of college life. After this episode, Grown•ish has become essential viewing for college students, as Zoey tackles a serious and life-defining situation: hooking up. This episode had some of the most candid conversations about flirting, sexting, and sex. The conversations these young folks have with each other are actual conversations I recall having with my friends in university, and still have to this day. It is refreshing to see the casual nature of these moments. There is no shaming or embarassment. Just honest talk between friends.
In this episode Zoey finds herself in an impossible situation when she fails to recognize the ever-changing language of romance for millennials and manages to overcompensate in seducing the boy, or boys, she likes.
Since Aaron’s introduction in Black•ish it is clear that he will be a major romantic interest for Zoey for as long as this series goes on (hopefully for at least 4 years). He is established as a fairly cool dude and is everything Zoey is attracted to based on her preferences set in Black•ish. It is surprising that the show jumps into the relationship quickly, that opening needed some type of warning.
What we learned in the previous episodes is that Zoey is not in her element. College life is new to her, and she can’t quite master it as she did high school. If you are just jumping straight into Grown•ish you should know that Zoey was mega popular and Queen Z in high school. Her moments with her brother, Junior, showed us that she had a mastermind level understanding of high school, and was perhaps a bit of a Regina George.
College Zoey is flopping hard. However, what Zoey learns in this episode is that it is important to work through the problems with people who have your back when things get tough. The type of people who will help you learn the different forms of hooking up with someone, or deciphering coded text messages, or provide you helpful advice that you will ultimately ignore, but appreciate later. For Zoey, those people are her girls, the women who will stand by you through all the embarrassing moments, like when you text bomb the hot guy who may be your soul mate.
College is a minefield, while your education is flourishing in academia, your education on who you are flourishes too. There is a lot Zoey needs to learn, and relationships and sex are some of those things. It’s all part of being grown-ish.