The hit coming of age sitcom Grownish returned on Freeform Jan. 21, bringing with it the awkward messiness of navigating life as a young adult that we can all relate to. Season 3, episode 9 came out swinging with awkward breakups galore and a reconnection of the core girl group as Zoey returns to Cal U on a vacation from work.
One of the things that makes this show unique is its ability to provide a comedic yet real look on the awkwardness of being a young adult. In this particular episode, we see harsh examples of expectations versus reality in both Zoey and Aaron’s, and Jazz and Doug’s falling outs. Both Zoey and Jazz had unrealistic expectations that were unfair to their boos, which is something many young adults struggle to reconcile in their relationships. It’s often a messy and awkward process.
Being able to watch someone go through exactly what you’re going through on screen helps mediate an individual’s own feelings, providing an opportunity for real emotional growth.
Grownish reminds us to take a kind look at our awkward and dramatic experiences
The show focuses on emotional intelligence, awkward situations, existential dread, and finding your own voice and path in life. Though the show follows Zoe’s entry into college and her subsequent adventures and growth from that point on, these central messages are ones that many college students can relate to. The show focuses on the real life growing pains that we all have to go through, no matter what the situation.
The show’s sitcom format adds the humor that we often don’t stop to reflect on, and probably won’t until we’re older. The show balances the dramatic and humorous moments of awkward personal and professional growth, but also encourages us to not take simple pleasures for granted. In this new episode, the show reminds viewers of this in the sequence when Jazz, Zoey, Anna, and Sky have a dance party in their apartment after all unfollowing their exes/ex-flings on Instagram. Moments like those seem commonplace, but this show reminds us to stop and really appreciate the beauty of them.
A cathartic show for gen-z
The show provides an honest look at many of the issues gen-z is dealing with, and grows along with the audience. The show first premiered at the exact same time that I was entering college as a freshman. As I was watching the shows each week, seeing Zoey and the rest of the cast go through the same things that my friends and I were going through was incredibly cathartic.
Although now many gen-z young adults feel like their lives have been halted due to the pandemic, a lot of the awkward interactions and struggles are things we’re still dealing with. The pandemic certainly didn’t stop existential dread, school, friendship troubles, or breakups and it’s nice to have a show dealing with that at the same time we are, even if it looks different.
Elli Williams is a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara pursuing a B.A. in Film and Media studies as well as a Professional Writing Minor with an emphasis in Journalism. She is passionate about discussing the latest movies and TV shows. When not binging the latest release, she’s taking pictures, drawing, and planning her next adventure.