Grown-ish: “Better” & “Nothing Was The Same” Recap (Season 2, E1 & E2)


We’re on day three of 2019! It’s amazing that we just started the New Year this Monday and it’s already flying by. Maybe a cause of that is that Grown-ish is back on Freeform just in time for all of us to pack our bags and head back to campus to start second semester. We know our Wednesdays are gonna be locked up with finding out what’s new at Cal U! So, we’re bringing back out weekly recaps of Grown-ish!

This year, we’re doing it in a different format. We don’t have the time to be wordy and write long, broad think pieces about every episode. So, we here at HBCU Pulse are going to take notes of our feelings in the show and share it with you. Make sure you’ve watched the show so you can see where we’re coming from! The season 2 premiere was jammed packed! Two episodes that touched on two different topics that relate to millenial life! Let’s hop in shall we!

Ep. 1: Better

On-Campus Apartments: PWI’s/PBI’s, y’all do it like this? The only on-campus apartments I know of are faculty living apartments and the apartments that accredited student leaders (SGA President, Campus King & Queen) live in! Now, the inside that Zoey, Nomi and Ana first see of their new apartment is very underwhelming! Doesn’t Zoey live in the California area? Couldn’t her and Dre, who worships her, went down and checked it out before they paid their deposit and moved in? According to Zoey, international students stayed in the apartment for summer classes before they moved in. If it’s an on campus apartment complex (that I assume is owned by the school) why didn’t they check it after the students moved out? What does Cal U have going on?

And, it’s evident Cal U either isn’t a dry campus or the RA’s like Aaron just aren’t doing they job. They’re throwing back shots like they’re in the club and it’s New Years Eve!

Dean Of Students Charlie Thelphie: This had to be one of the funniest moments of both episodes! First, Charlie was an overnight adjunct professor that actually taught some marketing tactics in his crazy, off-base class. Now, he’s the Dean of Students at Cal U? How is Charlie able to work at Stephens & Lido with Dre in Black-Ish and have a whole administrative role at a pretty large university? How many hours are in Charlie’s day? How big is his bank account working those high-paying jobs? And, where did he get his doctorate from? Can somebody check? I think him and Dr. Love were classmates back in the day! Both Alumnus of Trump University!

Zoey & Luca’s Odd Relationship Part 1: It took Aaron doing a pop-up on Zoey in her room for her to know that Luca was back in town from Paris. They haven’t seen each other since school let out, although they’ve been keeping up with each other on FaceTime and social media. Zoey was excited to see Luca and was planning a special night for them once he got back. But, he was tired from the flight and didn’t let Zoey know that he was back in town. It’s safe to say that Zoey was pissed. But Zoey, let me be the person to remind you this: you chose him! Over Cash and over Aaron! And you chose him because he’s “different”. Different is the friendly word for odd/weird. Sure, he’s a creative mastermind but he’s weird. He’s in that Prince wagon of creatives.

She chose to be with him so that means that she can enjoy his good/great qualities exclusively but inherit his personal flaws and quirky ways. Did she not understand that? We’ve seen her in relationships before! What has Dre taught his baby girl? You chose a weird dude Zoey! Deal with it!

Now, I don’t blame her for being mad. She spent all that time to make their first time seeing each other special and it seemed like he was taking it for granted. However, let’s cut the man some slack. This isn’t A Different World and Luca definitely isn’t Dwayne! Luca has been nonchalant and too cool for everything since season 1. Did Zoey think that this would change now that she was in a relationship? More on this later because this isn’t their biggest issue. Only a symptom of it!

Ana Needs To Stop Binge Drinking: So, it’s clear that Ana has a drinking habit. The girl drinks all the time and she can’t hold her liquor! Somebody needs to get her! Clearly Zoey won’t. Ana got sloppy drunk during that freshman pool party and Zoey left her out there because she was afraid about what other people would think about her (more on that in episode 2. Nomi was the only person that really looked out for Ana when she was sloppy drunk at that formal! But someone just need to be real and tell her to put the bottle down!

Real friends should be what we all strive to have in 2019! They celebrate our amazing ness but aren’t afraid to call out our faults. Nomi needs a whole lot of that! Maybe Sky and Jazz can be real with her! Sis needs all of that!


Ep. 2: Nothing Was The Same 

I Love Sky & Jazz: Can we agree that Chloe x Halle steal every scene they’re in? I’m so proud of them! They’ve grown into the characters of Sky and Jazz! The one liners were amazing! They manage to burn Gucci, Steph and Ayesha and Nomi!

Nomi was right but…: Nomi is 100% right about them! They’re vain! The girls think that putting their relationship on social media in hopes of drawing compliments and jealousy is going to make them feel better. They’re denying the truth! But, she went far left when she tried to insinuate that their search for validation is because they didn’t have active fathers in their lives. She went #alllivesmatter on us real quick!

That was totally false! Dre, Zoey’s dad, is super active. As a matter of fact, his constant spoiling of her throughout her childhood and his lack of putting her up on true knowledge about the world and challenging her to be a more well-rounded woman is most of her problem. Thanks Dre!

They’re playing FIFA Instead of 2K: So, Hawkins Hall is the black dorm and they’re playing FIFA instead of NBA 2K or Madden? Cal U has put their black students in the Sunken Place! Or, FIFA is getting that sponsorship integration check!

Communication is Zoey’s biggest problem: It’s funny that Zoey breaks the fourth wall and communicates to us in the audience more than she does Luca. She’s had horrible issues with their communication since they’ve gotten back from summer break, yet she hasn’t communicated how she felt! They’re whole relationship is Luca being oblivious to how Zoey feels and Zoey holding in how she feels hoping Luca would take a hint but he doesn’t care enough to guess. These dudes in college aren’t like your dad Zoey. They aren’t just gonna bow to you if you look at them funny. You have to communicate how you really feel.


That’s the biggest issue with our relationships today! We don’t communicate what we want. We’d rather talk around the issue or try to finesse our way into what we really want, then get mad when things go sour. When are we going to stop doing this?  I can’t read your mind and you can’t read mine! We gotta get it together!

Now, to fast forward to the end, I don’t agree with Zoey’s resolution to her issue with Luca. I mean, she was in the right ballpark but still didn’t get the point. Instead of overtly going to talk to him in person you talk to the dude that you used to semi-talk to about you minuscule problems? Then, draw a parallel between them interacting on the phone when they were in 2 different countries to say, “Maybe I should send Luca some Snaps of me making silly faces to make him feel better.” She didn’t call him, she didn’t FaceTime him, she didn’t even send a long text message that would’ve been cut up into 18 parts if he was on an Android. Nope, she talked to him on Snapchat. And that’s her resolution.

I mean, it worked. They were all boo’d up outside afterwards and Luca finally told her “I love you” in person (her response of “I love you, deadass.” was priceless)! However, that’s not gonna hold up for the rest of this season. That’s a bandaid that they’re putting over a fresh open wound. They need to have a face-to-face conversation about where they are and what they expect from each other. From the looks of the synopsis of the next episode, it’s about to get uglier!

By the way, I ran a poll for all the young women watching the show to revote on who they would’ve picked now that they see how Zoey’s relationship is going to start her sophomore year. Luca and Cash tied for last place and Aaron would’ve been their choice. But, there was a 4th choice that I think we all, men and women, miss out on. Sometimes we just need to choose ourselves.

Zoey “is” being mad extra: Communication issues aside, why does Zoey care so much about what other people think. Once again, I blame Dre for not pushing his baby girl to understand that the true value is inside of her. Sure, we all care about pubic perception. It’s what makes us not go on a date with joggers and slides on (at least normal people). But, Zoey cares way too much about what her friends and people that do nothing for her think. Instead of talking through how she felt with Luca, she ran to her girls and Aaron to get validation from them. As Zoey starts her sophomore year she needs to realize that the only people that matter in a relationship are the people that are in that relationship. Bringing other people into it only complicates things.

That’s not to say that she shouldn’t communicate to her friends what’s going on. Ana and Noni don’t give the best advice sometimes though. Sky and Jazz, although the most sensible out the bunch, take things too much to the extreme. But, she has to learn to come up with her own conclusions and be comfortable with it. That’s why she needs to have a sit-down with Luca to feel out where they are. But, let’s be real, that’s not going to happen. And, I’m calling it right now! Zoey and Luca will break up by season’s end. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I just see it coming.

And there we have it ladies and gentleman. Grown-ish is back in full swing and we’re here for it. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @thehbcupulse for our weekly episode threads of real college students giving their real opinion on what’s covered in the show! And check out our college book A Queen’s Pain on Amazon today!  




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