Watch A Different World
- 6 Seasons
A Different World was a highly popular American television show, produced by Carsey Werner and premiered in 1987. The show was a spin-off of the Cosby Show, focusing on the life of Denise Huxtable, played by Lisa Bonet, as she embarked on her college journey at the fictional Hillman College.
The show was centered on the lives of a group of students at the Historically Black College - Hillman College in Virginia. The show tackled serious issues, such as racism, sexism, and social inequality, while also exploring topics such as love, friendship, and self-discovery.
The show starred an ensemble cast of highly talented actors, which included Glynn Turman as Colonel Bradford Taylor, Marisa Tomei as Maggie Lauten, Loretta Devine as Stevie Rallen, Vernee Watson-Johnson as Winifred "Freddie" Brooks, Cree Summer as Winifred's half-sister, Summer, Mary Alice as Lettie Bostic, Dawnn Lewis as Jaleesa Vinson, Lou Myers as Vernon Gaines, Karen Malina White as Charmaine Brown, Ajai Sanders as Gina Deveaux, Darryl M. Bell as Ronald "Ron" Johnson, Charnele Brown as Kimberly Reese, Sinbad as Coach Walter Oakes, Ted Ross as Dr. Harris, Jasmine Guy as Whitley Gilbert, Kadeem Hardison as Dwayne Wayne, and Jada Pinkett Smith as Lena James.
One of the most distinct features of the show was its portrayal of African American characters in various forms of life. For instance, the cast was not only limited to college students but also included military veterans, non-traditional college students, and college staff, among others. This diversity allowed the show to tackle a range of issues and challenges from various perspectives.
Throughout the series, viewers watched as the characters navigated their way through college life while also tackling personal challenges. Dwayne Wayne, for instance, had to figure out how to balance his love life and academics, while Denise Huxtable attempted to redefine her identity outside of her famous family. Meanwhile, Whitley Gilbert attempted to figure out her place in the world while grappling with her feelings for Dwayne Wayne.
Despite dealing with serious issues, A Different World never lost its lightness or sense of humor, making it a show that could balance dramatic moments with comedic exchanges. This was due in part to the show's cast, made up of talented comic performers like Sinbad, who brought laughs to the show with his coach character.
The show also features great musical performances, with various music stars of the time such as Tupac Shakur, En Vogue, Erykah Badu, and Boyz II Men, among others, making appearances on the show.
A Different World was highly influential in its time, with many viewers citing it as an inspiration in their college lives. The show tackled issues that were relevant not just to African American college students but to all college students. It allowed viewers to see themselves in the struggles and triumphs of the characters and helped to humanize and normalize the experience of attending college.
Overall, A Different World was a groundbreaking show that broke new ground in both the representation of African Americans and the depiction of college life on televison. Its themes continue to resonate with viewers today, making it a timeless classic that will be remembered for many years to come.
A Different World is a series that is currently running and has 6 seasons (144 episodes). The series first aired on September 24, 1987.