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‘A Different World’ Was Great, But That Doesn’t Mean It Needs To Be Re-Made
News of Debbie Allen tweeting about re-making the late 80’s, early 90’s hit TV sitcom ‘A Different World’ has everyone talking with some believing that a revamped/updated version of the show would be beneficial to Black media today. Others, like myself, believe that some things should remain in the past [to preserve its greatness] and ‘A Different World’ is definitely one of them.
Back in the day, Black teens all over the globe gathered in front of their TV sets to watch Whitley, Dwayne, Julissa, Freddy, Kim and Ron live out their college lives before our eyes. We watched in amazement as the group of teens dealt with day to day life, social issues, race matters, as well as the pressures of being new college students on their own. If you were like me, you may have made a vow to attend Hilman College not realizing that the college wasn’t an actual college and by the time you figured it out, you were so excited about college life you just wanted to go to any college that would accept you.
Despite the good memories the show left along with the feeling of being ‘understood’ as a Black teen, do we really need a re-creation of this show?
I can hear the arguments now. Do we need more positive Black shows on air? Yes, no doubt. There is no denying that while it may be entertaining to watch Karlie Redd shake tables while slobbing down Benzino and watch Joseline put them ‘paws’ on Stevie J, it is far from positive and does nothing but reinforce the negative stereotypes that pollute the Black community. It is very true that instead of our children being inspired by and/or looking up to Black women like Whitley Gilbert, who remained a virgin up until her sophomore/junior year of college, our children are now running down the street referring to themselves as ‘bad b-ches’ or as Momma Dee would say:
While it is also true that we should be doing more to uplift, inspire and empower our youth, I am not sure that bringing back a simple television show that was originally created for a time period far different from the present is the answer. Sure, we can change the characters, re-vamp the script and make it a tad bit more modern but after all of these changes are made, what do we do next? Let’s face it, re-making this show would be horrible for it’s brand and legacy for several reasons:
1. No one would watch it and those of us that are familiar with it’s original format would do nothing but complain about the changed made and as a result thousands of petitions would begin to circulate calling for a more ‘truer to the original’ script.
2. Too much of the show would have to change in order for it to be relatable. Times have changed drastically since 80’s and 90’s. Girls no longer just want to have fun, LL Cool J is no longer rapping about needing a ‘Round The Way Girl’ and TLC is no longer singing about being ‘Crazy, Sexy, Cool’. These days it’s all about ‘Snapbacks & Tattoos’ and 2 Chainz [Tru!].
3. I personally would not want to watch ‘A Different World’ without Whitley or Dwayne. It just seems…wrong.
Some may beg to differ, but I truly believe that re-creating this sitcom would do more harm than it will do good for the legacy it has left behind. Perhaps, maybe creating an entirely new show while implying the same concept of the previous show would fair much better with the public?
What do you think about the re-creation of ‘A Different World’?