A Different World

NBC (ended 1993)





A Different World Fan Reviews (41)

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out of 10
589 votes
  • A Different World indeed. As a young girl watching this show, the impact of the social issues taken on by the daring writers was lost. As an adult, however, I am in awe that these writers and characters could tackle such weighty topics.

    It's a comedy, it's a romance, it's a drama. But most of all, it was a moving commentary of the world's status, in every essence.

    My first real crush when I was five was on Kadeem Hardison. I always wanted a pair of flip-up sunglasses like Dwayne Wayne, and I always wanted clothes like Whitley. As a young, white female, the importance of the show's message was lost on me. The fact that an ensemble of African-American young adults could have a show like this on network television, no less, and still reach a five-year-old white girl... that's power. That speaks highly of the time frame of this show.

    In the first season, it appeared that this was nothing more than a bit-of-fluff spin-off of the highly successful Cosby Show. By the second season, however, it was clear that this show meant business. From pregnancy scares to racial equality to academic pressures and romance, no matter what color the characters were or where they were from, these were issues we all had to deal with.

    The vital heart of this show is the awesome relationship among the cast members, mostly the chemistry between the two great actors, Jasmine Guy and Kadeem Hardison, as Whitley and Dwayne. Few romances in sitcom history were so achingly real.

    The people who look down their nose at this show, or say they can't really relate, should take the time and revisit the Hillman campus, and maybe they'll find that it's not such a Different World than where they come from.
  • This is a show that I could watch 24/7/365. I never grow tired of it.

    ADW allows you to grow and mature. As you watch it, you are able to think about how you handled things or how you will handle things that come about in day to day living. There need to be more shows like it today. My son, who is 8, enjoys it as well. When certain situations arise, I am able to take the time to explain things so that he will not make some of the same mistakes that I did at that age.
  • This is probably one of those rare shows that truly centers around the college life of African-Americans. It tackles a lot of issues from AIDS to domestic violence and even the Apartheid in South Africa.

    I watch all the reruns on Oxygen and I must say that I love all the episodes. It is definitely funny and the characters are very real. It is a show that you can relate to, especially if you are in college as I am. It sure does make college looks 20 times fun. I love Freddie, because I can relate to her. I think she was the craziest but yet she learned the most. I also wish there were more Dwaynes out there. Even though he was kind of geeky he was always really sweet and deep down really love Whitley from the beginning.
    One more thing, the first season is kind of a waste of time. sorry, if I offended anyone.
  • A Different World has been one of the few shows that I have remained a faithful devotee over the year. I appreciated its honesty in showing people about college life and the lives of African American youth.

    A Different World has been one of the few shows that I have remained a faithful devotee over the year. I appreciated its honesty in showing people about college life and the lives of African American youth. I truly wish that more attention would be given to such an important show, like reunion shows or recaps from programs like the E! True Hollywood Story.
  • An influential show about life at a black college!

    One of my favorite shows. I'm was so happy with the changes they made after the first season though! It showed what college life is like and it showed a lot of the pressure and issues that you come face to face with. It tackled serious issues and was still soooo funny!!
  • Intended spinoff for Lisa Bonet, ADW, in the end is best known for influencing a generation of kids to go to Black colleges and not just accept a average status quo in life. Unfortunately, after cancellation, the thug culture took over, threatening to er

    With Lisa Bonet and familiar faces from Spike Lee's feature, SCHOOL DAZE (Kadeem, Darryl, Jasmine), ADW got off to strange start. The jokes were often lame for this to be a sitcom, though the characters were likable.
    Once Debbie Allen took over the reins and brought over extras from her days on FAME, suddenly, the show had some meat to it, balancing drama with comedy and musical flavoring that gave a accurate depiction of what young people hoped an all Black college campus would be like.
    Cancelled too soon, like HAPPY DAYS before it, "lost" episodes aired after the final goodbye and are still jumbled in syndication today. But the lasting messages of education vs "keeping it real", the challenge of staying on task, fear of unwanted pregancy, AIDs, Dessert Storm and so many more make this show more relevant than any other African American helmed sitcom that came after (with the exception of "Roc", "South Central", "Cosby" and maybe a hand full of rare exceptions).
    Some special guests on ADW: Jada Pinkett Smith, Tupac, The Wayans Family, Marques Houston, Halle Berry, Tisha Campbell, Whoopi Goldberg, Raven Symone, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Heavy D, Richard Roundtree, Ron O'Neal, Diahnn Carroll, Patti Labelle, Aries Spears, En Vogue, Lena Horne.
  • A Great Series

    This show is definitely one of my favorite series from back in the '80s era. Along with its parent series, "The Cosby Show," the series became a staple hit on NBC's Thursday Night Must-See-TV line-up. It displayed life at a predominately African-American college and also discussed the hottest topics that were going on in that time period.

    The first season started out with ex-"Cosby Show" star Lisa Bonet as the wild child Denise Huxtable entering her parents alma mater Hillman College. She rooms with the opinionated 26-year-old student Jaleesa and talkative Maggie. Also, the nerdy Dwayne Wayne and snobbish Whitley Gilbert provided comical moments as well. The first season, in my opinion, was very bland and rather boring. Denise (a favorite of mine from "The Cosby Show") was so boring. The only thing that kept me from ignoring the series was the fact that other "Cosby Show" characters appeared on the show to provide continuity. And as the first season progressed, I became a fan of Whitley and Jaleesa and no longer cared for Denise.

    When season two premiered, the series made some drastic changes and was heavily retooled (THANK GOD). Lisa Bonet was fired from the show (but later appeared on "The Cosby Show" for character background) and Marissa Tomei was let go as well. New cast members joined the cast as the show focused more on Jasmine Guy's "Whitley" and Kadeem Hardison's "Dwayne". It was as if the show had became a whole different show.

    I love this series and the frequent musical guests, guest stars and I hope the series will be released on DVD soon.
  • one of the best african american sitcoms ever made

    this was one of the best shows ever made. it had a lot of comedy and drama. i didn't really like season one as much as the others. it focused too much on denise. it got a lot better after she left. dwayne made the whole show. he had more going on in his life than anyone else. mr. gaynes always brought the comic relief. whitley was the perfect frama queen. jilesa was the motherly type. the show gave a lot of african american actors a chance to be seen. the show was the best thing i've seen some of the actors act in. jasmine guy's had one role that was better than whitley and that was her role in the movie the feast of all saints. i think they should have a reunion special.
  • This show is the reason I went to college

    Even knowing that Hillman wasn't a real school I wanted to go there so bad. My friends and I used to play games and we were all a character. I think this show put a differnt spend on college for African Americans and how it is a cool thing to do and you can go and have a great time and do some amazing things while you there. Such discover your path in life, meet you mate, meet you life-long friends, ect.
  • College life from the Black prospective filled me with understanding our young students and shedules of academic and relationships. Serious, humorous and educational experiences all rolled up into one fantastic show. Many of todays present stars made appe

    College life from the Black prospective filled me with understanding our young students and shedules of academic and relationships. Serious, humorous and educational experiences all rolled up into one fantastic show. Many of todays present stars made appearances on the show as it thrieved through the 90's. Great TV show.
  • One of my fave shows of all time.

    I had nothing in common with this show at all but yet it was and has remained one of my faves! It was so funny and original. Even though it was started to be a spin-off of Cosby show, it started to become something completely different. I wish they would start showing reruns of it, I would watch every episode over and over!
  • A Different World is a great show with an awesome cast. It allows us into the lives of students at Hillman College in the late 1980's early 1990's. This show examines many of the steroeotypes and issues of the time. Great all-around show!

    I remember watching this show when I was just a kid and didn't fully grasp its place in television history until I was an adult. A Different World is a spin-off of the Cosby show and the first season focused on Denise, one of the Cosby kids, and her school mates at Hillman College. A variety of social issues were the plot focus, including interracial dating and racial stereotypes.

    Check this show out, not for the great acting, not for the Cosby connection, but because its smart, witty and funny.
  • This show was the show. It absolutley fabolous!

    I think show was a very good one. It's theme song was the best. It had Aretha Franklin and Boyz II Men on it. Plus it was a spin -off from one of the best show of television, The Cosby Show. I think they should show the re-runs more. I would most definitley watch it!
  • Originally a spinoff of the cosby show in 1987 where denise huxtable was going to study at the fictional hillman college where her parents claire and cliff attended.

    A pretty good show that lasted 6 seasons on nbc from 1987 to 1993,it starred lisa bonet(first season)jasmine guy,dawnn lewis,kardeem hardison to name a few.It ran on nbc on mondays right after the cosby show.It was a pretty funny show and I liked it alot.A bit under appreciated,still great reruns.
  • The best look at College life to date! This show still makes me wish my college was like Hillman. The characters were very realistic and easy to relate to.

    For a show that started as a spin off of Denise Huxtable’s character, it was really able to hold its own. This show was not only a great look at a predominantly African American college, but a great look at college life in general. The premise of all the characters spanned racial barriers. Anyone attending college could relate to all of the main characters. In every group there is a “princess”, a “nerd”, a “tree hugger”, a “musician”, a “study-aholic” and the “older friend.” Whitley, Dwayne, Freddy, Ron, Kim and Jaleesa fit these classifications that everyone knows. This show was not just a college comedy, it taught life lessons. One of the biggest lessons it taught was about the aids epidemic. A few episodes have to be fought for in order for the writers of the show to bring the truth about AIDS into American Homes. A Different World was ground breaking in the sense that it wasn’t afraid to cover topics that you don’t normally talk about at the dinner table. It really opened the eyes of college students and forced them to focus on issues like Rape, Sexism, Racism, Alcohol and other issues that pertain to college students. An ultimately successful series in the long run. Watch the reruns on the Oxygen Channel.

  • It is a fave of mine and will always be a favorite of mine.

    It is a fave of mine and will always be a favorite of mine.It shows you that you can over come obsticals will a little help from your friends.I love how it takes place in a colledge.And how the kids are trying to make something of themselves without parents to help.
  • The students of Hillman College confront the ups and downs, hurts and adventures of that strangest of places: real life.

    This show began as an offshoot of 'The Cosby Show,' when Denise Huxtable left the nest and went to her parents' alma mater, Hillman College. Much to its credit, it was not content to remain as 'Cosby II,' but branched out with clever writing, characters you could really get to know, and stories that felt more like your normal day-to-day existence than anything else. It was that good.

    The worldly-wise Jaleesa, manic Maggie, snobby socialite Whitley, bright but raffish Dwayne, and talented but ungraduatable Ron, among others, were watched over by hall ward Walter Oakes and no-nonsense instructor Col. Taylor. The writing was consistently intelligent and funny. The many storylines included tales of trying to fit in, earn passing grades and learn the best and worst about the road ahead--and each other.

    Always a joy to watch.
  • A Different World: "Classic" understates the impact of this show. This show illuminated a path of possibilities for Black youth and college students that was hidden in the dark shadows of the mainstream media's presentation of Black America.

    To call this masterpiece of artistic expression "classic" is a slight understatement. Understanding the significance of the "classic" classification, I feel comfortable labling it as such, but the word still doesn't reach the core of what this show means to me.

    Now, I'm no fanatic, although I would have deemed myself one a little less than two years ago, but this show does something to me on a psychological level. It calms me. To hear the melodic harmonica swimming through the sound waves of the first two(or was it three) seasons, and then the explosion of Aretha Franklin's voice, and then to finish it off with Boy II Men in the last seasons, settles my spirit.

    Strangely, it never goes away. Everytime I watch the show, I feel this. Maybe it has something to do with the beauty of the period. Maybe life was simpler then. Maybe then, for a young black man intellectually deteriorating in an inept, inner-city public school system, this show was a light, illuminating new paths to success.

    A Different World, or "The World" as I call it, changed the social norm, not only for African-American students, but African-American, male students in particular. Black males saw Dwayne Wayne wearing the fancy Michael Jordan shoes (although the rest of his ambiance left much to be desired) contrasting the nerdy flip up glasses, and found it to be an exceptable balance. "Hey! we can be smart and cool simultaneously!" we thought to ourselves. Finally we saw a balance of intellect and individuality.

    Dwayne was no nerd-- he wore Jordans, and he chased women like Rotweillers after ten-speed spokes. Dwayne didn't have to sell drugs to get those nice clothes either. Somehow the connection was subconciously made that possitive performance produced possitive results.

    Dwayne Wayne, Whitley Gilbert, Ron, Kimberly Reese, Walter, Mr.Gaines (the best actor on the show) Jalesa (the worst), Col. Taylor and Freddy (not to slight the new group), were not just characters- they were artistic pioneers. Through these characters, a new movement of intellectualism and self-pride (in no matter who you were) was established.

    No wonder it's taken so long to be released.
  • A wonderful & wacky bunch of girls and guys trying to get through college together.

    What started out as a spin-off show of The Cosby Show for actress Lisa Bonet - ended up being the Whitley & Dwayne show. Not that I'm complaining. I loved this couple. The geeky, lower class boy and the upper class snob - a definate case of opposites attract that worked really well. I love the ending of season 5 where Dwayne interupts the wedding, reminding me of "The Graduate", and I was cheering for them so loudly that my mom came into the room and told me to be quiet. This is still one of those shows that when I see that episodes are playing on tv, I will tape them to watch later (because of course they are on either really early in the morning or late at night or during the day when I am at work. One day I will have all the seasons on DVD, until then, long live the reruns.
  • This Show Should Be Better Than The Cosby Show, But It Isn't... It's Just As Bad:

    ...which is kinda funny, because the title says "A Different World", but it is the same as "The Cosby Show" ( and NOT Cosby, which is a different show, so please stop calling The Cosby Show "COSBY". And COSBY is much better than The Cosby Show..

    Too bad that Lisa Bonet didn't star in many shows or anything... Because it's disapointing that The Cosby Show is the only thing she starred in.... and this show is about the college she goes to.... so why does she leave after the 1st season.... and without bothering to guest star?!

    She has to leave, so they really mess up her character by marrying a Navy officer and he is never home, and usually leaves the country, and takes his family with him. No wonder his first wife decided to divorce him and go to college. But they made it all look like her fault, when it actually is his fault.

    There is no more Denise in the 1st season, and so far I have not seen her in the show after that. But maybe The Huxtables will stop guest starring if Denise isn't there.

    And this is another show where not one character stars in every episode for the entire show. And what is with that guy?! There is this annoying guy with these stupid glasses and these stupid hinged sunglasses or whatever, and he allways has this dorky expression, and he gets on anybody's nerves. He is exactly like Will Smith. Don't they ever tell this kid to shut up?!
  • I love this show!

    This show is a classic, period! This show gave an inside look at a balck college and it personally inspired me to go to college in search of having an experience like Whitley and Dwayne. This show seemed to be the ground breaker for comedy yet tasteful, without being too bubblegum like the Cosby Show. Don't get me wrong the Cosby show is great too, but A Different World brought something new to the table and it's appreciated for that. I think that it inspired plenty of people of color to go to college because it was the first portrayal of minorities getting a higher education and having fun too. I love this show.

    I have watched every single episode of this show at least three times and i have to say I love every min. of it.
    I mean this show has everyting a show needs to be absolutly perfect! You can wathch this one thirty min. show and laugh, cry , and sometimes learn something. It is intesting how most of the shows on tv now a days can get very tireing and boreing. However when I watch A Different World it just never gets old, and I have say that the element of never getting old is the best part about watching an old favorite.
  • Great television

    Except for Dwayne's flip glasses, I can find anything wrong with this show. Although it was a spinoff, via Denise Huxtable, of the Cosby Show-it truly was different than its predecessor; yet at the same time a completely accurate portrayal of college life on campus, especially in a historically black college. There was a reason this show was constantly rated in the Top 10 week, and no, it wasn't only because of the great tie-in and the MUST see label. A lot of other shows have been given the same billing and had a lot less success. This show captured the attention of all people regardless of race or age because it was universally appealing.
  • Continues to be a favorite!

    After watching many of the reruns, I now remember why I loved this show. From it's portrayal of the Historically Black College, to it's portrayal of college life, it was absolutely dead on. It did an awesome job of showing how people grow up from an immature teen to a responsible adult. I love every minute of this show!!
  • This show will always be a classic. It had some amazing actors and actress. It was a funny show!

    One of a classic. It had a Acmedy Award Winner Marrisa Tomei. I thought it was as great as The Cosby Show. I thought teh characters where always funny, and could make you laugh alot. Denise was a great character, and i wish she would had never left the show, but she married a guy, and helped raised his child. Thsi show can be seen on Nickledon. I love this show and I think it is a classic show. Make sure you watch this great, funny, show, you will laugh so hard your head will come off. Kidding! Watch this show!
  • I Love A Different World! It Is Awesome. I love all the episodes but my favorites are when Whitley and Dwayne are together.

    A Different World is so much fun to watch. I get so into it. I feel like I am a part of the show. I started watching it because I loved The Cosby Show and wanted to see what it was like when Denise went to college. The first two seasons I didn't really like Whitley. As the show went on into season 3 I started liking Whitley alot. When Denise and Maggie left the show I really wanted to know why they left. But then i got so into the show that i hardly remembered that this used to be starring Denise. I started liking Dwayne, Whitley, Julissa, Walter, Ron, Col. Taylor, Kim, Freddie, and Mr. Gaines. It was cool when Mrs. Huxtable, Vanessa and Kara came to Hillman. It was also cool when Lance and Charmaine enrolled in Hillman. I just really can get into this show.
  • Classic show.

    This summer (2006), I would have never guessed that my favorite show would be on Nick at Nite, and that it would be a rerun of all 6 seasons of a classic show I had never given a chance before: "A Different World." This spin-off of The Cosby Show is superb, at times I feel like I am watching a show that could have not been made so many years ago, as it seems to deal with issues so much more realistically than some of today's selections. Although the show's first season is cute and funny, it is not until the show decides to completely devote itself to Whitley and Dwayne and serious issues, that it takes off as a great classic. I always thought that Ross and Rachel were the king and queen of the will-they-won't-they dance, but obviously, Whitley and Dwayne had already mastered it years before. Never had I seen a character so clearly evolve and yet stay true to itself as with Whitley Gilbert. Don't miss a chance to catch this show on Nickelodeon or DVDs, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
  • Lame in one word!

    Ok now to start this lets just say if you have seen The Cosby Show then you have basically seen everything from A Different World. To help you out the producers decided to revisit the well again so if you missed A Different World and The Cosby Show go ahead and watch Cosby and you will see the same exact storylines again. Just different character additions in different locations, now that should have been the name of the show but hey where would we all be if Growing Pains in its waining years hadn't picked up Leo what would we all have done instead of watching Titanic??
  • I only discovered this show months ago, but it's a great program! If I had known about this show sooner, I definitely would have tuned in or bought the DVD's.

    Looking for people you can relate to? Looking for people who may have similar lives as you? Well, look no further; A Different World is here! This is definitely one of the better college programs that I've seen.

    This is a spin-off of The Cosby Show, and Denise Huxtable was one of the main characters during the run of the first season. She left the show after that, and I thought the whole show was going to fall apart right there, since most shows do when a character leaves. But luckily, they were able to bring in new characters for the later seasons, and they too, were great! I was amazed at how much I could relate to some of them. My favorite character was Dwayne Wayne, since I'm a lot like him when it comes to getting good grades in school. And yet, he still manages to have a good time with all of his best friends.

    So overall, I would rate this program 8/10. If you haven't seen it yet, I'd recommend that you watch Season 1 first (that's what I did, and it definitely made the show more interesting for me).
  • A Different World overall isn't that bad of a show!

    Although not one of my personal favorites, I believe that A Different World is a pretty good show. The characters are unique and the sory lines are not the same typical every show plot. I do think that this show was successful. I know I enjoy watching it every night on Nick At Night! In a way, though, I am glad that Lisa Bonet left the show because I wasn't fond of her character. My favorite charcter is probably Freddie because of her unique voice. Whitley is also a good character, but in the later episodes, I think she becomes a little bossy and moody. Dwayne is always funny and I have come to love Kim's character because she is kind and down-to-Earth. So yea, I think this show is decent. I encourage anyone who hasn't seen it before to watch just one episode on Nick At Night. Also, it kind of prepared me for college!
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