A Different World

NBC (ended 1993)





A Different World Fan Reviews (41)

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  • 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.