The new season of TV One’s Unsung Hollywood kicked off last night and shined a spotlight on the iconic The Cosby Show spin-off, A Different World. It was so good.
“This is supposed to be an HBCU in the south, and [during season one] there was no hot sauce on the table at the hangout spot, no sorority or fraternity life, which were an integral part in HBCUs. Where’s the chocolate sista? Where is the pretty black girl who is dark skin? Where’s my Mary Tyler Moore…my free spirit girl?” Those are the words of Debbie Allen who was brought on aboard after season one to produce and truly make her vision for the show, which deals with the black college experience, come to life.
The cast and producer commentaries answered some of the questions that we may have contemplated over the years, like why the show revamped (besides the above quote) after its first season, why there was a shakeup with the cast, including the star Lisa Bonet getting the boot, who came up with the visuals for the theme opener with vocals from Aretha Franklin that was declared to be groundbreaking at that time, why the show almost got pulled even though their numbers were skyrocketing, and, most of all, why the show ended after a six season run.
There were also in-depth looks at the episodes that dealt with the touchy topics at that time, such as HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, racism, colorism, classism, the LA riots, and more.
Last year, there was some talk going on about Debbie Allen wanting to reboot this show for today’s youth and potential college attendees. I wonder if that’s still going to happen.
If you missed this Unsung Hollywood episode last night, check your TV listings, or wait a few until TV One adds the full episode to the video category on their site.