Wednesday night’s Grown-ish episode, once again, brought the laughs as Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) attempted to date two guys.
On the first episode, it was made clear that Zoey had a crush on Aaron Jackson (Trevor Jackson). So it was no surprise that by the third episode the pair were already kissing and dancing together at parties. But the uncertainty of young love coupled with insecurity and text-message translation created a hilarious plotline that everyone with a cell phone can relate to.
After falling too deep — at one point she asks Aaron how the school system is in South Carolina for their future kids— Zoey is told by Aaron to back off. In an attempt to rebound but also explore another crush she has, Zoey begins dating Luca Hall (Luka Sabbat). But, as expected, things go haywire when Aaron comes back around and she attempts to casually date both guys without either of them finding out.
The most curious aspect of the show — aside from how deeply technology is involved in dating and maintaining relationships — is the ambiguity of phrases in the millennial world. And there are very few phrases in the English language that are as ambiguous as “hook up.”
The first five minutes of the show are Zoey and her girls trying to decipher what “hook up” means — suggesting everything from simply spending time with someone to having sex.
“There’s something that seems wrong about him only texting me at night,” Zoey begins as she seeks help from her circle of girls. “We’re just strictly hooking up,” she says when asked what she and Aaron have done. When asked what “hooking up” means to her, she says, “making out and stuff.”
“Zoey, hooking up is not making out and stuff — unless the ‘stuff’ is having sex,” says her sexually-liberated friend Nomi Segal (Emily Arlook).
But hook up wasn’t the only phrase of contention: “messing around”, “U Up?” texts and “nudey bank” were all sources of confusion in a world already distanced by a digital divide.
Aside from showing consistency in funny, if last night’s Grown-ish episode proved anything it’s that the convenience of technology has created an unconscious divided in communication that millennials are still trying to navigate.