Monday, May 07, 2012

Imagining 'A Different World' 2K12

With the 25th anniversary of the first episode of the groundbreaking show A Different World happening this September (and yes peeps, you will be getting another one of my A Different World trivia quizzes to ponder) , one of the things that has mystified me is why Carsey-Werner won't release Seasons 2-6 of A Different World on DVD, much less do a reunion show.

Is it because that show not only was talking about some groundbreaking subjects back in the day such as date rape, HIV/AIDS, and South African divestment to force the end of apartheid and the 1992 LA Riots, it was also one of the few that showed Black college students in a positive and intelligent light doing mundane things like going to class, intelligently discussing issues and falling in love with each other?

Surely that can't be the reason A Different World hasn't been released much less had a reunion show?

With the 25th anniversary coming up, it is unlikely a positive Black oriented show like that will see air time again since Hollywood is too 'scurred' (and racist) to greenlight it.  So I did some hard solid thinking and tried to imagine what an A Different World 2k12 would look like.

My vision of it is centered around Whitley and Dwayne Wayne's first born child who I've named Courtney Marion-Adele Wayne.   She's got her mom's looks and intelligence along with her dad's brains, and has to struggle with the expectations of being the daughter of Dwayne and Whitley and her parents competing visions for their firstborn child who is following in their Hillman footsteps.

Complicating Courtney's life is her freshman brother Dwayne C.Wayne, Jr. who while not as intelligent as his genius sister, has off the charts basketball talent his athletically challenged dad and godfather Ron Johnson never had.  He turned down several scholarships to collegiate basketball powerhouse schools in order to make his parents happy and attend their alma mater.  He is once again in his sister's and parents considerable shadows, wondering if he made a mistake in attending Hillman and is considering a transfer to another school. . 

DJ also inherited his godfather Ron's way with the ladies, but has become interested in an attractive half Black, half Japanese sophomore world history major named Midori.  His growing attraction to her has him shelving his plans to transfer and successfully concentrating on his academics and raising his GPA with her help.  Her mother is the top female VP at Konichiwa Electronics and when Midori tells her during a homecoming weekend visit to Hillman that she likes DJ, her mother frowns at the mention of his name.

DJ's best friend is teammate Marcus Heywood, who also shares the same drama of being the child of noted Hillman alums in that his father is Bishop Dorian Heywood and playwright and poet Lena James-Heywood.

Olivia Kendall is on the Hillman campus as well fulfilling a several generation family tradition on her mom's side of attending Hillman.  She's a prelaw student who has admired the legal career of Winifred Brooks, who is now teaching law on the Hillman campus.   She's a roommate of Kendra Boyle, the daughter of Dr. Kimberly Reese-Boyle who has her own career plans that do not involve following in her parent's medical footsteps, but her grandfather Clinton's law enforcement ones to her mom's displeasure.

The Pit is still around, but now run by a more mature and wiser Darnell Gaines or a totally new character.  .  

My imagining the show calls for it to focus like it did in the 80's and 90's on issues of importance to HBCU college students in the 2K10's.   Since the fictional Hillman campus is also in Virginia, it has a platform to comment on current Virginia state politics as well.

And yep, you know you'd have to have on A Different World 2k12 cameo appearances from Kadeem Hardison, Jasmine Guy, Karen Malina White, Dawnn Lewis, Darryl Bell and some of the other folks we know and love from the show..

I can also see grandmothers Patti LaBelle and Diahann Carroll (AKA Adele Wayne and Marion Gilbert) hilariously popping in on their grandbabies at Hillman when they least expected it, or Alisa Gyse Dickens reprising her Kinu role and visiting her daughter Midori on the same weekend Whitley is visiting her kids.
So will we see A Different World 2K12?    Probably only in our dreams.

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