Recently news was released that ABC is planning a “Blackish” spinoff. The comedy would center on Yara Shahidi’s character Zoey and follow her to college. While no details have been released by the network about potential series, I decided to put together a list of characters to round out the comedy’s cast. The show is a long way off, and could not even happen, but I try to have fun whenever I can.
Every college student needs a roommate and Zoey should have someone distinctive and very different from her. The oldest Johnson is a lot of things, popular, social, but she can also be a bit selfish. It’s a great source of comedy in a family setting, but in college those traits should be tested. When choosing someone to challenge Zoey, and grown with her, you need a talented young actress and “Mad Men” alum Kiernan Shipka would be a fantastic choice.
Zoey will also need a few other friends and she deserves great ones. In college your friends help you, inspire you and are the people you make amazing memories with. Leaving home and going somewhere new is exciting and daunting, so Zoey will need to find her tribe. The perfect actress to play said friend – Amandla Stenberg. Yara and Amandla is the dynamic duo we, and television, deserve.
ABC has not kept any of the “Castle” alum at the network, so maybe this is an opportunity. College has RAs, TAs and many upperclassmen, which is a prime place for Molly Quinn to fit her in. The actress was a hilarious addition to the ABC drama, but was criminally underutilized. As the lead’s daughter she was a great asset to the series – when she was brought into the narrative. Quinn has the great mixture of charisma and comedy, which would make her a wonderful addition to the spinoff.
Let’s be real about one thing: Zoey will not be attending an all-girls college, so the spinoff will need talented, young actors. Enter Trevor Jackson! Anyone from the young cast of “American Crime” would be a solid choice but Jackson has the leg up because he has had my sci-fi-loving heart since he was on “Eureka.” Additionally he’s an artist, so viewers would get several college musical performances. An added bonus if you ask me!
Damon Wayans Jr.
What’s would be more humorous than the man who was Coach on “New Girl” playing a college professor? Not a damn thing. Damon Wayans Jr. was hysterical on the Fox comedy, but since he is no longer on the series, the “Blackish” spinoff should scoop him up. Also every second every single member of the “Happy Endings” cast isn’t one television is an actually crime.
“The OA” was a conversation starter centered on Brit Marling’s character, but Brandon Perea was a standout who would make the perfect classmate for Zoey. Maybe someone she could have a potential relationship or an educational rivalry with. Perea’s French was incredible supportive of Prairie on “The OA” and the actor truly shined. Barring any complications with a potential second season of “The OA” Perea is the type of talent we should be seeing more often.
“The Fosters” is a show telling important storylines and full of incredible young talent, so the “Blackish” spinoff should utilize some of their past performers. Gavin MacIntosh was vital recurring player on the series and had an amazing arc as one of two young boys in a relationship. The young actors played LGBTQ characters with positive storylines at a time when they were lacking. Since he has moved on from the series, this is a prime opportunity for the actor to join a new series. He could play Zoey’s first unlikely friend at college who lives across the hall.
Every university needs staff – counselors, health professionals, etc. – and Shondaland vet Kate Walsh is just the actress for the gig. While many people remember her as Addison Forbes Montgomery, since leaving Shondaland Walsh has proven she can make an audience laugh when she made a foray into comedy television with NBC comedy “Bad Judge.” While the series was not renewed, the actress’ ridiculous Judge Rebecca Wright was hysterical. A dysfunctional-but-caring professional guiding young minds played by Walsh would make for excellent television.
Someone has to run the place and I nominate Retta! On “Park and Recreation” Retta played Donna Meagle. She started with few lines and small presence and became one of the most beloved characters on the series. The actress is currently on “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce,” but with the announcement of the series ending after its fifth season the comedic genius that is Retta will soon be free to make us laugh on ABC. I could not think of anything better than an incredible actress of color being seen on screen running a university on a show from the creative minds behind “Blackish.”
Well that was fun. Who do you want to see join Yara Shahidi’s potential “Blackish” spinoff?