* {{Anvilicious}}: Especially after Debbie Allen took over the show in season two.
** SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: On the same token, the show was also praised for tackling issues that its fellow sitcoms wouldn't touch.
* BrokenBase: There are some who didn't like Debbie Allen's ReTool of the show. Season one surprisingly has a strong following.
** It's not surprising. Season one had the highest ratings of any season of A Different World ([[http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/televisioncity/8590.html 1]] [[http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/televisioncity/9095.html 2]]). Granted, the show was still popular after Debbie Allen took over, at least until season six, when the ratings took a ''serious'' nosedive, but the show went from being light-hearted to heavy-handed in the course of a season.
*** The only reason for the high ratings it scored in it's first season was because it was sandwiched between ''TheCosbyShow'' and ''{{Cheers}}'', which, of course were huge ratings juggernauts at the time. In addition, you can't simply judge success in ratings. If NBC did that, then ''Cheers'', ''Series/FamilyTies'', ''HillStreetBlues'', and ''StElsewhere'' would all have been gone after their respective first seasons.
* ContractualPurity: Lisa Bonet.
* [[DarkerAndEdgier Darker and Edgier/Hotter and Sexier]]: Unlike its parent series, this series was not afraid to tackle some pretty dark subject matter, including date rape, AIDS, the Gulf war and racial issues, and not in the light and fluffy way that ''TheCosbyShow'' tended to handle them (when they talked about them at all). Black culture at the time was also more generally reflected, with characters rapping and dressing in gold chains, etc. It also wasn't afraid to openly state that its young, unmarried characters were sexually active, something that was implied ''at best'' on ''The Cosby Show'', though that topic was generally avoided.
* HollywoodHomely: Averted. The show featured men and women of varying skin tones and looks, yet all were treated as desirable and attractive. Most notably, the dark-skinned, full-figured Kim was openly adored by Freddie's white cousin Matthew and later, Ron.
* StrangledByTheRedString: Ron's romances with Kim, and later Freddie, both of which came out of nowhere with zero hint of a previous attraction between Ron and either woman. In particular, he and Freddie couldn't stand each other (this was NOT an example of BelligerentSexualTension), yet suddenly couldn't keep their hands off each other--at a time when he was involved with Kim!
** Maybe not out of nowhere. Ron began to realize his attraction to Kim when she began dating Matthew, getting more jealous than either of them expected. Kim didn't dump Matthew for Ron either. That relationship had to dissolve on its' own. As for Freddie, when they were stuck at the radio station during the hurricane, their walls came down long enough for them to find common ground, even sharing a kiss. This was almost a full season before they start messing around, and about six episodes before Ron and Kim even get serious.
* UnfortunateImplications: Light-skinned Whitley was not only the RichBitch, she was on several occasions shown to be quite clueless about racial issues.
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