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YMMV / A Different World

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Dwayne a henpecked boyfriend or a borderline emotionally abusive jerk? Granted, Whitley could be very bitchy and annoying, but nearly all of the things he did to break her out of that were downright cruel—forcing her to not speak for a whole day because he's tired of her incessant yammering? The first thing she said when she could talk again should have been, "It's over." Let's not forget cheating on her the night before their engagement party and in all subsequent arguments, blaming her for it and acting like she was the one in the wrong for daring to be upset about it and breaking up with him.
    • This article makes an excellent argument for the latter scenario.
    • "Dwhitley" shippers see Kinu as jealous and clingy during her relationship with Dwayne, while "Dwinu" shippers would say she's just reacting to the fact that Whitley can't take a hint and leave them be, citing Whitley's own desperate antics (like pretending to be a couple with Ron just to make Dwayne jealous). To be fair to the latter argument, Whitley didn't start taking Dwayne's feelings for her anywhere near seriously until after he'd gotten over her nonsense and started dating Kinu, while Julian, Whitley's other love interest at the time, didn't reciprocate her affections as much as she'd hoped.
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    • Were Dwayne and Whitley really that conflicted over each other that they couldn't admit their still very much alive love until the wedding was taking place? Or were they just playing "chicken" with each other's hearts the whole time to see who would break down first, with poor Byron caught in the middle?
  • Anvilicious: Especially after Debbie Allen took over the show in season two.
  • Composite Character: Freddie combines Denise's free-spirited worldliness and lackadaisical nature with Maggie's gabbiness, feminism, and more serious attitude towards academics and social/political matters. Ironically, she's bi-racial and joined the cast almost immediately after both Lisa Bonet and Marisa Tomei left.
    • She also inherits both Maggie's and Denise's dorm mate (Jaleesa) and their antagonistic relationship with Whitley.
  • Contractual Purity: Lisa Bonet. She was written out of the show due to her pregnancy. At first, Debbie Allen wanted to include it, but Bill Cosby stated unequivocally that while Lisa Bonet could be pregnant, Denise Huxtable would not be pregnant out of wedlock. Cue her dropping out, moving back home and taking a year off both shows while exploring the jungle.
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  • Growing the Beard: Around the time of the show's Retool.
  • Hollywood Homely: 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.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A romantic example. Whitley kisses Dwayne while he's still dating Kinu (among her other attempts to split them apart) and this leads to them breaking up. Much later, Dwayne goes on a dinner date with another girl after he and Whitley have a falling out, leading to her calling off their engagement and eventually becoming engaged to Byron. And then she cheats on Byron by sleeping with Dwayne, which, in part, leads to her calling off her wedding to Byron and marrying Dwayne immediately after instead.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Marisa Tomei was a member of the cast of Season 1 as Maggie Lauten, five years before winning an Oscar for My Cousin Vinny.
    • Yvette Lee Bowser wrote 17 episodes and also served as a producer. Bowser is best known as creator and executive producer of Living Single.
    • Reggie Rock Blythewood wrote five episodes. Blythewood is best known as co-creator and co-executive producer of Shots Fired alongside his wife, Gina Prince-Blythewood, who wrote four episodes.
    • Scott Spencer Gordon wrote three episodes. Gordon is best known as co-creator and co-executive producer of City Guys.
    • Orlando Jones wrote two episodes.
    • Scott Sanders also wrote two episodes. Sanders is best known for directing and co-writing the screenplay for Black Dynamite.
    • Carmen Finestra co-wrote the pilot episode. Finestra is best known as co-creator and co-executive producer of Home Improvement.
    • Matt Williams also co-wrote the pilot episode. Williams is best known as creator and executive producer of Roseanne and also served as co-creator and co-executive producer of Home Improvement.
    • Gary Dontzig and Steven Peterman wrote an episode. Both are best known as developers and executive producers of Suddenly Susan.
    • Anne Beatts served as a producer. Beatts is best known as creator and executive producer of Square Pegs.
    • there were several kids who were apparently tutored by Dwayne one of these kids extras later made her career in adult film industry under the name Aryanna Starr still not believing it?check this clip .
  • Seasonal Rot: The final season, which became unbearably preachy, brought in a slew of new characters that failed to catch on and derailed the already established ones. Coupled with the loss of its parent show as a lead-in, ratings plummeted until the show was canceled.
  • Ship Tease: If you have been watching this entire series from Season 2 onward, you can't help but notice those (not-so) subtle clues of something blossoming between Dwayne and Whitley; some might argue the series was setting this up even when Dwayne still had eyes for Denise in Season 1.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: On the same token, the show was also praised for tackling issues that its fellow sitcoms (including its own parent show) wouldn't touch.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Ron declares his love for Freddie literally out of nowhere after years of them being at each other's throats, not to mention that he'd been falling in love with and pursuing Kim for the past year. While they'd shared at least one kiss, there's no further evidence that all their arguing was actually Belligerent Sexual Tension.
    • Kim herself can barely stand Ron only to like him out of the blue in one episode.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Freddie and Kim have quite a few personality traits that remind viewers of Denise/Maggie and Millie, respectively.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Dwayne and Ron started out as couple of goofy, somewhat weird, but all-around nice guys and while they pretty much remain decent throughout the entire series, 3 seasons in sees Dwayne treating Whitley far worse than he ever would have treated Denise Huxtable, even after they become an Official Couple, while Ron becomes a Casanova and pervert with only minimal Character Development in the final two seasons.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Romantic False Lead Kinu. The viewer is supposed to hate her as she's an obstacle to Dwayne and Whitley getting together, and she does in fact get nastier as time goes on. But who can blame her with her boyfriend blatantly ogling and drooling over another woman who's constantly hanging around and trying to interfere in their relationship? As bitchy as she gets, she never says or does anything to harm Whitley, she just wants her to leave them alone.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Dwayne's mother. While there's no denying that Whitley is incredibly rude to her when they first meet, having mistaken her for a housekeeper, she is just as rude in return. Whitley profusely and sincerely tries to apologize for her actions and she responds by rolling her eyes, right in her face, and she is consistently nasty to her throughout the remainder of the show's tenure, despite the fact that Whitley is conversely consistently nice to her in an effort to make amends. It's gets particularly ugly after Dwayne and Whitley marry, when she sends them a funeral wreath, and according to Dwayne, hangs up on him everytime he calls.


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