by James Hill
July 27, 2016
This is “The Breakdown” where we look at some of the biggest moments in our lives (and by “our lives,” we mean stuff that was happening on TV) and get at the heart of what makes these scenes and characters so unforgettable with five thoughts.
We don’t know about you, but this week’s scene from “A Different World” has been all over our social feed lately. Maybe it’s because Spring has got us sprung and hungry for love but we can’t take our focus off the inner-workings of Dwayne and Whitley’s relationship — the subject of the latest Breakdown.
1. Allow us to go off topic a little first. Watching “A Different World” always takes us back to the good old days. Back when shoulder pads in a pastel-colored suit was no biggie. And men weren’t sagging their pants down to their drawers. You know, looking norma . . . . GOOD GOD! Would you look at the shorts on the brother in the back!!!! Right at the top left in the purple tank top. OK, so while we’re glad men weren’t walking around with their back pockets lined up with their knees, we forgot the horror that are short-shorts on grown men. Eye wash, please.
2. Let us be clear. We are HERE for Shazza — you don’t get picked for a Janet Jackson video unless you are the TRUTH. That said, Dwayne Wayne cleaned up nicely as the show went on. Starting off as a black version of Ducky from “Pretty in Pink” (flip glasses and all), Dwayne evolved into a legit m-a-n. Take a look at the confident walk, the sharp, grey suit complete with the over-the-shoulder saddle bag that every brother envied. Much like how Will Smith went from silly rapper to shirtless sex machine in “Bad Boys,” Dwayne came up.
3. One of the reasons we love the post-Lisa Bonet era of “A Different World” is because the show started being about more than sitcom hi-jinks. Yes, it could be a little too on-the-nose at times, but the show wasn’t afraid to go there with big issues. Case in point: Though it’s played for laughs, Whitley’s complaint about the erasure of identity is a REAL concern shared by REAL women when it comes to tying the knot. One day you’re his sexy boo-thing, the next you’re his nagging ball-and-chain. The struggle is real and Whitley knew it.
4. Which brings us to the reason we are here today — and we’re gonna need you to ride with us on this, OK? Like all woke women, we are feminists. We are strong, smart, resilient and proud. But dammit, seeing Dwayne cut through the small talk and put some bass in his voice when he tells Whitley “I can live without furniture but I can’t live without you. You’re my wife and I love you. Let’s go work this out.” LAWD JESUS! We bout fainted into a dainty pool of delicate femininity. My word Dwayne, we never noticed how tall and masculine you are! And to cap it off, he snaps his fingers as if to say “that’s enough talkin’, we got a marriage to save.” Well, we would have come a-running too, Whitley — but dammit, we wouldn’t tell anybody!
5. *Fans self while scrolling through Tinder*
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