A Different World was a show that was special to me growing up. I loved seeing a cast that looked like me. Growing up in in the 80’s and 90’s very few shows on network TV had Black characters, let alone a cast that was ENTIRELY Black. Not much has changed unfortunately. Nevertheless, A Different World was one of the shows that left an impact on me in numerous ways. It discussed race, diversity, abstinence, love, domestic violence, the debate between Malcolm X & Martin Luther King Jr., colorism, classism and economic issues, women’s rights, and a slew of other issues that were and are still relevant to the African-American community.
All of that aside, the one thing that stood out the most to me was the romance between Whitley and Dwayne. Of course, Dwayne first was interested in Denise, played by Lisa Bonet, but after her departure from the show he turned his attentions to Whitley. Dwayne loved Whitley and pursued her actively throughout the majority of the show. He eventually won her over despite her rejections of his advances and declarations of infatuation. Now, there was a breakup and there was reconciliation. But that reconciliation made for one of the greatest moments in TV history in my opinion. I have an issue with the formulaic use of: a couple meets, they fall in love, a lie is told and then discovered or confessed, they break-up, and then love conquers all and the couple reunites.
BUT, IN THIS CASE I HAVE TO SAY I DON’T CARE. Dwayne’s EPIC moment of crashing Whitley’s wedding to Byron will forever be etched into my mind. Of course, I feel Whitley was wrong for accepting a proposal from and standing at the altar with Byron when she knew in her heart that she still loved Dwayne. Of course, I think they both should have just confessed their love and just been together. BUT THIS MOMENT, THIS MOMENT RIGHT HERE, boy…. Just watch for yourself and tell me that it doesn’t do something to you.