Finally, after a 10-year wait, the That's So Raven spinoff, Raven's Home, premiered on July 21. And the show is not only wonderfully nostalgic, but the material also masterfully makes the transition from early '00s kids show to a full-fledged 2017 sitcom. The premiere episode features many of your favorite characters, all grown up and in a new, more progressive family dynamic. Fortunately, there are enough of That's So Raven references in Raven's Home to please even the most wary fan.
The show features Raven-Symoné and Anneliese van der Pol reprising their roles as Raven Baxter and Chelsea Daniels, years after That's So Raven wrapped up. They are now both divorced mothers, living together with their children and navigating their single mom lives. Raven has twins, Nya and Booker, whose banter is reminiscent of Raven and Cory's childhood relationship. And Chelsea has a son, Levi, who is seven going on 70.
I'm a devout fan of That's So Raven, so watching the first episode of Raven's Home was an extremely nostalgic experience but also a very satisfying one. The show can stand on its own, but expertly balances the line between throwback fun and newness.
The premiere of Raven's Home also sneaks in some obvious and not-so-obvious homages to the original series that made 10-year-old me giggle with joy. Did you spot all these references to the original in the first episode of the Disney spinoff?
1. Establishing Shots Of The Family Home
Like many sitcoms of its era, That's So Raven relied on establishing shots of buildings that let viewers know where the scene was going to take place, whether it was in the Chill Grill, the Baxter house, or Raven's school. And the tradition continues in Raven's Home.
2. A Funny Brother/Sister Relationship
Cory and Raven had their own slightly combative but loving brother-sister relationship, and Raven's twins take it to a whole new level in the new series. They play pranks on each other and fight with each other, but also seem to be genuine BFFs.
3. A Banging Theme Song
I'm big enough to admit that the That's So Raven theme song is my number one most played track on my "Throwback Thursday" playlist, but it's about to get bumped by the Raven's Home theme song. Just like the original, these opening credits feature all of the characters coming together to deliver us a catchy pop tune that'll definitely get stuck in your head.
Visions play as big of a role in Raven's Home as they did in That's So Raven, but there's an interesting twist: one of Raven's kids has visions too! The psychic gene must not skip a generation, because Booker has multiple visions in the first episode alone. But the plot thickens even more because Raven hasn't told her kids that she is psychic yet!
5. Raven Trying To Solve Problems
One of Raven's defining characteristics on That's So Raven is that she always tried to fix problems quickly, which, in the end, always made them even more complicated. The same character trait is still prevalent in adult Raven, who tries to solve a dispute between Nya and Booker, but by overcompensating, makes the whole situation explode.
6. Raven Misinterpreting Visions
In the premiere, Raven has a vision where Nya feels fed up with the fact that everything is always about her twin brother, Booker. In classic Raven fashion, she tries to fix that vision before it even happens, and then chaos ensues. That's so Raven!
7. Physical Comedy
That's So Raven was known its physical comedy, and Raven's Home employs the same tactic. The first episode comes out swinging with its physical comedy by having Levi get hit by a locker door and land in a tuba; Nya getting knocked into the next room by a loose boxing bag; and Raven hitting tennis balls with her butt.
8. "Oh, Snap!"
I wish I could bottle up the feeling of pure joy that radiated through my body the first time I heard Raven utter her catchphrase, "Oh, snap!" in Raven's Home. It was a quieter slip of the catchphrase than usual, but it was still there! There's no mention of Raven's other catchphrase, "Ya nasty!" but I have not given up hope that it will make an appearance in Episode 2.
This is just the beginning, and I am pumped to see what other references to That's So Raven pop up in the rest of Season 1 of Raven's Home. I don't have psychic visions like Raven or Booker, but I suspect that a special appearance by the Boys In Motion may be on its way.