[Warning: Contains spoilers for the first episode of 'Raven's Home']
"Oh, Snap!" - Raven's Main Catchphase
Raise your hands if you were a ‘90s baby. I was. That means, you should be familiar with the comic genius that is #RavenSymoné. She co-starred alongside Eddie Murphy in Doctor Dolittle as his eldest daughter. In the early ‘00s Raven went on to star in #ThatsSoRaven.
Since the ’07 series finale, the series spawned a spinoff series, #CoryInTheHouse. This series starred #KyleMassey, reprising his role as Raven’s younger brother, Cory. However, the series was not as successful as the original. Fast forward to 2017 and Raven’s back in a second spinoff series, Raven's Home.
Reintroducing Raven And Chelsea
Remember besties #RavenBaxter and #ChelseaDaniels? Well, Raven-Symoné and #AnnalieseVanDerPol are back! This time, Raven and Chelsea are divorced mothers with three children between them. They are now living in Chicago in a tiny apartment.
Raven is the mother of fraternal twins, #NiaBaxterCarter and #BookerBaxterCarter. She is still as loud and as outspoken and as quirky as ever, traits that were passed to the twins. Because of her close relationship with Chelsea, Levi calls her ‘Aunty Rae’.
Chelsea is the mother of a son, #LeviGreyson. Unlike Levi, Chelsea is still absent-minded and naive. She is a terrible cook and is known to kill the kitchen appliances. Because she’s best friends with Raven, Chelsea is called ‘Aunt Chels’ by the twins.
Raven and Chelsea become roommates after Chelsea’s husband cheats on her. Raven and Chelsea’s mother kept telling her that marrying the guy she married was a terrible idea. However, without him, there would be no Levi.
The friends are as close as ever as they are now raising their children together.
As mothers, Raven and Chelsea love their children dearly. Each has their own way of raising their respected kids.
Raven doesn’t know that Booker inherited her psychic abilities. Neither of the kids knows about their mother’s powers.
Chelsea still serves as Raven’s voice of reason, especially when it comes to telling the kids about her powers. Raven tells her that she fears that the kids won’t understand as they don’t have her powers… or so she thinks.
Meet The Kids
Let’s meet the kids that make up the series’s cast.
“It’s always about Booker. Booker, Booker, Booker! I’m sick of it!”
Presumably the eldest of the main kids, Nia is Raven’s daughter and Booker’s twin sister. Often over her head, Nia is independent and Raven doesn’t have to worry about her as she does about Booker. She hates her brother’s stories and that he will do anything for attention. She is best friends with Tess and becomes the Raven’s Home equivalent of her mother, minus the visions. She is close to her surrogate aunt Chelsea, calling her ‘Aunt Chels’. She does not believe in psychics at first. That is until her brother manages to convince her.
“Tess, you’ve seen me dunk, right?”
Nia’s twin brother and Raven’s presumably younger son, Booker is a momma’s boy. He inherits Raven’s psychic powers. He tries to convince his sister of his abilities. She doesn’t believe him, claiming that he's making it up. He makes up crazy stories. He is best friends with Chelsea’s son, Levi.
“Make good choices.”
The only child of Raven’s best friend, Chelsea, Levi is the polar opposite of his mother. He is always telling her to make good choices. He is best friends with Booker and believes him when he tells him that he’s psychic. Levi is known to pee himself when he feels trapped as seen when he gets stuck in a giant trumpet. One of his pet peeves is when Tess can’t remember his name and calls him ‘Kid Lite’ or ‘Booster Seat’. He calls Raven ‘Aunty Rae’ because she and Chelsea are practically sisters. He also seems to have a bad habit of sneaking up on Raven. In terms of his relationship with his mother, Levi acts more like the parent than the child but still loves her regardless.
“Yo, what up kids? What up, Kid Lite.”
Sassy, Tomboyish and Hippie-ish, Tess is Raven, Chelsea and their kids’s neighbor. She is the best friend of Nia and believes in psychics and tries to help Booker convince Nia of his abilities. She annoys Levi by not being able to remember his name. She can rap and write songs. Tess nicknames Booker ‘Future Boy’ because of his ability to see into the future. She is considered Raven’s Home’s version of Eddie.
Jokes, Outside and Original Series References and Humour
Like the original series, this new series has a mountain load of jokes and references to the original series. Let’s examine the jokes and references that were in the first episode.
1. Chelsea Not Listening
Raven makes a direct reference to Chelsea’s ability to not listen to those around her. Raven says that Levi gave her [Chelsea] the same look of not wanting her to marry Garrett. Chelsea mentions that Levi wasn’t born then with Raven explaining that if he had, he would have given her the same look.
2. Nia and Booker’s Relationship Mirrors Raven and Cory
Like with the original series, the series has female-male siblings. This is a reference to Raven’s relationship with her brother Cory. Nia and Booker have a similar relationship that their mother had with their uncle. This includes trading sarcastic insults and comments. Chelsea mentions that brothers and sister fight, reflecting the times Raven and Cory fought.
3. Tess and Levi are Chelsea and Eddie
Tess and Levi share characteristics with Chelsea and Eddie from the original series. Tess is an aspiring rapper like Eddie was in the original series. Tess also appears to be slightly naive as seen when she asks Levi why Booker walks into his closet. She cannot think of the reason why he would do it. Levi then questions why she spends all her time in the apartment instead of her own. Levi is the brains, similar to Eddie. Tess is the Chelsea.
4. Chelsea’s Bad Cooking
At the beginning of the episode, Chelsea asks the kids where the fire extinguisher is. She then rushes out when the fire alarm sounds. In the opening credits, you see the toaster catch on fire which is referenced earlier. At the end of the episode, Chelsea is seen cooking on the barbecue and it catches on fire.
5. Serena Williams, Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake Get Shout Outs
There are various references to Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake. They are said to have ‘stolen’ Booker’s signature dance move. Serena Williams is referenced when Raven gets hit with tennis balls. She exclaims:
“Serena Williams that hurt!”
6. Booker Gets Pushed Over By His Mother
When Booker arrives home to tell his mother about his vision, she humorously pushes him over. She does this in a desperate attempt to stop the vision of Nia complaining happening.
7. Tanya Baxter Is Referenced (Indirectly)
When Booker struggles to convince his sister that he’s psychic, Tess says he should ask his dead grandma. Booker tells her that it won’t work because both his grandmas are alive. One of these grandmas is Tanya, Raven’s mother.
Personally, I loved the series premiere of Raven’s Home. It was like going back to my childhood of watching Raven’s crazy antics in trying to stop her visions from coming true. We get to see four visions for the price of two. Raven has two of the twins and Booker has two of Nia and Levi.
Be sure to look out for my look inside episode 2.
Your turn. Did you watch the premiere of Raven’s Home? What was your take on the it? Comment below and/or vote on the poll.