Season One
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A university-based sitcom with something on its mind, A Different World fixes its gaze on the students of historically black Hillman College, alma mater of The Cosby Show's Cliff Huxtable, and current school of his daughter Denise. It's Denise's first year at school, and she immediately clashes with two new roommates—neat freak Jaleesa and outspoken Southern belle Whitley—which presents her with an uncomfortable choice. As the reality of college life kicks into high gear,...
Season Two
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Sophomore year begins as Whitley clashes with her strong-willed new roommate Kim, while Jaleesa's roommate Freddie has an improbable crush on Dwayne. Dwayne has to prepare to face the infamous Dr. War, the one professor he's been trying to avoid, and turns to Walter Oakes for help. Whitley takes her role as choreographer for the homecoming dance a little too seriously, and makes the other girls miserable. Dwayne helps tutor a star athlete at Walter's behest, and falls in love...
 
Season Three
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Dwayne has undergone a summer makeover, and Whitley becomes temporarily smitten. Meanwhile, academic woes might keep her from graduating. Walter is the new co-ed dorm director, which causes friction with Jaleesa, and Whitley's volunteer efforts lead her to re-assess her qualifications as a role model. Ron falls for a single mom, and Walter and Jaleesa entertain the idea of marriage. Kim learns to stand up to her over-protective father, and Freddie endures a spiritual crisis,...
Season Four
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Whitley returns from summer break determined to solidify her relationship with Dwayne, but her procrastinating backfires when Dwayne introduces his new girlfriend Kinu. Adding insult to injury, Whitley is forced to move in with Jaleesa only to find that Dwayne is her new neighbor, and her father puts her on a strict budget to teach her financial responsibility. Freddie takes in a troubled young runaway and attempts to help him find an adoptive home. Dwayne is forced to tutor...
 
Season Five
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Everyone's back and romance abounds at Hillman. Dwayne asks Whitley to marry him, while Jaleesa and Colonel Taylor announce that they've already tied the knot. Dwayne's career as a teacher gets off to a rocky start. Whitley and Dwayne's first anniversary is ruined when the campus has to ride out a storm. Lena begins to have feelings for Dwayne. Kim joins Ron's band as their new singer, but success goes to her head. Colonel Taylor has a mid-life crisis....
Season Six
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Dwayne and Whitley are married—and sharing their first apartment—and have been changed by their experience with the L.A. riots. Freddie is now a conservative-looking law student, and romance is brewing between Kimberly and Ron, though thoughts of Freddie plague him. Whitley loses her job at an inopportune time, and their home is burglarized. Whitley also worries that Dwayne is losing interest in their marriage, while Freddie and Ron confess their feelings for each other...