Most people remember this show as the spinoff of The Cosby Show built around Lisa Bonet's Denise character. After she (and Marisa Tomei) left the show, it was generally dismissed as a failure that was left on the air because of Cosby's influence. Oddly enough, it was at that point that this series got interesting. The "traditionally black college" setting provided a unique forum for exploring the topics that have arisen at the cultural crossroads that is Modern America. Metaracial politics informed both explicitly sociological stories and more traditional sitcom plots. It finally became the show they had probably intended to produce in the first place. That's not to say that "A Different World" became the greatest show in the history of Television. It never managed to settle on who the main characters were. The romance of Whitley and Dwayne was probably most prominent, but Ron, Freddie, Jaleesa, Kimberly, and, eventually, another generation of students took center stage from time to time too. I think medical student Kimberly best embodied the "entry point" or audience viewpoint. She was the character most likely to balance the materialism of Whitley, activist politics of Freddie, and more personal concerns of the other characters and achieve some kind of moral synthesis which the producers seemed to be aiming for.