Debuting 10 years after the series finale of That's So Raven, Raven's Home picks up with Raven and Chelsea living together as two divorced single moms raising their families together (Raven's ex -- and high school sweetheart -- Devon Carter [Jonathan McDaniel] is still around and co-parenting with her, whereas Chelsea's ex is currently in prison for a white-collar crime). Raven now has two kids, twins Booker (Isaac Ryan Brown) and Nia (Navia Robinson), and Chelsea has a precocious son, Levi (Jason Maybaum), who typically acts more like the parent than his mother. They're also often joined by their young neighbor and Nia's best friend, Tess (Sky Katz).
In addition to the new Fuller House family dynamic, there are plenty of other ways Raven's Home sets itself apart from That's So Raven, mostly for the better. Let's break down the biggest similarities and differences between Raven's Home and That's So Raven.
DIFFERENCE: Raven's son doesn't already know he's psychic. Whereas Raven was well aware that she could predict the future when That's So Raven began, the same can't be said for her son Booker, who doesn't understand what's happening the first time he has a vision in the Raven's Home premiere. Once he does realize what his visions are, Booker then spends the rest of the episode trying to convince Nia that he's telling the truth (all without ever speaking to his mom, of course, who could clear up this mess real quick). Eventually Nia is convinced, but now we're just excited to see how these two use Booker's visions to their advantage going forward. That's where all the fun is!
And don't worry: Raven still has visions too, which she uses to try and be the best mom, fashion designer and friend as she can -- but which also still lead her into quite a few pickles along the way.
SIMILARITY: Raven still sings the theme song. As happy as we are to see that Raven recorded a brand-new theme song for Raven's Home, sadly the new theme has NOTHING on the incredibly catchy, undeniably perfect original song for That's So Raven. But we do have to give the Raven's Home theme points for having the entire cast join in on the theme song fun. Hearing the whole Baxter family perform together is pretty flippin' adorable.
DIFFERENCE: It's a true family show now. Unlike That's So Raven, which followed Raven and her friends' adventures in high school, Raven's Home centers around Raven and Chelsea's middle school-aged kids. Although the change might seem small, it makes a huge difference because it completely shifts the type of shenanigans the kids -- and therefore the show -- get up to, because 9- and 11-year-olds have completely different interests, life experiences and ways of expressing themselves than teens.
Because of this change, Raven's Home feels far more like early episodes of Boy Meets World than That's So Raven -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing! Not only does it help Raven's Home differentiate itself as more than just a rehash of the original, but it also gives the show plenty of room to grow into without having to worry about hitting the dreaded "college years" era for quite some time.
SIMILARITY: It's still all about the magic of physical comedy. One of the things that set That's So Raven apart from the pack of other Disney shows was how it utilized Raven's excellent command of slapstick comedy. Fortunately for fans, this is one aspect of the original that Raven's Home capitalizes on. While all the kids get in on the action (Booker's first vision is of Levi getting his butt stuck in a sousaphone), it's still Raven who never fails to steal the show in this regard. At one point, she even plays tennis with her butt, which sounds stupid, but is performed with such conviction you can't help but love it.
DIFFERENCE: The shenanigans aren't nearly as wacky. That's So Raven was so great because of the sheer ridiculousness of it all. Not only was Raven psychic, but she'd go to insane lengths to prevent her visions from coming true (let's never forget the time Raven went to a parent-teacher meeting as both herself and disguised as her mother). Sadly, the shenanigans in Raven's Home aren't nearly on that level of absurdity yet, but there's no saying they won't get there eventually. We can hope, at least!
SIMILARITY: Raven and Chelsea's chemistry is still perfection. Although Raven and Chelsea's relationship isn't at the forefront of the Raven's Home premiere, the few scenes we get of the BFFs together prove that Raven and van der Pol didn't miss a beat when getting back into character. The duo's chemistry is as strong as ever and reminded us of why we loved this show so much to begin with. The more we can see of Raven and Chels together again, the better off Raven's Home will be.
Starting next week, Raven's Home airs Fridays at 8/7c on Disney.