Punky may be single, but her best friend is very much taken by a woman named Lauren (played by Jasika Nicole).

By Rosy Cordero
February 24, 2021 at 11:30 AM EST

There's going to be a lot of love packed into Peacock's Punky Brewster series.

Punky (Soleil Moon Frye) and Cherie (Cherie Johnson) are all grown up in the 10-episode revival, and their friendship has endured life's trials and tribulations — including the titular character's divorce from her musician ex, Travis (Freddie Prinze Jr.).

But while Punky is completely single, her best friend is very much taken by a woman named Lauren (Jasika Nicole).

"For the first time," Johnson says, LGBTQ fans of the original show will "get to see somebody who they've grown up with, that they've known their whole lives, who is representing them. They're following the same paths, and their journeys are the same as mine."

Johnson reveals to EW that she was nervous about how fans would react when Nicole's casting was announced and the nature of the two's relationship was revealed. But she needn't have worried.

Credit: Eddy Chen/Peacock

"I can't even explain to you… I was a little nervous, I'm not going to lie, to read the comments on my social media," she says. "And to see people who have been writing me for years, women, say, 'Hey, are you taking a girlfriend application?' I was like, "Yaaas!" The character has been so well received, and I pray that I make everybody proud."

So who is Lauren, and how smitten is Cherie?

"She's a really powerful woman who happens to be a lawyer," Johnson says. "So not only is she beautiful, but she is strong and she's intelligent. And I don't know that Cherie is running this relationship. I don't think I have any other choice but to treat her well because I don't think she would take anything less."

She adds, "It is beautiful Black love. It definitely is."

All 10 episodes of Peacock's Punky Brewster revival will be released Feb. 25.

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Punky Brewster

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  • NBC