I feel in-love with Andi Mack last April while on a press trip in LA. I had the chance to screen the first two episodes of Andi Mack, followed by a group interview with with Peyton Elizabeth Lee (“Andi Mack”), Lilian Bowden (“Bex”), Lauren Tom (“Cecilia”), Creator/Executive Producer Terri Minsky and Executive Producer Michelle Manning. I knew then that this series was going to really be something special. The episodes are well written, entertaining and certainly ground breaking. During our interview, the room was filled with this incredible, positive energy. I can remember leaving the room feeling excited, and proud to be even a small part of this journey from the beginning. Since then I have been watching each week with our granddaughter and happy to see the show break even more ground as it heads into season two (FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT).
Created and executive produced by acclaimed writer Terri Minsky (“Lizzie McGuire”), “Andi Mack” is a contemporary coming-of-age story about a relatable girl who’s trying to determine where she fits in and the many amazing ways she can live her life. On the eve of her 13th birthday, Andi learns that her older sister, Bex, is actually her mother. This revelation puts Andi on an unfamiliar path of self-discovery which she navigates with the help of her loving albeit complicated family; her two best friends, Cyrus and Buffy; and her middle school crush, Jonah Beck. Along the way, Andi learns that sometimes the unexpected is what makes life great.
In the season premiere, Andi is hoping for — and coaxing — her parents Bex and Bowie to get married, all while she awkwardly sorts out her feelings for classmate Jonah Beck. A second storyline depicts one of Andi’s two best friends, 13 year-old Cyrus, as he’s beginning to realize that he too has feelings for Jonah Beck. This realization begins an important part of his journey to self-discovery as a gay individual and ultimately, his self-acceptance. In the episode, Cyrus confides in Buffy. The scene, and what Buffy says to Cyrus, makes for positive role models for kids and adult viewers. In subsequent episodes, Cyrus begins to understand himself, and can count on supportive friends Buffy and Andi who, as teenagers, are also on a journey to self-discovery. He also grapples with how to tell his new girlfriend Iris about his new understanding of himself.
This story arc is a first for Disney Channel; it’s the first time the channel has depicted a character’s journey to self-discovery as a gay individual. To ensure the story was told in an age-appropriate and respectful manner — while also reflecting human kindness, inclusion and optimism — Disney Channel and Terri Minsky sought consultancy including from child development experts. The season premiere episode was also screened in advance for several organizations including Common Sense Media, GLAAD and PFLAG. “Andi Mack” has also been recognized with the Common Sense Seal for movie/TV that offers families an exceptional media experience.
Since its March 2017 premiere, the viewer response has been overwhelmingly positive; the series is striking a chord due to its realistic lead character, plus her two best friends and her family as they all try to navigate their lives and grow together. I an not surprised at all by the success of this series. If you are not watching Andi Mack with your tweens/early teens – you are missing out. It is such a good series and I am far from alone in thinking so, just check out these stats!
- #1 series of the year among Girls (2017 to-date)
- #1 in its time period among Kids 6-14
- #1 series on Disney Channel VOD
- #1 series on Disney Channel’s App (now called DisneyNOW)
- #1 series on Disney Channel UK; the series is launching on Disney Channels around the world through mid-2018
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