My daughter and I often watched the Disney program Andi Mack over the past three years. Given some of the painful programming I deigned to watch with her over the years, this wasn’t bad.
The premise was about a girl (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) who finds out that her older sister Bex (Lilan Bowden) is actually her mother, and Celia (Lauren Tom), who she thought was her mother, was her grandmother. Very soap opera, admittedly, but the evolution of the relation of Andi and Bex was pivotal. The other focus was the relationship among Andi’s best friends Cyrus (Joshua Rush), Buffy (Sofia Wylie) and Jonah (Asher Angel) .
I love watching the show with my daughter. She grouses about various characters, most notably Jonah, who was well meaning but totally clueless when it came to attempts at romance, with Andi, seeming mean girl Amber (Emily Skinner) and deaf girl Libby (played by a deaf actress, Millicent Simmonds).
I’ll admit Jonah could be clueless, most notably when the core four salvaged designer clothes from a dumpster and gave them away. when confronted by the police, he said way too much. Shut up, Jonah! My daughter also complained about Andi, when it seemed like the typical teenage behavior I was seeing at home.
In the penultimate episode, Bex has finally married Andi’s dad Bowie (Trent Garrett). For the final episode, more storylines are resolved. My daughter was pleased when Cyrus started a relationship; she was so surprised, though, that she literally fell off the sofa. When Cyrus came out as gay to Buffy, and eventually the others, the group One Million Moms wanted the show cancelled. It obviously didn’t work. Andi Mack was Disney’s most-watched series over the past three years.
My daughter was bemused/confounded by her mother. My wife thought the boyfriends of Buffy (Garren Stitt as Marty) and Cyrus (Luke Mullen as TJ, named for two musicians) were the same character. She didn’t understand why we weren’t appalled that he was two-timing with Buffy and Cyrus. The two young men ARE both white and fairly tall.
As the article notes, the breakthroughs in the storylines for Andi Mack were fairly modest. But for an entity as Disney, it was progress.