Just when Disney seemed to have run out of ideas, Terri Minsky, creator of the Disney Channel classic “Lizzie McGuire,” came in with an idea so bold even she didn’t think Disney would go for: an adult-themed show to be called “Andi Mack.”
Andi Mack (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) seems like your average middle schooler, with the pilot episode ushering her into her teens with the big 13 underway. Friends Buffy (Sofia Wylie) and Cyrus (Joshua Rush) are by her side as her sister Bex (Lilan Bowden) comes to visit. For the moment, all seems more than well until a big secret slips because of Andi’s curiosity and Bex’s negligence.
Bex tries desperately to bond with Andi. After getting her to take a step forward with her crush, Andi gets mad at Bex for pushing her to do so. Bex decides she was in the wrong for not being able to help Andi and decides she should leave.
In a midnight confrontation, Bex reveals the big secret and Andi understandingly flips, bringing in the episode’s end shortly after. By the time the ending credits roll, everything in the air and questions are coming in faster than that which can be answered.
Not only is the series already about identity, but this slice-of-life is about real-world controversies and hot topics that real teens have to deal with even at young ages.
Minsky revealed her inspiration for the story was from Jack Nicholson’s real life story of having found out the woman he grew up with as his sister was his mother.
With premonitions about the gravity of the subject for concerned parents and the levity it would take to balance it out for a Disney show, Minsky’s green-light was not taken lightly. Scheduled to air on April 7, Disney already released the first episode on YouTube, presumably to see how it would be received.
All things considered, this show seems like it’s going to be successful. With a nearly all Asian-American cast, a character “coming to terms with their sexuality” and the aforementioned plot twist involving teen pregnancy– Disney openly embraces the progressive terms on which this show is being broadcast, paving the way for more shows daring enough to discuss heavy topics such as these.