I don’t know about your kids, but mine are about Disney Channel everything. Some shows I really like, and others I could do without as a parent. Disney Channel presents a new series, ANDI MACK, which is a contemporary, coming-of-age story about a 13-year-old girl who is trying to determine where she fits in. Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s because it’s all of our lives. Man, middle school was rough for me. I’m so excited for ANDI MACK, because it’s what my daughters need, and I’ll tell you why. Also we were able to sit down with Peyton Elizabeth Lee (“Andi Mack”), Lilian Bowden (“Bex”), Lauren Tom (“Cecilia”), Creator/Executive Producer Terri Minsky and Executive Producer Michelle Manning.
What is Andi Mack About?
Well like I said earlier, it’s a story of a girl who’s trying to figure things out. On the eve of Andi’s 13th birthday her life goes from routine to roller coaster when her free-spirited older sister Bex returns home with a revelation that changes everything, and sends Andi on an uncharted course of self-discovery. At least she’s in good company; her best friends, Cyrus and Buffy, are also figuring out their places in the world. Along the way, Andi learns that sometimes the unexpected is what makes life great.
Spoiler Alert: So I don’t want to explicitly say what the spoiler is, but I’ll make references to it in the post. They reveal it in the first episode, and in this featurette. It’s important, though, as it effects Andi’s life in a big way.
Andi Mack Talks About Real Life
I have 5 girls ages 12 to 4 right now. My oldest will turn 13 this year, and this show hits really close to home. I was able to screen two episodes, and the topics they cover are real life things kids are going through. Boys, friends, family drama, self-confidence, awkwardness, mean girls, school issues, and the list goes on. It’s relatable. While my girls enjoy watching reruns of the show, Jessie, they’ll never have rich parents or a nanny.
Peyton: “Everything that happens in the show — I think kids around the world will be able to look at it and say, I’m not alone in this. And so I think that’s really important because a lot of the shows, you’re like, can I just be like that one day? I think this show — it’s really relatable and I think everyone, young and old and anywhere in between can really look at it and see themselves in the characters.”
Terri: “Teenage girls have essentially never changed. And I just think that’s true. I mean, vocabulary or whatever, but I just think the whole experience of thinking, ‘this is the best day, this is the worst day.’ They’re like this volatile up and down, and everything is ‘you don’t understand… you’ve never had this…’ and you’re sitting there going, wow. Yeah just like me…I think that it’s really great to have Peyton and the other cast members keep me sort of current.”
Andi Mack is from the Same Creator as Lizzie McGuire
I’m a huge Lizzie McGuire fan. Terri Minsky created both that show and Andi Mack. I even watched Lizzie McGuire later in life, because I thought it was cute and funny. Now I watch old episodes with my daughters, and they’re huge fans. I need shows like these to watch with my daughters. Shows that cause us to have conversations, but shows I’m not worried about being embarrassed to watch with them. Television shows that other networks are trying to pass off as tween and teen shows talk about topics and display a lot more skin than my kids are ready for.
What is Terri’s message?
Terri: Honestly, my message is watch TV with your parents. My goal is – I have a daughter who’s 22 and a lot of our conversations were generated by shows that we saw on television and it was just like, oh, you watch a Lifetime movie about bullying and just be like, does that ever happen to you? I totally think that television is a great medium for parents and kids to start a conversation. That was my goal. It wasn’t so much of a message to the kids. It was more like, I hope this is good enough for mothers and daughters or children and parents, generations of family to watch together.”
I can honestly say this is a show I’m proud to watch with my daughters.
The Cast is On-Point
I love all the characters in the show. Some are quirky, some are cool, some are funny, some you want to roll your eyes at (I’m looking at you mean girl), but they are all part of the puzzle. The kids in the show are so talented, and Cyrus makes me laugh hard. Bless him. I could gush forever about how well they address the complexity of mother/daughter relationships and how hard I love a multi-cultural cast. Y’all know how I feel about that. Really it comes down to the celebration of family, which I 100% support! But see for yourself, because Andi Mack premieres tonight on Disney Channel!
Don’t miss Andi Mack airing Friday nights, 8:30 P.M. EDT on the Disney Channel!
Thank you, Disney, for providing travel and accommodations to learn more about Andi Mack. All opinions about how much I adore shows that provide my daughters entertainment and are good for them are all my own.