Saturday, 24 June 2017

Andi Mack Had Me SHOOK

The first season of the amazing new Disney Channel show Andi Mack wrapped on Friday June 23 with yet another great episode. The series marks a new, though not entirely new direction for Disney Channel as the freshman series introduced real life topics and problems which have mostly been absent from the network following the end of Good Luck Charlie and were unable to deal with issues of parenthood and family life in such a realistic and mature way.

That’s not to say Disney Channel has not attempted to convey real family life through the lives of the Duncans in the now ended sitcom Good Luck Charlie, the Duncans were a fairly typical nuclear family whilst the Macks have a more… complicated history. The show, created by Lizzie McGuire creator Terri Minsky, introduced us to Andi (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) on her 13th birthday, the same day her “older sister” Bex (Lilan Bowden) returns home. Andi later discovers her “older sister” is actually her biological mother who had Andi when she was a teenager and her “mother” and “father” are actually her grandparents.

Okay, this revelation and the secret family set up is not revolutionary as we have heard stories of teen mums allowing their parents to raise their children as though they are their own children however, Andi Mack’s plotline is quite… radical for the network. As the next 11 episodes unfold we delve into the lives of the Mack family, primarily through Andi’s perspective alongside her best friends Cyrus (Joshua Rush) and Buffy (Sofia Wylie) and crush Jonah (Asher Angel).

The best moments of the show are the early episodes following the immediate aftermath of the revelation though Andi Mack’s first season is always entertaining and engaging. Leading actress Peyton Elizabeth Lee is able to perform extremely well in both the humorous moments as well as the more emotionally challenging scenes with poise, charm and integrity. The show’s quality is almost level with other coming of age sitcoms on the big networks like ABC’s family sitcoms however, the show’s writing, direction and overall attempts at humour sometimes inhibits the show from being taken seriously by an older audience.

Overall Andi Mack is great change of pace for Disney Channel. The majority of their biggest shows were multi-camera sitcoms with outlandish plots and high concepts though, in the same way Good Luck Charlie did in 2010, Andi Mack has brought the network back down to earth for more relatable and realistic story telling. I can say with complete conviction that Andi Mack is one of the most UNDERRATED SHOWS ON TELEVISION RIGHT NOW. 

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