By Rachel Bucchino
A bit of an unusual plot for a typical Disney television series, the new show titled Andi Mack centers around a 13-year-old girl who learns that her older sister is actually her mother.
For Andi’s entire life, the woman who is actually her grandmother served as her mother. Andi’s supposed “sister,” named Bex, is her birth mother and occasionally visits the family.
To complement that storyline, one of Andi’s best guy friends is trying to discover his sexuality.
The Pilot introduces the show’s motives and initiates the storyline for the rest of the season. The show is aimed at children between ages six and 14, as well as their parents.
Disney Channel strived to produce a show that would increase their ratings, as Wall Street pressured the network to create a hit.
The network’s ratings have been sinking more than ever, according to Nielsen data. Disney Channel’s target demographic is between the ages of two and 11, and there was an 18 percent decline in that age group’s viewership.
“I know I can’t go to the hugely dramatic space,” said Gary March, president of Disney Channels Worldwide. “I can’t go to the sexual space. I can’t go horror. Where can I go that would elevate the content and get people talking about us in a way that is different from the way they talk about us normally?”
Rather than thinking of the shouts and screams of the East High Wildcats, Marsh wanted a show that deals with complexity. The New York Times referred to this “complexity” as “age compression,” or “getting older younger.” Disney Channel needed to target the youth who possess developing mindsets. Netflix and YouTube have much impact on the growth of children’s minds, serving as catalysts of the maturing youth.
Terri Minsky, the show’s writer, is most widely known for writing Lizzie McGuire. Minsky stressed the unique atmosphere of the show: the main character is mixed ethnicity and has short hair; the sets appear to be normal, as in there aren’t any bedazzled bedrooms or cluttered houses; scenes are filmed outside; and characters differ in ethnicity.
Published on YouTube, the first episode exemplifies Bex’s contrasting personality than that of her mother. The interactions between the two are serious and dramatic. Their conversations escalate to arguments, creating a negative appearance of their relationship.
When Bex arrived home on her motorcycle, the mother was astonished from her visit — she was completely annoyed. It seems as if the mother is embarrassed of Bex because of her experience and teenage pregnancy. At one point, the mother addresses only Andi as her daughter.
The show’s official release date is April 7, but Disney Channel broadcasted the first two episodes on digital platforms in order to generate publicity.
Comments on YouTube are supportive of the new television series. Those commenting are positive about seeing diversity amongst the cast and the complex storyline. Viewers say that they cannot wait for the rest of the season to air.
Featured Photo Credit: Feature photo courtesy of Andi Mack on Facebook.
Rachel Bucchino is a freshman civil engineering major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.