Disney Channel’s Andi Mack is coming to an end. And while it feels like it debuted just yesterday, I have a feeling that its three seasons will be long remembered. While I don’t subscribe to the belief that all Disney Channel series are the same, there is no question that Andi Mack was different and sticks out as being bold.
When Andi Mack burst onto the scene, they immediately made a statement that this show was going to be different. Early on, we learned that the person who our lead character thought was her sister, was actually her mother. And while that moment might have set the tone of the series, it was not what the show was about. Each episode dealt with the everyday joys and challenges of growing up and dealing with life. By being a serialized show with both comedy and drama, we also saw how not all issues will be resolved in 22-minutes. Some challenges take a long time, and in fact, some don’t get resolved as we originally envisioned.
There has been a lot of talk about “representation” in media. Often, the diversity discussed is focused on the kinds you can see. And while Andi Mack featured a cast from a wide variety of backgrounds, where it truly broke ground is showing kids of all-types in ways that are not immediately apparent. The show featured introverts, extroverts, learning disabilities, financial struggles, parental upheaval, panic attacks, and more. Not only could kids see characters that may look like them, but perhaps more importantly, they could see characters that feel like them or have gone through similar experiences.
Not only did Andi Mack find creative success but it also became Disney Channel’s most-watched series overall and its highest-rated among Kids 6-14. It is also the recipient of a Television Academy Honor, a GLAAD Media Award, a U.S. Asia Institute honor, the Common Sense Media Seal for Quality Family Programming and a Peabody Award nomination.
I look forward to Andi Mack’s target audience getting older and to the age that they will look back with nostalgia and be able to tell us what the show meant to them. I have a feeling that the series is going to mean a lot to a lot of people. The Disney stories that we grow up with can leave a mark on us for the rest of our lives. The team of Andi Mack understood this and didn’t shirk away from their responsibilities. Whether it was Bambi’s mother, Mufasa, or Cyrus’s grandmother, Disney storytelling teaches us a lot. And even though I have been around a while, and I am not in Andi Mack’s target demo, I learned a lot from the series.
Andi Mack’s series finale airs on July 26, 2019 on Disney Channel and the DisneyNOW app. Previous episodes are also available on DisneyNOW. In addition, Andi Mack will be available on Disney+ for new fans to discover.
FanBoy is a Disney dweeb who has worked at Disneyland and Walt Disney World