I was honored to be invited to the #BeOurGuestEvent, a Disney press junket for Beauty and the Beast, Moana Bluray, and other Disney and ABC TV programming. As a guest, my expenses were covered in return for a series of articles about my experiences and reviews of the programming.
Disney Channel’s Andi Mack… impressed from the very beginning
There are those times when you meet a young person and you are just blown away by them. Such was the case when I met Peyton Elizabeth Lee who plays the lead character role in Disney Channel’s Andi Mack, during our group interview. Peyton presented herself in such a way that I could not have been more impressed. At 12 years old she has a maturity beyond her years and yet she’s also very down to Earth.
Between Peyton and this amazing cast, I know this show is going to be phenomenal. After screening two episodes, I fell in love with this show so much that I have told almost everyone with tween children that I see on a day to day basis about Andi Mack. I am recommending it to all my close friends and absolutely to my readers. Please allow me to tell you more about Andi Mack, a show I consider a Disney Channel MUST SEE TV for tweens, adolescents, and young teens.
About the Andi Mack Disney Channel TV series
Andi Mack is a contemporary, coming-of-age story about a relatable girl who’s trying to determine where she fits in — and the many amazing ways she can live her life. Andi has been raised to live on the safe side but on her 13th birthday, she takes off the proverbial training wheels and eagerly goes headlong into her teenage years. At every twist and turn, she’s anchored by a loving albeit complicated family and her loyal best friends, Cyrus and Buffy.
Take a look at this teaser for Andi Mack
What is it that I love about Andi Mack?
Before I tell you let me show you this Andi Mack featurette.
In these two minutes, you can already see there is a depth to these characters a depth that I want to watch over the season. Their identities and roles… the who they thought they were at the beginning of the season changes within that first episode. These characters are going to struggle, especially Andi, who has also just turned 13. But I got the sense from watching the first episode that while the characters are being challenged they are also very committed to each other and to this family unit. I saw how they were able to disagree and argue but still do it in a respectful way. What a change from what our kids see on tv! What a great example for families to see!
Lauren Tom, (mother to Lilan) said about those disagreements, “…But I love this girl (Lilan Bowden) and, and I think it’s important for the story, to have some of that dramatic conflict going on because, that’s also real life. Mother daughter relationships can be tough.”
There will be drama, but it is the kind of drama we want on tv for our kids. It’s deep without being too deep. We’ll see ourselves in the roles of those characters and we’ll immediately be able to relate and it will bring us to a point where we feel more connected to our tweens and teens. Watching Andi with a boy she likes, a boy that has a girlfriend (prone to jealousy), I was reminded what it was like to be 13 and liking a boy but not wanting him to know. I really feel this is a show meant to be watched as a family and a show with the potential to start some great family conversations.
Common Sense Media has given Andi Mack a rare 5 out of 5 star review
To provide a tool for parents and families, the national non-profit Common Sense Media, who has given the series a rare 5 out of 5 star review, just launched a video viewer’s guide called “Conversations about Andi Mack,” that features a Youth Development Expert, Dr. Yalda T. Uhls of Common Sense Media discussing the themes represented in the series including self-expression, acceptance, communication and optimism. Take a look.
During our #BeOurGuestEvent press junket, we had the opportunity screen Andi Mack and to sit down with cast members: Lauren Tom, Lilan Bowden, Peyton Elizabeth Lee, and executive producer Terri Minsky and Michelle Manning and interview them about the Disney Channel’s new series Andi Mack.
Highlights from our Question & Answer Session with Andi Mack’s cast Lauren Tom, Lilan Bowden, Peyton Elizabeth Lee, and executive producers Terri Minsky and Michelle Manning
The message behind Andi Mack
As executive producer Terri talked she put into words why I feel so strongly about Andi Mack. This really is a show that will open up your family for more conversations.
Terri says, “Honestly, my message is watch TV with your parents. I have a daughter who’s 22 and a lot of our conversations were generated by shows that we saw on television. You watch a Lifetime movie about bullying and ask does that ever happen to you? I 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, I hope this is good enough for mothers and daughters or mothers and parents — I mean children and parents, generations of family to watch together.”
Andi Mack’s Peyton Elizabeth Lee
I am not alone in how impressed I was with Peyton, her cast admires her as well. Take a look at what Lilan Bowden who plays Rebecca “Bex” Mack had to say about Peyton.
Lilan shared, “People have to know and they will, how uniquely special Peyton is as an actress. This gal is so advanced for her age. When I’m working with her, it’s not like working with a kid. It’s like working with a peer. When we talk about things, and we’re talking about scenes, her brain is working at such a mature level that we’re not just teaching each other. We’re exploring something together and that’s what I feel made the show such a great experience to be a part of because it really felt like a collaborative process, not just with the writers, not just with the director but with each other.”
Andi Mack is relevant for today’s tweens
From finding yourself to developing independence, from first loves to fitting in at school, Andi explores the challenges and highlights of being a teen… the challenges that have always been there.
Peyton said, “There definitely will be a lot of firsts. There will be a lot of things that kids watching will hopefully be like, I felt like that before or I’m not the only person who’s felt like that.” Lilan added, “Or I can’t wait to feel like that or I hope never to feel like that.”
Peyon continued, “Everything that happens in that show — I think kids around the world will be able to look at it and say, I’m not alone in this. I think that’s really important because a lot of the shows, you’re like, can I just be like that one day? You know, and 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.”
As Terri said, “Teenage girls have essentially never changed. … 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 like, ‘you don’t understand… you’ve never had this…’ and you’re sitting there going, wow. Yeah just like me. …. whatever you were as a kid is what’s gonna show up one day in their bedroom yelling at you.”
The diversity of Andi Mack exists in both the tweens and the adults
We could not have been more impressed with the diversity in the cast of Andi Mack. These are talented actors and actresses and what they bring to the script and their performances truly enriches each episode. It is a great representation of our community and empowering for our children and parents to see themselves in Andi Mack.
Peyton spoke to say, “I think that the fact that there is different ethnicities on the show, it just makes the show that much more, relatable and exciting. It’s very different from anything that’s on the air right now. I definitely think it’ll be good for people like us and who aren’t your average white kid to be able to see that on the screen.
I hope that you will join me in watching Andi Mack on the Disney Channel TONIGHT, Friday, April 7, 2017 on the Disney Channel.
Catch the Andi Mack TV Series on the Disney Channel Fridays!
- Starting TODAY, Friday, April 7, 2017 at 8:30 pm with a 1 hour premiere. If you can’t catch it on the Disney Channel, you can watch the first episode in this YouTube video.
- Then Andi Mack will play regularly on Fridays on the Disney Channel.