In 2015, President Of The Disney Channel, Gary Marsh recruited Lizzie McGuire creator, Terry Minsky to develop an original series for the network. At first, Terry was reluctant to make a teen based show until she found inspiration based on Jack Nicholson’s family history during his childhood. After writing a twelve episode arc for “Andi Mack,” filming officially commenced since 2016. One Year Later, the show finally aired.
Andi Mack aired on The Disney Channel In 2017. The first season earned positive reviews from critics and young viewers alike. As of 2019, the show later spawned two seasons also earning positive reception.
The reason why I wanted to share my thoughts on Andi Mack, is because Asher Angel will star in “Shazam” as Billy Batson & Disney’s upcoming remakes including “Dumbo,” “Aladdin” & “The Lion King.” I’m gonna come clean, Andi Mack is one of my guilty pleasures.
Today’s review doesn’t contain any potential SPOILERS whatsoever. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
The Whole Season
Positive: The Main Cast such as Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Lilan Bowden, Joshua Rush, Sofia Wylie, Asher Angel & Lauren Tom all did a great job for their performances.
Terri Minsky did a fantastic job crafting a cohesive narrative spanning a total of twelve episodes.
The show balances between seriousness & comedy. Thank god it didn’t used jokes to force you to laugh appealed to The Lowest Common Denominator. I’m also relieved there’s no canned laughter.
As the show progresses episode upon episode, the main leads earn themselves Character Development.
The main characters are memorable for his/her personality. Making them easy to identify.
Each episode is filled with twists & turns. To spice things up a bit, take a sip of water or beer every time a Plot Twist shows up. If I were you, stick to non-alcoholic beverages, I do not condone alcohol poisoning.
A certain episode centers around a real life issue. Season 1’s storyline about Andi’s family history factors in the narrative.
Cinematography felt normal without a Shaky Cam.
Chemistry between Andi along with her friends & family serve as the main highlight of the show.
The show is inspired by Jack Nicholson’s family secret unbeknownst to him during his childhood.
In some episodes, Bex wears a Rolling Stones t-shirt.
Andi & her friends usually hang out at a diner called, “The Spoon Diner.” Wait a second! This reminds of Jerry Seinfeld & his gang hanging out at “Tom’s Restaurant” or the cast from “Friends” drinking coffee at “Central Perk!” I would assume that the show is influenced by Seinfeld & Friends.
Slow Motion is used in certain episodes. I would assume Zack Snyder (Dawn Of The Dead, 300, Watchmen) did some uncredited directing.
The show’s theme song is called, “Ready For Tomorrow” is pretty catchy yet it makes me want to dance.
Negative: A preview for each then upcoming episode gives away a huge spoiler. EGADS! This is the final trailer for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” all over again giving away The Third Act! Disney you gotta keep Plot Details under wraps!
Episode 1 – 13
Positive: The first episode is named after Andi’s age, she turns thirteen.
A deep secret is uncovered inside a box. Somebody’s been watching Seven. I was expecting Andi to say “What in the box!”
One of Andi’s friends referenced a Joss Whedon show. Joss took over Zack Snyder’s directing duties for Justice League. Both Andi Mack & Justice League were released the exact same year.
Episode 2 – Outside The Box
Positive: Andi’s birthday is on September 28, which means she shares a birthday with Ed Sullivan, Naomi Watts, Bam Margera & Hilary Duff. The latter’s b-day might be a subtle wink to fans of Lizzie McGuire.
The show got away with a joke involving a former U.S. President known for being “charming.”
My favorite part has something to do with staring. Perhaps a reference to Curb Your Enthusiasm when Larry David stares at someone if he/she is lying.
Episode 3 – Shhh!
Positive: The third episode is named after a made up horror movie.
Slow Motion or “The Bullet Time” technique is used when Buffy runs. Who directed this scene Zack Snyder or The Wachowski Brothers/Sisters?
Cyrus is shown wearing a yellow poncho or raincoat. Georgie from Stephen King’s It wore a yellow raincoat during the prologue.
A certain plot point reveals something to set up later episodes.
Episode 4 – Dancing In The Dark
Positive: Fourth episode’s title is named after a Bruce Springsteen song.
This episode is about Andi hosting a party. Don’t worry folks, she did not go too far serving booze & smoking “grass.” Sorry Seth Rogen, she didn’t invite you to the party.
Andi & her friends show off their dance moves.
Episode 5 – It’s Not About You
Positive: The fifth episode’s title has something to do with the context of a character.
The identity of a character is revealed. Can’t tell you who it is, you need to watch for yourself.
Buffy has a “new look” which factors into the episode.
Episode 6 – She Said, She Said
Positive: A cool slow motion shot of Andi doing her impression of Quicksilver from X-Men to slow down time while jumping in the air. What’s missing is Jim Croche’s “Time In A Bottle” playing in the background.
A character’s presence is finally shown. I can’t tell you who it is, you need to see for yourself.
Episode 7 – Dad Influence
Positive: The seventh episode centers around a “newcomer” meeting Andi for the first time.
Jerry O’Connell (the fat kid from Stand By Me) directs this episode.
Somebody quotes a Budweiser commercial from 2000. I’ll give you a hint, it’s a parody film starring The Wayans Brothers.
A shocking scene unexpectedly occurred.
Episode 8 – Terms Of Embarrassment
Positive: The eighth episode’s title is a play on word of James L. Brooks’ Oscar winning film, “Terms Of Endearment.” I’ll have you know that Terms Of Endearment is one of the movies I dislike, but everybody else likes, because it never deserved “Best Picture,” rather than “Return Of The Jedi” or “Scarface.”
Cici changes her perspective.
Cyrus’ “masculinity” is put to the test.
Bex has a personal moment linked to her backstory.
If you have a sensitive side, there’s a sad but heartwarming scene.
Episode 9 – She’s Turning Into You
Positive: Cici title drops the ninth episode. It has something to do with Andi.
My favorite part is when Cici reacts to Andi’s “new look.” Now I know how it feels for longtime fans of Superman reacting to Henry Cavill’s performance in “Man Of Steel.”
Once again, another secret from Bex’s past is uncovered.
Episode 10 – Home Away From Home
Positive: The tenth episode’s title has something to do with living in a new place.
Andi & Bex struggle to adjust in a new environment.
Cyrus’ friendship with Jacob continues to grow.
A happy cry moment managed to make me squee. In the words of Lumpy Space Princess, (from Adventure Time) “OH MY GLOB YOU GUYS DRAMA BOMB!”
Episode 11 – Were We Ever?
Positive: This episode centers on Andi & her friends going on strike over dress code rules. Thank god they didn’t act like the protestors from The Unite The Right Rally. If they made fun of this real life event, Disney could’ve been in big trouble.
Cyrus gives a special shout-out to an actor who portrayed Batman.
Another slow motion scene of the gang impersonating The Crazy 88’s from Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill.”
Negative: Andi does a stupid thing near the end of the episode.
Episode 12 – Best Surprise Ever
Positive: The twelfth episode is named after a pivotal part.
Buffy takes back what she did a few episodes ago.
Another happy cry scene happened yet again.
The season finale shows behind the scenes photos of The Cast having a good time.
The final scene sets up Season 2’s storyline.
Negative: The final shot of episode twelve ends with a freeze frame. Whenever a freeze frame pops up, I tend to make fun of this trope.
The Final Verdict: A-
All I can say is, Andi Mack’s first season is an unexpected surprise hit. Unlike unfunny sitcoms like Hannah Montana, this show managed to execute a cohesive storyline spanning twelve episodes connected to the title character’s family history, character development, performances, balancing between seriousness & comedy etc. If you’ve never seen Andi Mack or excited to see Shazam & Disney remakes such as Dumbo, Aladdin & The Lion King, I highly recommend Andi Mack’s first season to help you get to know the story.
As a reminder, Andi Mack is one of my guilty pleasures.