“The Show that Made Disney Channel History”


(from left to right) Sofia Wylie, Joshua Rush, Peyton Elizabeth Lee, and Asher Angel

Faith Lingaraj, writer

The Disney Channel original series Andi Mack, created by producer Terri Minsky, aired its first season on April 7th, 2017. The premiere revolves around soon-to-be teenager, Andi Mack (portrayed by Peyton Elizabeth Lee), who is thrilled when she finds out that her older sister, Rebecca “Bex” Mack (portrayed by Lilan Bowden), is coming home on the eve of her birthday. Much to her shock, when her older sister does come home, secrets begin to unravel and Andi discovers something that she never knew before– something that drastically changes her whole life.


The slice-of-life story focuses on the everyday life of Andi Mack along with her two best friends: Buffy Driscoll (portrayed by Sofia Wylie) and Cyrus Goodman (portrayed by Joshua Rush), and her school crush Jonah Beck (portrayed by Asher Angel). She also finds herself having to deal with an enemy – the snobby yet insecure high school girlfriend of Jonah, Amber (portrayed by Emily Skinner).


Following the airing of the premiere, the 1.24 million viewers were chatting about the show nationwide. Throughout the first half of the forty-minute two-parter, Bex shows Andi a wooden box, telling her that there are secrets inside. When Bex tells Andi not to ever touch the box, Andi goes ahead and snoops behind her big sister’s back. The shocking revelation of the episode occurred when Bex showed Andi a photo from the box that was taken thirteen years ago: a photo of Bex sitting on a hospital bed with a newborn baby in her arms. Andi asks who the baby is, and Bex reveals to Andi saying, “Andi, I’m not your sister… I’m your mother”.


Miranda Breznai, a senior viewer and fan of the show, says, “I think it’s a good storyline because it shows their story and lets people know that you are not alone and it’s okay, even though being a teen who is pregnant is going to be a lot harder than you actually think and you can’t always put yourself first. You would have to put the baby first and you have to realize that it’s going to be hard focusing on school, the baby, and also having a social life like hanging out with your friends.”


Having a teenage pregnancy storyline so beautifully presented by the Disney Channel is a huge historic milestone. Without a doubt, featuring the child of teen pregnancy puts the real-life situation into more perspective by exploring it and shows that it’s truly a story about self-discovery and self-acceptance.


When season one ended on June 23th, 2017, people were greatly anticipating a second season. Disney Channel announced the second season and scheduled it to premiere on October 27th, 2017.


During the airing of season two’s forty-minute premiere, the show had its second great reveal that made Disney Channel history . Following a scene where Andi and Jonah discover their feelings for each other, Buffy and Cyrus are watching, and the very excited Buffy asks Cyrus, “Aren’t you happy for them?!”, and a hesitant Cyrus agrees.


It is known, for a viewer who’s watched the entire show from the very start, that whenever Jonah comes anywhere near the trio (Andi, Buffy, and Cyrus), Cyrus immediately focuses his full attention on Jonah and becomes extremely nervous in his presence.


In the season two premiere, during one of the show’s most emotional scenes, Cyrus tells Buffy that he’s not happy for Andi and Jonah. Buffy asks, “How come?”, and asks Cyrus if he’s jealous of Andi and Jonah. When Cyrus nods, Buffy immediately assumes that he likes Andi, but when he shakes his head, she realizes that he has a crush on Jonah.


Sara Ghaffari, Oakdale High School senior, says about the coming out scene, “I had a feeling about this connection all along, since the first episode, and was hoping that Disney Channel would confirm it. It was so obvious.”


Disney Channel was brave in their decision to have an LGBTQ+ main character on their most progressive show. They knew it would infuriate some parents, but also give kids who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community someone to represent them on television and to assure them that everything will be okay.


“All ages should be aware of [the situations of the current world and human differences] because they [should] know that it’s okay to be different and to like someone and for them to be happy. It’s good knowing that you aren’t alone,” Breznai states.


Disney Channel, as well as the show’s actors, support love and inclusion, and this is something that will only continue to grow within the show with more support and appreciation .