“Nothing has changed,” Andi Mack‘s mother tells her midway through Friday’s premiere of the newest Disney Channel dramedy.
But the truth is, everything about Andi’s life has changed. For starters, her “mother” is actually her grandmother — a long-buried secret that’s finally unearthed when Andi’s cool “older sister” returns home for an extended visit.
As you can imagine, the Mack family’s world is turned upside down as each member adjusts to its new role; my favorite moment is when Andi and her
father grandfather agree that she should just refer to him as “Pops” from now on. (And to Andi’s credit, the fact that she’s even able to get out of bed the next morning proves she’s a better-adjusted kid than I ever was.)
Of course, not every secret is revealed up front. Much of the premiere’s second half is spent on Andi’s frustration over not knowing who her father is after Andi’s
sister mom admits that even she isn’t ready to involve him in their lives just yet.
Granted, Andi doesn’t have to go through this journey of self-(re)discovery alone. In addition to her two best friends — Buffy and Cyrus, because those are children’s names in the world of Andi Mack — she also has a budding relationship with Jonah, allegedly the dreamiest boy in school. And she technically has her “new” mom to thank for that last part; a misguided attempt at helping her daughter make friends led to Andi and Jonah becoming frisbee teammates… and possibly more down the road.
There’s also Amber, the villain in Andi’s story, who — among other terrible things — announces her presence by declaring, “Amber alert! Amber alert!” (It’s not until Andi explains what an Amber alert is that she finally stops.)
Without question, Andi Mack is the most mature, most ambitious project the network has presented to date; you can read more about that in TVLine’s interview with creator Terri Minsky. The question is: Will you follow Andi and her friends/family as they navigate these awkward new waters? Grade the premiere below, then drop a comment with your full review.