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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

TV Series Review

Things change a lot when you turn 13. That's true for almost everyone, but it's especially true for Andi Mack.

When Andi was 12, everything felt pretty simple. Sure, she had her share of struggles, but at least she knew who she was. She lived with her mom, Celia, and dad, Ham. Her rebellious older sister, Bex, would sometimes float in for a day or two until she and Celia got sick of each other.

Andi had her friends, too. She had her school. She had her first crush: a guy named Jonah. See? Normal kids' stuff. Simple. Not great, but at least she had some constants she could hold on to.

Then, on her 13th birthday, she has a real surprise party. First, Bex announces she's moving back home. (Surprise!) Then, Andi learns that her "sister" is actually her mother and her "mother" is actually her grandmother (Surprise again!).

Yep, for Andi Mack, even her relatives are relative.

Stuck in the Middle (School) With You

Adolescence is confusing enough without relational upheaval, but for Andi, change continues apace. Andi's dad has moved back, too—trying to woo Bex into holy matrimony. (Early in Season Two, Bex is having none of it.) Andi and Jonah are now, officially, an item. Still, going steady with her guy hasn't been the idyllic bliss she imagined it would be. "I just thought it'd be more fun, y'know?" She sighs. "Like a breath mint commercial."

Andi's school chums are experiencing their own crushes, too—most notably, her male best friend, Cyrus. In a well-publicized storyline, Cyrus comes out as gay in the first episode of Season Two, and he's crushing on Andi's boyfriend, no less.

"I feel weird," he confesses to their mutual friend, Buffy. "Different."

Buffy reaches over and takes his hand. "You've always been weird," she says. "But you're no different."

If that sounds more like the stuff of a drama-filled soap opera than a Disney kids' show, you'd be right: Andi Mack is, indeed, a show unlike much of anything we've typically seen from the Mouse House before—for better and worse.

Sign of the Times

For years, Disney's television division has made a mint on its cookie-cutter live-action sitcoms. They weren't always great shows, mind you. But they were relatively inoffensive. Most followed a tried-and-true formula: Take a charismatic lead, surround her with a wacky supporting cast, blend in a follow-your-dream conceit, add some wise-but-unobtrusive parents, and spice with lots of corny jokes. Voila! Instant hit.

Most of these shows had reasonably nice messages about friendship, family and doing the right thing, too. Sure, none of these series ever said anything too substantive, but those messages were at least there.

Andi Mack follows half of Disney's formula to the letter: Talented lead in her early teens? Check. Zany sidekicks? Check. Strong-if-fleeting positive messages? Checkity-check-check. It also (apart from some short skirts, some occasional toilet humor and a well-publicized storyline) keeps things relatively clean—something you rarely see outside the confines of … well, the Disney Channel.

But this sitcom also has more ambition than most of the cable network's other recent shows, most recently dealing with the hot-button issue of same-sex attraction.

That ambition has generated a mixed response. While many in mainstream culture have hailed Andi Mack's introduction of a gay storyline, others have been sharply critical of it. Some countries banned the show. Disney voluntarily pulled it from others. Several culturally conservative family rights organizations have spoken out against the show, and the group One Million Moms called for a boycott.

When Christian Convictions Clash With Cultural Realities

Many, if not most, TV series these days include an openly gay character. That trend has been accelerating in recent years. So it was probably only a matter of time before it crept into kids shows. Now that it has, it might be tempting to look at this latest example on the Disney Channel, shrug our shoulders and say, "That's just the way it is on TV nowadays."

But while that may technically be true, parents still must exercise discipline, discretion and discernment—and guard against creeping desensitization—when it comes to shows that are intentionally marketing a strongly pro-gay worldview to children.

Children, in contrast to most adults, are highly impressionable. They're just beginning to sort through complex issues such as sexuality and identity—issues that need parental engagement and clear communication about the purpose and place of sexuality in our lives. They have little to no understanding of the long-term consequences that their decisions about sexual identity might have for them years down the road—especially if they're dealing with same-sex attraction, as Cyrus is on Andi Mack.

Focus on the Family believes God designed the family to consist of a husband and a wife and, if possible for them, children resulting from that loving and faithful union. We also believe that God intended the sexual relationship to be between a married man and a woman, something else the Bible clearly teaches. Veering from that intended design for physical intimacy can lead to deeply damaging consequences. That's especially true for children who might be internalizing the message being attractively presented by a winsome character on a show such as Andi Mack.

The inclusion of gay characters, even on shows designed for children, isn't going to stop. It's a reality that parents are going to have to grapple with—and one that many children may be dealing with at school already.

So even if your family chooses to avoid Andi Mack entirely, the themes it's addressing are still worthy of intentional, scripturally guided conversation between you and your children when the time is right. After all, it's a conversation that Disney and our culture are already having.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Andi Mack: Oct. 27, 2017"Hey, Who Wants Pizza?"
Andi Mack: June 2, 2017 "She's Turning Into You"

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Peyton Elizabeth Lee as Andi Mack; Joshua Rush as Cyrus Goodman; Sofia Wylie as Buffy Driscoll; Asher Angel as Jonah Beck; Lilan Bowden as Rebecca "Bex" Mack; Lauren Tom as Celia Mack; Stoney Westmoreland as Henry "Ham" Mack

Director

Distributor

Network

Disney

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Released

On Video

Year Published

Awards

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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