Guilty pleasure provides escape from high school drama

Middle school is not typically a time anyone wants to remember or look fondly on while living their lives as someone who made it past the wild age of thirteen. When it comes to my own middle school experience… never mind, we’re not going there. Even though I refuse to reminisce on my own middle school days, what’s so wrong with reliving that time in my life through characters in a television show? Disney Channel’s Andi Mack allows audiences to enjoy a sweeter version of teenage life without the edginess of the typical high school show by revolving around younger, silly, heartwarming storylines.

Yes, I am a high schooler watching a show on Disney Channel that is about and directed towards an audience ranging from the ages 11-14. I know that this situation is slightly embarrassing, but I can’t lie and say this show isn’t good. Andi Mack is my most recent guilty pleasure, since the characters, their silly jokes, and sappy moments provide an escape from my frantic and exhausting high school life.

I first discovered Andi Mack when I was scrolling through Tumblr and saw an article about how progressive and cool this new Disney Channel show was. I thought to myself: ‘Disney Channel? Being progressive?’ and I knew I had to check it out. Not long after that, I found myself binge-watching a show about middle schoolers for a week straight, feeling totally invested in the lives and happiness of these four preteens. Andi Mack centers around thirteen-year-old, Andi Mack, who comes to find out early-on in the show that the woman she thought was her older sister is actually her mother. This discovery rocks Andi’s world, changing her perception of her family that she has known her whole life. While this seems like a big deal, Andi eventually learns to live with this new development and continues with all of the normal middle school stuff.

Andi’s two best friends, Cyrus Goodman and Buffy Driscoll, are as colorful and lovable as Andi (though I will say that Cyrus is my favorite out of the three) and add great dynamics to the show with their own complicated storylines. One other important character in Andi Mack is Jonah Beck, the hot-shot ultimate frisbee player and Andi’s eventual love interest. All four preteens go through the typical middle school drama that essentially boils down to miscommunication and general naiveté, and I just can’t seem to get enough of it. At this point, after binge-watching two full seasons of Andi Mack, I am so invested in the happiness and well-being of each of the characters that I feel like a protective older sibling when watching the show (it’s a weird feeling, I know, but it makes the show that much better to watch).

Though the drama and plot can be a little ridiculous at some points (let’s not forget that this show is about middle schoolers), I can give props to Andi Mack’s complicated and intense storylines built for each character. From teen moms to discovering one’s sexuality to finding out about serious mental illness (I’m not naming names, no spoilers!), Andi Mack is one of those shows that tries its best to touch on multiple social issues and topics without making it look bad. I appreciate the lengths Disney Channel has gone to to make one of their shows representative of what real life is like for middle schoolers, which is something middle school me would definitely have appreciated.

So if you’re considering finding a new guilty pleasure and watching Andi Mack, all episodes are available on Hulu’s live extension and on Disney Channel; do it for the middle schooler in you.

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