If you haven’t been a regular watcher of Andi Mack, hurry on over to the Disney Channel and watch a few episodes. If you’re too old for this coming-of-age story, you might still be able to recognize yourself in its young cast.
The story about an Asian American young girl and her family growing through her tumultuous teens never garnered the huge audiences or media buzz that network shows seem to generate, but its characters and storylines connected with a young audience.
“Andi Mack was a labor of love for a room of impassioned, inventive writers, a talented and dedicated crew, and an extraordinary, miraculous cast who inspired us all. We had the honor of breaking a lot of new ground for Disney Channel,” said creator and executive producer Terri Minsky.
“We were its first serialized show, its first series centered around an Asian American family, and its first to feature an LGBTQ character who spoke the words ‘I’m gay.’ But the best part of making Andi Mack was our audience, who let us know we mattered to them. The series finale is for them.”
Unfortunately, the show’s third season will be its last, announced the Disney Channel Wednesday.
The series will return for its final episodes on June 21 and air its series finale on July 26.
Andi Mack stars Peyton Elizabeth Lee as the title character, Lilan Bowden as Rebecca “Bex” Mack, Lauren Tom as Celia Mack, Joshua Rush as Cyrus Goodman, Sofia Wylie as Buffy Driscoll, Asher Angel as Jonah Beck and Trent Garrett as Bowie Quinn.
The series has been praised as a heartwarming, diverse coming-of-age story about the most important things in any young person’s life: family, friends and the journey of self-discovery.
Year to-date, Andi Mack is Disney Channel’s most-watched series overall and its highest-rated among Kids 6-14. It has received a Television Academy Honor, a GLAAD Media Award, a U.S. Asia Institute honor, the Common Sense Media Seal for Quality Family Programming and a Peabody Award nomination. The cast may have had a sense that their show would not have a fourth season after filming the last episodes of Season 3 last year. Peyton Elizabeth Lee, the series’ titular star, tweeted this touching note to her castmates.
“I could spend the rest of my life reminiscing about the last three years,” she wrote in alongside a sweet clip of her and the rest of the cast dancing on set. “The dreams we made realities. the late nights laughing. it has been absolutely magical. that is the only word that truly embodies my experience with Andi Mack. magic. so whimsical and surreal.”
“To my Andi Mack soulmates, thank you for making me believe in magic. you were my fairytale,” Peyton continued in the emotional post. “Cheers my family, for the aching in my heart is due to the love we have found in one another. the life we have created is one that will last a lifetime in my soul. every word. every smile. every tear. engraved into my mind. for eternity. i have found something here that in my life so far i didn’t know to be. true love. like in the movies. like in the storybooks. like in our minds. but i found it in salt lake city. i found it in lilan. in asher. in sofia. in josh. in trent. in lauren. in my crew. in andi mack the show. in andi mack the girl.”
“So how does one go about thanking people for giving her a reason to wake up in the morning? for igniting a fire in her soul?” the 14-year-old wrote. “This, i have no answers for. all i know is that three years ago i was just a girl. 11 years old. 4 feet and 9 inches tall. a dream as big as the galaxy. and today. 14 years old. 5 feet and 5 inches tall. and that massive dream has become a reality. a truth that i hold in my heart with each passing day. with every moment. with every breath. may our memories here be as vivid in our minds in 20 years as they are today. may we all feel honest happiness once again. may we all find our happily ever after.”
Andi Mack was reportedly Disney’s highest rated show so its cancellation caught its fans by surprise and #renewandimack began trending on social media. Disney didn’t offer an explanation of their decision except that the network has a habit of ending their popular series prematurely. Classic Lizzie McGuire lasted only two seasons despite its positive impact on young girls. Girl Meets World met a similar fate.
I have to admit I don’t fit the show’s demographic (way too old) and I don’t have the show on my “must watch” list. However, I remember how difficult those young teen years were like without anybody to share them with or not able to see my angst reflected in pop culture. For today’s teenagers and soon-to-be young adults, for a few years, at least, they had Andi Mack.