(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you have not watched the series premiere of “Andi Mack,” which you can view above)
Disney Channel boldly goes somewhere it has never gone before with the new comedy “Andi Mack,” from “Lizzie McGuire” creator Terri Minsky.
The game-changing twist is set up in the series premiere: 13-year-old Andi (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) discovers that her cool, rebellious older sister Bex (Lilan Bowden), is actually her mother, and that the “parents” who’s raised her since birth (Lauren Tom and Stoney Westmoreland) are actually her grandparents.
It’s certainly something extremely unexpected from the channel that caters mostly to a younger demographic, and Minsky admits she too was shocked that Disney Channel had no reservations about the concept.
“We didn’t have to change a thing, and believe me when I tell you, that was shocking to me,” the showrunner told TheWrap. “We would put something in the pitch and people would go, ‘Disney’s not going to go for that, Disney will never go for that,’ and they went for all of it. There’s stuff in there that I watch it and I go, ‘I can’t believe this is in the show.’ But I’m really proud of it, and I hope they are too.”
Despite the huge bomb that is dropped on our 13-year-old heroine in the pemiere, Andi takes the news relatively in stride, and Minsky said this was due to the nature of storytelling.
“If you think about it, obviously if you heard that news, you would crawl up in a corner and cry for three weeks,” she admitted. “But who wants to watch that? It’s like, you have to consider the audience and that they will make the calculation … it’s going to seem super fast. My only defense is, it’s not fun to watch someone suffer. We just wanted to sort of address, what does this mean now in her life? How does she incorporate this? How does this affect her? What does this do to everything else? We wanted the story to go on and we wanted there to be other moments.
“I’m hoping every end of an episode, when there’s a ‘Next On,’ it makes people want to come back,” she added.
Minsky also said she’s expecting some blowback from various groups due to the nature of the story.
“I know there’s probably going to be some pushback once it actually gets to an audience,” she said. “I don’t know what that looks like, I don’t know what that means, I’m living in a bubble right at this moment.”
“Andi Mack” premieres April 7 on Disney Channel, but the series premiere episode can be viewed online right now.