In season 2 of Andi Mack, the show continues to push the standards and expectations of the Disney Channel past even what older generations experienced.
|Andi||Peyton Elizabeth Lee|
|Morgan||Eden Grace Redfield|
|Dr. Metcalf||Oliver Vaquer|
As a woman, a mother, as a daughter, and as a friend, Bex changed this season. The young woman who was in and out of Andi’s life not only planted roots, and found them a place, once their home life was stable, she ventured to better herself. She got her cosmetology license so that she wouldn’t find herself remaining under the thumb of someone she babysat, and the three big relationships in her life changed and she adapted.
With Andi, while Bex still maintains this sister vibe, Celia officially taking on the role of grandma, forces Bex to be the one to deal with bad news, tantrums and things of that nature. Which Bex, of course, struggled with. It’s one thing to visit this person, like someone else’s pet, play with them then leave. It is a whole other dealing with this child being mad at you over secrets you’ve kept, you not doing what they think would be best for you, and in extension them, alongside trying to help them navigate their own troubles. Sometimes when it isn’t a convenient time for you to sit down and listen.
Yet, while the road was sometimes rocky, between her own intuition, Bowie co-parenting, and Celia, she survived. And speaking of Celia, part of Bex’s growth also comes in reconciling with her mother. Not to the point they are bosom buddies, but with them talking about why Bex felt forced out of Andi’s life, as well as Celia being investing is Bex’s cosmetology career, they at least find common ground. That is, outside of wanting the best for Andi.
Leaving Bowie. We aren’t given a huge amount of information on what Bex’s life was on the road. What we do know is that after she gave birth and left Andi and Bowie’s life, she met a man named Gabriel. Someone who isn’t dwelled on too much but had a profound effect on her. A negative one. For it is because of him that when Bowie comes back into her life, there is an inability to love him the way she perhaps once did. For Gabriel was reportedly abusive. Now, whether it was purely mental and emotional, sans physical, it isn’t 100% clear. She has this conversation with Andi and while her and Andi are close, there are some things you don’t deep dive into with your kids.
Point is, Gabriel did a number on her but through her relationship with Bowie, as well as seeing him end up with someone else for a while, it seemingly helped her realize what she could lose. That she was giving an ex way too much power over her future and so he got put away like a lot of Bex’s past. Not to be forgotten, but learned from.
Amber Gained Complexity
While Amber’s insecurities was a character focal point in season 1, it was greatly expanded in season 2 as we learned how terrible her home life was. For whether it was money issues or her parents fighting, what we got was more than a pity party but a villain simply becoming a complex human being. One who lashed out for in having power over her anger, she was able to not focus on the fears and instability of her life.
Yet, it seemed clear she knew that wasn’t sustainable. Hence her trying to make nice with Jonah and Andi, once more, as well as taking Cyrus up on his offer to become friends. Since, for whatever reason, Amber struggles with making friends in her grade, real ones anyway, so these kids are all she has. Making her kind of seem like Angelica Pickles, from Rugrats, in a way.
Sofia Wylie is given some of the best and emotional scenes of the entire season. I’d say her scenes dealing with her mom, be it talking to her or otherwise, sometimes eclipsed even Bex and Celia’s scenes – and those two have a complicated history. However, there is something about seeing a child wanting to be strong for their mother, so they don’t have to worry, and seeing the stress that causes them which is something. Alongside dealing with the fact her mom is in the military. Which means every goodbye could be the last and then when she thought she was moving far away from her friends? The ones she knew since elementary school?
Needless to say, while Peyton Elizabeth Lee is the star of the show, many times Wylie went from simply being her best friend, often paired with Cyrus for silly subplots, to showing this will not be the sum of her career.
Speaking of Cyrus, while his coming out didn’t become more than him simply noting he is queer, there was far more to the character than that. Which, in itself, was important. The idea that him being queer didn’t define him and become central to his character. It was just one of the many adjectives he’d use to describe himself. Well, maybe not the word queer, since he just knows he likes boys but, with time, I’m sure he’ll find the word which most accurately defines him.
But, as said, it isn’t the be all to end all of Cyrus. What more so is, is his ability to connect with people and show, with having so many parents in the psychology field, he has picked up quite a bit. Take his work, or rather friendships, with TJ and Amber. When it comes to both, they are dealing with issues of insecurity. For TJ, it was his inability to do math at a level which would allow him to continue to play basketball and for Amber, it was not having anyone stable in her life who showed her affection the way she needed.
For both of these characters, Cyrus provided them with the kind of stability they needed to become better people. Not necessarily good, Cyrus has just met them, but better than who we knew them as. Leading to him even developing a crush on TJ, as the boy really made a 180-degree turn.
A Slight Sense of Culture
While Bex and Andi don’t speak much of their Asian heritage, and Buffy doesn’t really talk much about what it is like to be a Black girl, outside of season 1’s hair problems, Celia is different. Being that she immigrated to the US, and continues many of her family’s customs, from her we get stuff like Chinese New Years, seeing her and her family make dumplings and things of that nature.
Something I wished was done a little bit more, if just 3 or 4 episodes, within a total 25-episode season (26 if you split “Cyrus’ Bash-Mitzvah!” into two episodes). For considering how, kind of, diverse this show is, it’s hard to not wish that is wasn’t just Cyrus, through his birthday, and Celia, through Chinese New Years, presenting how different the world is.
Mapping Out Healthy & Unhealthy Relationships
When I was growing up in the 90s and 00s, if I wanted examples of relationships, it was from adults or people in their late teens. There wasn’t a whole lot of middle school relationships like we see on Andi Mack. So getting to compare and contrast the trials and tribulations of Andi and Jonah’s relationship, which evolves over time, to what Marty and Buffy had, makes me slightly jealous of Gen Z. For, between this season and the last, we get shown how to tell someone could be a good boyfriend or girlfriend for you based off how these two sets act.
With Jonah and Andi, we see how much effort has to be made, as well as communication, for a relationship to work. Even if you are barely teenagers. Then with Marty and Buffy, you see all the things you should have. Comradery, being able to speak how you see one another, even if it is sometimes hard, and sharing something you both are passionate about but still having your own life outside of them. Things a lot of us don’t figure out until our late teens, 20s, or beyond, depending on how we approach dating or how often we do it.
Introduction to Sexism
In season 1, sexism was shown, on a teen level, through Dr. Metcalf’s uniform policy. In season 2, it is shown by the lack of a female team for basketball, though Buffy announces there will be one at the end of the season, as well as TJ. Well, not just TJ, but the whole basketball team. For with TJ not wanting to play against or with a girl shows one form of sexism. Be it in his expectations or him pushing for exclusion. However, you can’t let his teammates off for they show how sexism is allowed to survive by mostly not saying or doing anything against TJ and his actions.
Something I found quite interesting because, a lot of the time when anything which ends with -ism is presented, it can be heavy-handed. Yet, presenting in how teens/tweens would experience it, without an after-school special vibe, opens conversations. Possibly creates relatability, and for many a frustrated teen girl, it may provide them with the fortitude to continue fighting or find new ways to better things.
Addressing Dyslexia and Anxiety Head On
While Girl Meets World had a character with autism, specifically Asperger’s Syndrome, they weren’t someone part of the main cast – arguably. Plus, being that Girl Meets World was filmed in front of a live audience, much less a comedy with drama elements, it was jokes about a little bit. With how Andi Mack handles TJ’s math dyslexia and Jonah’s anxiety, there aren’t any laughs or comic relief. It faces both problems head on and in a rather serious way.
One of the main ways it does that is by focusing on stigma. This is especially seen by TJ for one of the things no kid wants is to be seen as stupid and needing extra help. For even if you are a basketball player, star player at that, there are certain types of attention you want and others you want to avoid at all cost. Luckily, thanks to the irreplaceable Cyrus, with some help from Buffy, TJ comes to the point of being comfortable asking for help. Not to the point he is now top of the class, but at least passing math to the point of not being benched.
As for Jonah? While his anxiety attacks beginning with Andi moving on was an odd start, you can’t deny the journey from that point didn’t build in a positive direction. Especially since anxiety eventually went beyond anything regarding Andi and sometimes just dealt with Jonah collapsing over the pressure of the moment. But, thankfully, just as the show figured out a way to present TJ with means of getting help, and naming what he has, the same was done with Jonah. For whether it was talking to Cyrus’ dad, learning music, or just breathing and taking a moment, asking for help, there were multiple points of answers on what a kid could do.
Marty Dropping Off The Face of the Earth
Buffy broke Marty’s heart by saying she wouldn’t go out with him and after that, he left. Which, if they were adults, would make sense. However, considering they were kids, in the same class for a few things, him just getting cut and us learning he had a new girlfriend, was unacceptable. How can you build this couple up, damn near making them worth putting on a pedestal, and then tip the pedestal over and walk away? From what it seems, the actor playing Marty hasn’t retired or quit acting. So I do wonder what happened? Was it simply he got a more consistent and better offer elsewhere?
Lack of Parent Involvement – For All But Andi
Recognizing this show is but a half hour, so they can’t feature everybody, I did find myself wondering why we didn’t see more of everyone’s parents? Andi’s family we saw fairly often, even Ham who doesn’t contribute a whole lot to the show – to be honest. But when it came to Buffy’s parents, Cyrus’, Bowie’s mom, or even meeting Jonah’s? Didn’t happen.
Buffy’s mom and dad we don’t ever see in the same scene. There is no Black love moments going on in this show. Cyrus’ parents we only see during his birthday party, which is strange considering how protective they are often made out to be. Then with Jonah’s? Considering the way Jonah is, alongside him having anxiety attacks, it really pushes you to wonder what his parents are like? How do they act with each other or him? Heck, does he even have a traditional family? Is Jonah adopted, living with his sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandparents? The boy barely speaks about his folks so it makes you wonder what is going on?
The Miranda and Morgan Saga
Bowie is an attractive guy – physically and personality wise. So, it makes sense he’ll find people to date and not wait around for Bex forever. Especially since she rejected him. However, the Morgan and Miranda saga felt a bit mishandled. Mostly due to Morgan being a thief.
To me, this was one of those scenarios where, since Bex seemingly isn’t looking to date, the show could have taken on the difficulties of being a single parent, much less dating when you have kids. A nod to the adults in the room and maybe helping kids navigate their parents go through that. However, all this did was act as a means to push Bex into action. Which I’m cool with but it really does seem like a lost opportunity.
Tricking Us Into Thinking Buffy Was Being Written Off
That was just messed up and the fact Sofia Wylie’s Instagram contributed to the idea was just cruel.
On The Fence
Cyrus Came Out But Didn’t Meet Anyone
They are in a small town in Colorado and Cyrus isn’t out to every last person he knows. So the idea of Cyrus really finding a boyfriend, or someone who may or may not be queer too, wasn’t realistic. Nor the idea Disney, who barely features queer characters in most of the productions under their umbrella, outside of ABC and FreeForm, having it where this teenager would at least get to hold a boy’s hand. Never mind get his first kiss with a boy.
Yet, and this is also recognizing you don’t want to make the sum of a character being that he is queer, it kind of sucks that Cyrus barely talked about his feelings or got to explore them. We know he got crushes, like the one he had on Jonah and later TJ, but that’s it. And he barely talked about Jonah, out of respect for Andi, and who knows if he may say anything about TJ. Even though they seem rather cute together.
Makeup To Break Up – Andi and Jonah
In the back and forth of this relationship, especially when Walker came around, there was a need to question if these two should just be friends. Walker presence pushed that idea since, in a Marty and Buffy way, he shared something he was passionate about with Andi in a way Jonah never did. Yet, because Andi and Jonah, assumingly, are OTP, Walker got put on the bench. Leading you to hope that, if we are going to be seeing Andi and Jonah, at least till this show hovers around 100 or so episodes, they have gotten through the worse of it. Because, I don’t know how many times I can really see Jonah do or say something stupid, Andi get in a rut about it, get over him, then end up drawn back into the madness, anymore.
Buffy Going Boy Crazy
Outside of Marty, and on the rare occasion Jonah, Buffy didn’t really talk to any guy whose name wasn’t Cyrus. Also, outside of Marty, no guy really approached her. Which in itself is sad since Buffy is Type-A and, you know what? I digress.
Buffy goes a bit boy crazy after coming back from seemingly being written off. With that, it is like everyone and anyone she has a momentary crush on. One second it seems like she might be crushing on Jonah, another Walker, and then even maybe TJ. All of which could go a few ways. Maybe Buffy is at that point she wants a relationship, but unfortunately knows how she normally is scares most guys off? It could also be, with Cyrus having a relationship with Iris, and Andi dating Jonah and having a boy like Walker interested in her, maybe Buffy feels like she is not having the same experiences as her friends and wants a relationship?
It isn’t 100% clear what might be going on, but this could go either an interesting way or become part of a joke. Though, with this storyline given to Buffy, more than likely Wylie is going to be given something a bit heartbreaking. Prep your favorite tissue brand.
Walker & Natalie
There is something weird about the way Walker and Natalie were used. Like Miranda, in a way, before Morgan was shown as a thief, they presented this idea that both Andi and Jonah had options. Perhaps better options than the person they were having troubles with. And while Natalie we barely got to know, with Walker, we were given enough time to get invested in him. So it became a bit of a shame when Andi rejected him, even said they couldn’t talk anymore, and it seemed he might get written off. Especially if Buffy can’t have him.
Barely Learning About Bowie
Outside of learning about his past in music, and his dad dying, Bowie remains a bit of a blank slate. Which seems odd considering how many scenes he is in. Yet, with Bowie trying to always keep things on the up and up, maybe he doesn’t want or like dealing with his past? Maybe the reason he has always been so happy and go lucky was to not deal with something going on. Hence his connection to Jonah for maybe they share more than we are told. Heck, maybe Jonah is just a young version of Bowie, in terms of how he is being written.
How Involved Bex and Bowie Were In Andi’s Relationship with Jonah
Taking note this show really presents a strong sense of community, I gotta admit it was weird how invested Bex and Bowie were into getting Jonah and Andi together. Bowie helping Jonah write a song about his feelings especially was odd to me. For while I get, for the purpose of the show, keeping Andi and Jonah together makes things simple. However, it also felt like that was a moment Jonah could have spoken to his dad or whoever and they could have been brought onto the show. Rather than keep them an utter mystery.
Overall: Positive (Watch This)
I remained stunned by how a show which is, by no means, made for the demographics I am not in remains one of my favorite shows. Maybe it is because, being this is on the Disney Channel, it can’t go over the top so it has to keep things rooted and away from drugs, sex, and utter madness? If not vicariously reliving life through these talented actors? Alongside finding the way some situations are handled universal, and not just geared towards a tween or early teen market?
Either way, season 2, like season 1, is rated positive. Andi Mack really does push you to wonder how would some of their other shows, and future, be like if they dropped the live studio audience and focused more on the characters being real than funny. For the results, thus far, rarely disappoint.
Has Another Season Been Confirmed?: Yes
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Whatever happened to Iris? Cyrus out here making friends with Buffy and Andi’s tormentors but his first girlfriend just went poof like they had a bad breakup.
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