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Friday, October 27, 2017

Something Important Is Happening On The Disney Channel

This is not going to be your usual post about hot guys with their shirts off. Instead, I'm going to talk to you about something that is happening on The Disney Channel.  Something that you probably haven't heard about unless, like me, you are a (figurative) 12 year old girl.

This past spring the Disney Channel debuted a new show called Andi Mack, about a 13 year old girl, the titular Andi Mack, her 13 year old best friends, Buffy and Cyrus, and the the 13 year old boy, Jonah Beck, she has a crush on.  Also her Mother and her Grandmother.  Andi Mack made a ruckus right out of the gate in the first episode when Andi's cool older sister revealed that in fact she is Andi's cool young Mother, and that the people Andi grew up believing were her parents were really her grandparents.  Headlines hailed the "New Disney Show About Teen Pregnancy!"  Well, it isn't actually about teen pregnancy at all, but for The Disney Channel that was pretty hot stuff. And it gained attention for other reasons, the diversity of its cast, its generally progressive values, the fact that it seems to take place in a world that is something like the world we live in and not in the bizzaro fun-house mirror version of the world where most Disney/Nick shows occur, and its over-all lack of suckitude. Good things, which quickly propelled the show into quickly became the top-rated kids' show on American TV.  But I'm here to talk about something else.

I'm here to talk about Cyrus.

Cyrus Goodman, played with great charm by 15-year-old Joshua Rush, is one of Andi's two best friends. He is unathletic ("I'm more of a wheezer."), a tater tot aficionado, and all of  his friends are girls. Merry-Go-Rounds make him puke. He attributes his own nervousness to the fact that his parents, both psychiatrists, divorced and remarried other psychiatrists, and therefore he is "being raised by four mental health professionals."

Before I go on, though, I have to mention Jonah Beck, who (outwardly at least) is everything that Cyrus is not. He's is athletic, confident, popular, and is dating a high school girl- the toxic Amber, who we aren't going to talk about. Jonah is played with great charm and great dimples by 14-year old Asher Angel, and yes that seems to be his real name.  Do you remember that I said that Andi has a crush on Jonah Beck? Yeah, she's not the only one.  Because you would have to be intentionally obtuse to not see that Cyrus is 100% percent in love with Jonah.

And in tonight's episode,  Cyrus puts it into actual words.  He has "a crush" on Noah Beck. And that is everything.  Because this is the Disney Channel, y'all, a channel for kids.  And there are people who will say that there is a bunch of gay representation on TV now, so why is this important?  After all, there have even been gay teens on TV shows,  going back to the 1990s. True. But this is a a show for kids, aimed right at the very people who need it the most.  And take it from someone who grew up when there was no positive representation for queer kids:  this makes a difference.  This will save lives.  

I can promise you, I've already seen it,  that the forces of hate,  the people who start their sentences with "I'm not a homophobe, but..." are losing their shit and forming their circles.  I hope that the Disney Channel can see that it is in their corporate interest to ignore the bigotry of the angry minority and to embrace a future where all people are loved and excepted. And to the people who created Andi Mack, and Cyrus and Jonah, thank you. You can't be thanked enough.


  1. Disney Channel show called Andi Mack ... Will seek out this show on the Disney Channel, Andi Mack. The entire Disney ''thing'', its hemogeny as well as itself, is, for the past 30 years, a target of the anti-homo ''religious'', et al. They assert that even movies from one of Disney operates, miromax, such as THE OUTSIDERS, is fagotry. Such creatures also make TOM SAWYER, and, other things off Mark Twain, as all homo. Twain ain't a fag, nor is Huckleberry Finn one nor writ of anything like. I figure most such explouds are hidden homo stuff under fear and desirous of magical transforming. F them. Thanks for the info. WILL LOOK FOR THE show DISNEY CHANNEL ANDI MACK.

  2. Vera, there hasn't been an entry here from you for a month (I hope things are okay!), but this is the only place I know where I could leave a CURRENT comment for you (I hope it isn't considered too off-topic, being placed here). I had contemplated putting it back into 2016 where you had your piece about the upcoming movie, "Call Me By Your Name", but I was afraid my comment there would never be seen, even though my comment here is about that movie.

    The movie finally has been released, but alas, it is a very limited release in the United States so far. I was so fortunate to see the movie last night in Los Angeles (ha ha, suddenly the lobby of Arclight Hollywood looked like Outfest!), but it was in only one theater in Los Angeles and Los Angeles was the only city in California to get that release as of now.

    It was a very packed house at the Arclight and the reviews have been top-notch, frequently describing the film as the best movie of the year, so if the movie has not been released where you live, take heart, because it probably will be soon enough.

    The film is extremely wonderful and I recommend it to anybody. You might want to check out the outstanding review by Christy Lemire on the Roger Ebert movie reviews website. COMMENT CONTINUED IN NEXT COMMENT

    I will be eternally grateful to you for introducing your readers (which in this case means "me") to the upcoming movie and the book it was based on.

    Timothee Chalamet is sexy to the max, having his shirt off about 65% of the movie and I love that easy relaxed smooth skinny look of his, like he hasn't the slightest doubt about his body, but the character has more doubts about his "beingness" despite being so smart and so musically talented. Way beyond his beauty, that actor is phenomenal. The very last shot in the movie, that seems to go on for 30 years, is the best acting I have ever seen in my life. And it wasn't only that one shot that demonstrated his astounding skill. I have acted on stage and in film myself, but I don't think I would ever know HOW to do it the way he did.

    Before having seen the movie, I complained about the casting choices of the father and mother (I was neutral about Armie Hammer--I more like him than dislike him, but basically I am neutral--but I think casting him as Oliver was a good choice). However, I was wrong to prejudge; I very much loved the way Michael Stuhlbarg chose to play the father (loaded with enthusiasm and understanding), and Amira Casar, who played the mother, was beautiful. The only complaint I have (and it is a very small complaint), these actors and the settings have now taken over how I had imagined them from reading the book, but I am willing to trade all that for the choice of Timothee Chalamet, blowing away my personal previous vision of Elio. COMMENT IN NEXT COMMENT

    I am sure I will go see the movie again, probably more than once, but still the book is much "bigger". I read the book during my trip to Maui last Christmas break. When I got back from Maui, I kept reading the last five pages of the book every day for a month. I just couldn't let the book go and that ending strummed all my life's nostalgia strings. But finally I put the book on a shelf in my home library and moved on to other things.

    But now that I have seen the movie, it has all come back to me, so I wanted to read those last five pages again. But instead, I read that whole last chapter again. Peculiarly, it was as if I had not read most of that chapter before, although I know I did. I guess it was just too intense and deep for me at the time. How much of it I had missed! Somehow, now, reading it again, it punched me so hard in the gut that it took me half a day to read just that one chapter, (reading so slowly and reading certain paragraphs over and over again before moving on), and I cried (vocally crying) all the way thorough it. I can't even understand why it hit me so much, but it sure did and yet it was all so wonderful.

    I happen to be in a phase of reevaluating my whole life, what I describe as "having my deathbed regrets 30 years early so that I can do something about them", and that book is, well, as you well know, totally appropriate for something like that. Also, it gives me strength to now tell my Jungian Analyst about the Olivers and Elios, male and female, in my own life; clearly a therapeutic pandora's box that I have long needed to open yet hadn't had the courage to, yet, not even to my therapist.

    Thank you, Vera, once again, for the essential information that you put forth. It does more good than I imagine you expect.