waynepygram.com: The exact moment Andi Mack tried too hard, went overboard, and started losing credibility

waynepygram.com: The exact moment Andi Mack tried too hard, went overboard, and started losing credibility

She hasn't touched the ball yet.

Season 2, Episode 12, "We Were Never."

As you might tell, I'm still playing catch-up with Andi Mack. Actually, this episode - and indeed this very specific moment - help clarify why I've been so behind on Andi Mack.

It's because the series is kinda losing me, man.

And really, I think I have to admit I've been kind of loathing to catch up on Andi Mack. But I feel like this one moment affords me complete and total liberation in celebrating that I have just cause to be loathing in my ability to catch up.

So we're about a whole 3/4s of the way into the episode - Buffy is having a major character conflict with, uh, what's his name, over his refusal to pass the ball to her and let Buffy actually play in the game. This has been building up to be the major conflict in the episode. Clearly this conflict is going to reach a climax, resolving either in this episode or maybe soon into the next one. But it's pretty obvious that this is the central conflict of the whole episode or at least the A-Plot along with Buffy helping to tutor What's His Face (the B-Plot, Jonah helping to choose Cyrus' Bar Mitzvah clothes...is about as exciting as this one-sentence plot description makes it out to be). Given how there's not one but two central conflicts riding on this (Buffy's acceptance on the team and especially by What's His Face, the Team Captain, and What's His Face accepting that he needs tutoring help), this is a pretty damn important plot point.

Buffy calls a time out to complain to What's His Face about passing the ball (causing the coach to complain about wasting a time out), then the other team mates complain to him to finally pass the ball to Buffy. Then Buffy finally, finally gets the ball passed to her.

Then Buffy drops the friggin' ball, but why? Why, it's because her mom comes back from the Army all of a sudden unannounced and that whole plot point and all the conflicts therein are completely forgotten and abandoned for the rest of the episode.

Yes, just to be clear, this is what I'm complaining about.

I know Disney Channel's running commercials right now making a big deal about this moment and how it resonates with military families. I know stuff like this actually happens in real life, that a military parent is invited to attend a game and it becomes a major homecoming moment, because it is. Look, I'm not stupid, I'm not heartless, and moreover, my freakin' dad gave 30 years camping around the world in a camo uniform on top of a big, cold uncomfortable tank in the name of Uncle Sam. So don't tell me I'm being a stupid, heartless asshole because I don't like this scene.

Why I don't like this scene is, 1.) if you really want to be technical and nitpicky, this is why they have the big homecoming moment for the military parent during halftime, exactly so you don't end up interrupting the game like this, and 2.)....

...remember when I said I gave up on Westworld immediately after Season 1 because it felt like the show had degraded into nothing but the most shocking plot twist it can come up with every 10 goddamn minutes?

Andi Mack has basically decided it needs to give us the biggest, most heartfelt plot twist/plot development every 10 goddamn minutes.

I don't know if this qualifies as lazy writing, but it certainly qualifies as tryhard writing. If you forgive me saying this, it really feels like the scriptwriters, directors and overall showrunners are getting seriously drunk on the Andi Mack Kool-Aid about how the show is one of the most diverse, issues-focused, and overall best shows on Disney Channel. And that's very true - up to a point (for reference's sake let's just call this point "Season 1, when the show was good"). But now it feels like it's gotten a serious case of Westworld Syndrome, where they feel like they have to keep stacking moments on top of moments because bigger is better right? And this way they can get all the accolades and media praise!

...actually, this isn't Westworld Syndrome. This is Girl Meets World Syndrome.

The moment Buffy's mom walked into that gym, all of the tension and climax that the episode had been building up to between Buffy and What's His Face, and Buffy finally sinking her first points in a game, were completely forgotten about and thrown out the window. Why? Because the episode decided it was better to just keep stacking moments on top of moments before the previous moments even had a chance to resolve themselves, because by getting all the moments, the show can get all the accolades and media praise!

And when you do that, you've lost the plot, both literally and figuratively. How can you really cover all the issues the press and fans say you're good at covering if you're not even going to resolve them in favor of bringing up more issues you're also going to abandon in favor of just a raw total moments count? You want to have the episode about being Jewish, being gay, being a military dependent, being a girl on a boy's team, being in need of a tutor or special needs, being a friend in need - all in the same episode. Yes, you can mash all that together successfully under the larger banner of "being accepted" - but you really need to consolidate all of that into fewer moments (like say if Cyrus and Buffy had a shared plotline, that would just about covered it, instead of the separate plotlines of Buffy needing to be accepted with What's His Face needing to accept his needs and Cyrus...going clothes shopping with Jonah) and not spread them out into so many separate moments that they start interfering with each other, to the point where you don't even have enough time to resolve them! I know I just got done complaining in an earlier post about the writing getting super-lazy and just coasting on its actual earned popularity to just get away with the cast doing nothing, but if anything now that I think about it it's problem is having the cast do too much, because now the show's earned popularity makes it think it can have its cake and eat it too by just throwing moments up on the screen without actually making a point or statement with those moments or even just, you know, resolve them as a basic plot courtesy!

If you disagree with me on this, you can come the fuck at me bro.

Episode Grade: C-. Yeah I guess I might as well make this an actual review too. Anyway, yeah, this is probably the worst episode of Andi Mack so far just because it's chock-full of S2's problems, all summed up in a convenient single-episode package. But don't worry, we'll find out the writers learned their lessons real quick pretty much right away.
Episode MVP: Cyrus, for three very specific reasons:

1. He's gay, so why not
2. He's having his bar mitzvah, so why not
3. It's my blog, I say so

Extra Thoughts:

  - uhh I guess the "Extra Thoughts" means this is officially the S2E12 "We Were Never" episode review too, so there.

 - I do like the conversation Andi and Jonah had about labels and the confusion (and accidentally breakup) that caused. Labels can be bad...but they do help clear up some confusion sometimes, too. Everything's situational and contextual, people.

 - On the other hand, I love Jonah's conversation to Cyrus about labels and why he wants to avoid them because he just wants to be a freakin' kid right now. See, I still love the show fundamentally when it gives each and every moment the breathing space it needs.


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