There’s at all times room for a household present that merely makes you are feeling good, each as an off-the-cuff viewer and concerning the future. Enter Disney+’s “Diary of a Future President” (premiering January 17), which imagines a world by which a Cuban-American girl named Elena Cañero-Reed has one of the vital highly effective jobs on the planet, however nonetheless has her previous diary from her sixth grade expertise. The collection, from creator Ilana Peña (who primarily based this work on her childhood), appears again on these faculty years as a formative time, and in addition orchestrates a punchy and really candy depiction of a household. Better of all, it is an encouraging Disney+ product that doesn’t pander relating to weightier points.
Tess Romero stars as Elena in grade six, a hard-working younger girl navigating the world terrain of sixth grade, already main with integrity and a straight ethical compass. She’s pleased with her Cuban-American heritage (matter-of-factly correcting lecturers on the pronunciation of her final identify) however nonetheless figuring issues out, like why her previous good friend has dumped her for another person, or what she needs to do with all her tenacity, which is past her years. Her travails within the wild world of center faculty typically make for humorous situations, particularly at any time when the writers embrace their stunning off-beat facet. Episode titles make little references to her work as Commander in Chief (“Catastrophe Reduction”), their respective conditions taking part in out like microcosm concepts that’ll later inform Elena selections in energy.
It’s not simply Elena’s expertise that will get ample focus, however that of her lawyer mom Gabi (Selenis Levya) and her eighth-grader brother (Charlie Bushnell), every of them traversing totally different adjustments of their lives, and typically not so easily. The three of them have a current unhappiness of their life—the current lack of the daddy in the home—however that turns into a extra unifying issue for them. Of their particular person arcs, Gabi is having some social awkwardness at her job, and is unsure of how one can introduce a brand new man in her life, co-worker Sam (Michael Levine) to her youngsters; these scenes are significantly candy. In the meantime, Bobby continues to be making an attempt to determine his ego, and satisfaction in who he’s. When bouncing between these lives, the present’s nimble tone permits it to go from a severe second after which again to goofiness, with out lacking a beat.
The collection makes plenty of issues work—Sam’s tacky puns are charming, the writers navigates loss and new relationships with ease, and it even focuses on the grownup points with out shortchanging the gravity behind them. Plus, whereas “Diary of a Future President” is superb and simple household leisure, it doesn’t draw back from a presentation of a younger girl going via physique adjustments, which feels wholesome in itself. It’s all tackled with a wit and sincerity that merely comes from considerate writing, a trait that’s obvious in every of the primary 5 episodes.
There’s a lot to love about “Diary of a Future President,” like its lengthy listing of ladies (of all ages and colours) who’re sensible, or the way in which each episode breezes its approach to a unifying lesson. It’s even thrilling to look at a present that begins with a girl like Elena as president (performed by Gina Rodriguez), and is then about retracing the steps—a collection of goofy mishaps that change into studying experiences, all with a cheerful ending. “Diary of a Future President” is as more likely to make you chortle, as it’s to provide you a way of hope.
5 episodes screened for evaluate.