Girl Scientist? Genderless Androids? I’m There.
Yesterday Amazon Prime premiered “Annedroids“, one of its new children’s shows, without much fanfare. I wouldn’t have known about it if not for the Mary Sue and I knew immediately this was something I had to watch. The first episode was 24 minutes long and, as with most children’s shows, you can usually predict what is going to happen next. However, what I didn’t predict is how well Annedroids would do in confronting our societal biases and in giving us some actual diversity!
We begin the show with a black single mom and her son, Nick, who are moving into a new house. Nick voices his apprehension at the house’s location across from an ominous looking junkyard. When Nick and his mom pull into the driveway of the new house they are greeted by the rambunctious and in-your-face Shania, who introduces herself immediately and tries to guess their names (which we learn is a hobby of hers). Shania’s little brother Garth is quiet for the most part, and seems shy in contrast to his outgoing sister.
After some mysterious goings-on at the junkyard the trio decides to investigate. Shania explains the junkyard is probably haunted by ghosts because no one ever gets anything back that ends up on the other side of the fence. Gotta love the Sandlot nostalgia that gives me. When Nick goes inside the junkyard after a failed attempt to lure the ghosts out, he stumbles across a strangely dressed figure.
Nick addresses the figure as a male, but he is soon corrected when the welding mask is removed, revealing Anne, a young science genius who has created the androids (not robots!) roaming the junkyard. Hence the show being named Anne-droids.
Nick and Anne hurry to the fence when they realize Shania might be in danger of encountering one of the junkyard androids alone, but they find Shania calmly teaching the giant automaton how to do her signature ribbon baton move. The three become friends as fast as children at that age are able to (don’t you miss those days?) and Nick and Shania beg to help Anne with her latest Android: PALS. The letters are an acronym that I can no longer remember, but essentially PALS has no gender, and its role in the show will be an excellent learning tool for breaking down biases.
From Anne being a genius, to the portrayal of a single mom, to Shania’s unashamed loudness, this show is giving us what we’ve all been asking for in children’s television for years: girls with strong voices and without fear.