Diary of a Future President, season 2, streaming on Disney+ is cheerful and wholesome. It tells the story of a Cuban-American girl in middle school who grows up to be President of the United States.
Diary of a Future President has so many good things going for it. At the center of the story is a Cuban family. An outstanding inclusive cast surrounds the key characters. The series was created by and written by women, and mostly directed by women. The series is LGBTQ positive and shows an unmarried couple living together.
I wrote a partial review of season 1.
Political savvy permeates the characters. The problems may be middle school problems, but the moral consequences and experiences that future POTUS Elena (Tess Romero) goes through are similar to what politicians face in real life. There are characters like some of the familiar political figures in the news right now. Elena’s lessons running for student rep in middle school – which takes up the entire season – show how choices matter in life and in politics.
Elena is backed up by her old friend Sasha (Carmina Garay) and the former mean girl (in 6th grade) Melissa (Sanai Victoria). These kids act like political pros. Their behavior reminded me of the series The Politician, except it was younger kids and highly sanitized language and romances.
Grown up President Elena Cañero-Reed (Gina Rodriguez) is in almost every episode as the voice in young Elena’s head who guides her to do the right thing.
Elena’s family includes her mom Gabi (Selenis Leyva), her brother Bobby (Charlie Bushnell), and her mom’s boyfriend Sam (Michael Weaver). The adults are hilariously overprotective. But they support their children. There’s a good deal of discussion about kids growing up and being independent.
Bobby starts off season 2 in agony because his crush Liam (Brandon Severs) likes a girl. When he finally accepts that situation, he develops a crush on CJ (Donovin Miller), who likes him back. Coming out is the theme in Bobby’s year as a 9th grader.
There’s another LGBTQ storyline in the series involving Gabi’s friend and coworker Camila (Jessica Marie Garcia). Camila makes plans to propose to her girlfriend.
Disney to the core, the series still shows Bobby kissing a boy and Camila kissing her girlfriend. Just once, but it’s shown. Not to be too spoilery here, but Elena also gets her first kiss in 7th grade.
This series is open-minded and inclusive, something many adult series cannot manage to be. It’s so simple to be accepting of all kinds of love. Disney can do it. Why can’t Marvel?
The episodes are short, bright, cheery (even when the family fights) and always upbeat. The vibe is totally feminist.
Ilana Peña created the series and wrote in every episode. Women who directed in season 2 are Angela C. Tortu, Gina Lamar, Gina Rodriguez, Morenike Joela Evans, Patricia Cardoso, Ilana Peña, Rachel Raimist, and Crystle Roberson.
Take a look at the trailer.
Did I mention Gloria Estefan sings the opening song?