Elena Cañero-Reed has just been elected the first female and Latina President of the United States, and on her first day receives a special delivery from her mother Gabi: her childhood diary, with a message to never forget how she got there. And so she's sent on a journey down memory lane, chronicling her childhood as a Cuban-American girl struggling to navigate the "jungle" of middle school, while also dealing with her mother starting to date for the first time since her father's death.
The series is a high-concept dramedy on Disney+ created by Ilana Peña and executive produced by Gina Rodriguez, who also plays the adult Elena. It's produced by CBS, and is the service's first project to be licensed from an outside developer.
The first season of 10 episodes premiered on January 17, 2020 with a new episode available to stream every Friday. The series received a second season order of an additional 10 episodes in May 2020, with an expected debut in 2021.
Contains examples of:
- A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Jessica ditched her childhood BF Fs, Elena and Sasha for the more mature and glamorous Melissa right before middle school. However, after Melissa finds out Jessica lied to her about having her period, she ditches her for a snobby new clique called The Brits, whose Establishing Character Moment was Sasha saying that their whole purpose was being too cool for everything.
- Alpha Bitch: Melissa, who Elena's elementary school best friend Jessica ditched her for.
- Book-Ends: The first episode starts in the future as President-elect Elena Cañero-Reed prepares to address the nation. The final episode of the season ends with the President delivering her speech.
- Closet Key: Liam is this for Bobby. Time wil tell if Liam reciprocates or not.
- Disappeared Dad: Elena's father died three years before the series opens, and her mother has just started dating again.
- Downer Ending: Episode 8 Matters of Diplomacy doesnt end well for any of the Cañero-Reeds Sasha lies to Elena about having an orthodontist appointment when she was really getting ready with Jessica and rips into her for her selfishness. Bobby is heartbroken when Liam ditches their prank to dance with a girl and gets into a fight with him. Sam breaks up with Gabi when it looks like shes still uncomfortable with getting serious with him.
- From Bad to Worse: Elena finds she has some subtle hairs in her upper lip the night of her first school dance, and every attempt to fix it just makes it look more like a mustache. She eventually decides to just own it, Frida Kahlo-style.
- Heroic BSoD: Elena suffers one when she realizes that the presentation that she thought was due in a week was actually due that day.
- How We Got Here: The entire central premise, with an adult Elena being reminded of each step to becoming President starting at age 12.
- I Just Want to Be Special: In the season one finale, Jessica confesses that shes obsessed with being popular because she was afraid of being invisible and unimportant.
- Its Pronounced Tropay: Elena is insistent on her last name being pronounced properly, with the tilde indicating a nya sound.
- Prank Date: After being humiliated on the court, Bobby invites newcomer Liam to a kickoff party that night in the gym with the intent of pelting him with water balloons. Fortunately, a heart-to-heart with Sam makes Bobby realize the error in his ways and he meets up with Liam to apologize.
- Second Love: Sam is this for Gabbi, after her husband Roberts death. At one point in the series, shes worried that shes dishonoring Roberts memory by moving on with another man, until she has a heart-to-heart with Bobby, with him explaining a video-game method that somehow perfectly explains why she wont dishonor Robert by moving on with Sam.
- Wham Shot: The first episode ends with Elena walking into the living room and catching Gabi and Sam, the boyfriend Gabi was hiding from Elena, kissing.