Best Foot Forward

Best Foot Forward season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Marsella Evans

TV Series Review

Josh is determined to conquer the world—one step at a time. That first step: having a perfect seventh grade year in public school. He can’t wait to get started making friends and joining clubs.

The problem is that life isn’t perfect, and Josh finds out that public school isn’t quite like the movies. He struggles with the way people view him differently based on his prosthetic leg. His best friend Kyle doesn’t have as many friends as he’d like to, either.

Still, with the support of his family, Josh is ready for middle school. His mom would rather he stay home, but his dad knows he can handle it. They both are excited to see him grow.

Best Foot Forward is heartwarming and upbeat. Some of the difficulties Josh faces might be important conversation starters for kids and families, and Josh’s  own extremely loving family gives the show a strong, caring foundation. The more inappropriate elements of middle school social interactions are left out of the picture, and the kids are mostly kind to each other.

Kids can and do bicker with each other at times, and Best Foot Forward features real and heavy plot elements like cancer and peer pressure. But otherwise, the show has few content concerns.

Episode Reviews

Jul. 22, 2022—S1, Ep1: “Public School”

Josh is thrilled when he finally convinces his very involved parents to let him try out public middle school. He sets about making friends right away, introducing himself to many different people and getting to know them. Things take a turn for the worse when his classmates discover that he has a prosthetic leg, and he struggles to define himself apart from his disability.

Josh pushes his best friend, Kyle, onto the couch in a race to get dessert, and then lies about an issue with his prosthetic to win the race. Josh’s younger sister gives a presentation about how the old schoolyard chant “Ring Around the Rosie” is about the bubonic plague. Josh’s dad kisses his mom on the check during Josh’s homeschool class. Homeschooling is referenced as a vanilla scented prison. Josh’s little brother, Matthew, mentions wanting to see Josh embarrass himself. He compares his social interactions to a gazelle being chased by a lion.

Kyle lies about being super-popular in middle school, and he signs up for a club as “Stu Pid.” Matthew finds a stack of bathroom passes and says he will be peeing a lot that year. A bully pushes Josh to the floor and breaks his prosthetic leg, which cause all of the kids to know about it and ask annoying questions about it, to which he responds to with sarcastic lies. The bully apologizes, and Josh says not bullying him because of his leg would be discrimination.

Josh and his dad agree not to tell his mom about the bully incident right away to try to keep her from pulling him out of school.

Jul. 22, 2022—S1, Ep10: “School Dance”

Josh is excited about his first school dance–confident it will be perfect. His parents recount the story of the school dance where they met. Josh’s friend Gabriella deals with a lot of pressure.

Louisa, Josh’s little sister, says there is a witch who lives in her basement and is afraid of her stuffed animal. (Her dad goes along with this.) Several people laugh at Josh for thinking that students will participate in the dance. Josh’s parents sweetly dance around and say that they are still in love. Gabriella lies about getting cut from the volleyball team because she decided to quit.

The principal makes a comment about the “big shoes” Josh’s younger brother must fill, and then wonders if he was being insensitive toward Josh’s disability. Josh urges the kids to dance because he says they can never count on tomorrow. (He feels this way because he lost his leg to cancer.) The parents cry thinking about what Josh went through, and his mom is upset when Louisa wants to go to public school, too.

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Marsella Evans 2022 intern
Marsella Evans

Marsella Evans is the Plugged In intern for Summer 2022.

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