I'm sure they could have come up with a snappier title for this show but instead, we get The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia. This is a sitcom, created by Mario Lopez, that is aimed squarely at the tween market. It follows a 15-year-old science genius called Ashley Garcia. A robotics engineer and rocket scientist, Ashley (Paulina Chávez) has spent most of her teenage years in university getting her two PHD's. Now she has been offered her dream job at NASA and must move to the other side of the country to live with her uncle Victor.
It's clear from the get-go that Ashley has led a pretty sheltered life under the strict control of her mother. With little or no experience as a real teenager, this is her chance to live a little. Her uncle (Jencarlos Canela), the polar opposite of her mother, is a high school football coach. Happily living the single life, it's a bit of a shock to his system to suddenly have to parent a teenage girl. Especially one that is slowly falling for one of his football players.
Ashley soon settles into her life alongside her childhood best friend Brooke. A more streetwise teenager, Brooke guides Ashley through a number of awkward situations including her first kiss, making friends with other kids her age etc… But things do get tricky when the boy Ashley likes gets back with his ex-girlfriend and she is left heartbroken.
The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia is the kind of show your 12-year-old will binge on. It's funny and sweet and while it may overdo the cringe a little, it's still enjoyable. The characters are well rounded and each brings their own quirks, especially Reed Horstmann who plays Stick Goldstein. That's not to say the show is perfect. Uncle Victor is remarkably like ‘Joey' from Melissa and Joey and can be a little grating and over-the-top. And despite making 16 episodes for season 1, only 8 of them are available at the moment.