When and Where Does Best Foot Forward Take Place? Is Meadow Vale Middle School Real?

Apple TV+’s ‘Best Foot Forward’ follows the story of a twelve-year-old kid named Josh Dubin. He has spent most of his life within the confines of his home. The only classmates he’s had are his siblings, while his best friend goes out and about, being wildly popular in the public school. When Josh gets fed up with being stuck at home, he decides to join the public school and bring excitement into his life. Even though his parents are skeptical about the idea, they let him go. Soon, Josh discovers that the public school is much different than what he thought it’d be.

Location plays an important part in the show as Josh shifts from home to school. Most of the story takes place here, as we find Josh desperately trying to experience as many things as soon as possible. Hence, time and space become important factors in Josh’s story as he learns many valuable lessons along the way. If you want to know more about when and where the story is set, we’ve got you covered.

When is Best Foot Forward Set?

‘Best Foot Forward’ is set in contemporary times, following the story of a boy who finally comes out of his homeschool environment to study in a public school. The show is inspired by the story of Josh Sundquist who also went through the same phase when he was twelve years old. Born in 1984, Sundquist’s teen years happened in the second half of the 90s. His book, ‘Just Don’t Fall’ takes that time period into account.

While adapting his story for the screen, the creators decided to effect some changes wherein they moved the story from the 90s into the 2020s. This shift in the decades is visible in young Josh’s surroundings. The children have access to computers and smartphones, and texting their friends is usual for them. We also see better TV sets, with parents ordering pizza via their smartphones, even though they seem to struggle with new technology sometimes.

This change in the narrative was necessary to not only make it more relatable to the audience but also to give it a wider space to evolve on its own, outside of Sundquist’s life. Despite the similarity of their circumstances, there are a lot of differences between Josh Dubin and Josh Sundquist, and being part of different generations allows their dissimilarities to become a plus point of the show.

Where is Best Foot Forward Set?

‘Best Foot Forward’ is set in a small town in Virginia, called Meadow Vale, where young Josh lives with his family. After being homeschooled his entire life, he finally asks his parents to send him to public school. His parents are not sure about letting their son go out into the world, especially considering that he has a prosthetic leg. They worry that this might lead other children to bully him. However, Josh’s heart is set on attending public school, and eventually, his parents relent to his wishes.

Josh joins Meadow Vale Middle School, with the hopes of riding on the popularity of his best friend, Kyle. Much of his life revolves around school and family and we rarely see him in other surroundings. As for whether it’s a real school, it’s not. Even though young Josh is based on a real-life Paralympian, Josh Sundquist, a lot of aspects of his story have been altered for the show. In reality, Sundquist went to Harrisonburg High School in Virginia.

While show’s Josh goes to a different school than real-life Josh, their approach toward public school life is very similar. Sundquist too prepared himself extensively, reading school handbooks and memorizing the names of kids to increase his chances of making friends. Though much like young Josh in the show, Sundquist too learned that book knowledge barely prepares one for real life.

Read More: Is Best Foot Forward Based on a True Story?