Netflix Review: One Day at a Time

With a whole winter of snow hitting my college campus in one weekend, it was a good time to hunker down and do some binge watching after my homework.

One Day at a Time is a remake of a 70s show of the same name. The premise is about a single, recently divorced mom who is raising her kids and living under the same roof as her mother. The 70s original had Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli. I haven’t watched the original, so I don’t have a frame of reference for what the show covered.

img_0107In the Netflix remake, our single mom is an Army veteran who is Cuban-American. This already peaked my interested because of the diversity. The United States is full of people of color, and our television should reflect that. Also, it’s full of veterans. The family has problems presented that are relatable like sexuality, intersectional feminism, financial instability, sexism, mental health, and religion. And the way in which these topics are handled is so graceful and realistic. It’s refreshing.

Given the aforementioned topics that the show presents throughout the 12 episode first season, this could be a lot like what happened to Glee: too much preaching, not enough heart. Glee had a lot of other problems that this show doesn’t, which has to do with the writing and how the characters are handled.

The topics addressed are threaded throughout the 30-minute episodes. While certain things are the main storyline of an episode, like when Penelope is trying to get ahold of her local Veteran Affairs office to make a doctor’s appointment, others like a character’s coming out is threaded through several episodes until it comes to fruition.

My favorite part of this show has been watching how the show handles religion with many of the topics addressed. Obviously, religion and sexuality can be a stressful topic, but One Day at a Time handles it carefully, being realistic about how people respond. I love the realism in the storytelling. Many of the events I related to, so much so that I found myself crying over the last episode.

If you need something to binge watch, consider One Day at a Time. It is such an important show that needs more attention. The cast is fantastic and hilarious. Justine Machado and Rita Moreno are a great mother-daughter team.

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Comic Review: Ms. Marvel

I don’t remember when I heard about Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel. All I know is I was immediately interested.

Ms. Marvel is written by G. Willow Wilson, and is about Pakistani-American teenager, Kamala Khan. She stumbles upon her powers at a party, and her story ramps up from there. With her best friend Bruno at her side, Kamala starts to figure out her powers and how she can use them like her own hero inspiration, Captain Marvel.

Kamala Khan not only helps expand the diverse characters and introduce the ever growing group of Inhumans, but she also covers the struggle of many teenagers of immigrant parents. She’s not only trying to figure out who she is – what teenager isn’t? – but also appease her parents and the traditions of her community.

page5Much like Peter Parker and Miles Morales, Kamala questions her powers, and her ability to wield them. She’s an excellent foil for the reader in a world where having superpowers could spell constant danger for herself and those immediately in her vicinity. Wouldn’t you be worried about your friends and family? Plus, Kamala is also trying to find a balance with her religion and religious family, and the life she has as a new superhero and American teenager.

These are struggles that a growing number of this generation are facing. How do you balance everything between both parts of yourself? What do you give up to make your parents proud? When is it okay to stand up for yourself to your family?

I’m so glad that Ms. Marvel exists. Much like Kitty Pryde and Peter Parker, Kamala Khan is a voice for our generation to help us navigate this messy world.

There’s some cameos that cross paths with Kamala, including where she got her namesake from, aka Captain Marvel herself, Carol Danvers. And Wolverine wanders through with his usual gruffness.

G. Willow Wilson does a phenomenal job writing Ms. Marvel, and I can’t wait to pick up the next trade to continue her story. It’s all woven together to beautifully. The art by Adrian Alphona is beautiful, and I just want more of it.

I can’t recommend Ms. Marvel enough. This review isn’t on any particular volume of the trade paperback (I’m currently up to volume 4). But if you’re looking for a character to start following, Kamala Khan’s journey is a great place to start.

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