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.
In 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.