By The Nerdling
***Spoiler Free Review***
One Day at a Time Review: “if you’re suddenly looking for a show like that…”
Netflix was on the money when they darkened Rosanne Barr’s doorstep with epic shade after the cancellation of her show. The remake of the 1975 TV series about a single mother and her family is everything Rosanne wished it could have been but couldn’t be with a bigot behind the wheel. One Day at a Time is a multi-cam sitcom which focuses on Cuban-American matriarch, Penelope, who was recently discharged from military service and works as a nurse. She lives in Echo Park, Los Angeles with her two children, Elena and Alex, and her mother, Lydia.
Elena is a budding activist, an unapologetic nerd, and comes out as gay towards the beginning of the series. Alex is a popular, but sweet kid who struggles with the family’s poverty status and bad influences in their community. Lydia is an old-school Cuban who is often at odds with her head strong daughter, clashes with her tom-boy granddaughter, and indulges her grandson anything he pleases. Their neighbor and friend is the building super and owner, Schneider. He comes from a very wealthy family, but is a good-natured person who often inserts himself as a member of the family. Together the family deal with racism, acceptance of self, coming out of the closest, immigration, PTSD, poverty, divorce, dating, work place politics, and many other issues the majority of American families are faced with today.
The original series was ground breaking for its time being a primetime series with a majority female cast, but Schneider was definitely the star as the comedic relief. When I’ve told friends and family to watch the remake, all of them wanted to know if there was a Schneider. He was the only character they remembered from the original series because he was the scene stealer. While everyone gets their moment, this is Penelope’s story. The majority of the episodes center around her coming to terms with her separation, living with mental illness, and the struggles of working full time while being a mother. Schneider just lives in her world.
You can tell the cast and writers love and relate to these characters. Each person has their flaws, but you never want to dislike them for it. In fact, you want to love them even more because they are all just trying their best. When Elena comes out as a lesbian to her family, everyone’s reaction is honest. Penelope wants to accept her daughter as she is, but as any mother would be, is shocked and afraid for her daughter. She feels life will be hard enough for Elena as a Latina woman in today’s society. Penelope struggles to accept Elena being gay, but she never stops supporting her daughter. Lydia’s reaction is much of the same, but mostly she is disappointed that her granddaughter doesn’t want to be a beauty like herself than Elena wanting to be with girls. Alex, being younger, easily accepts his sister’s sexuality and even helps her keep it a secret until she is ready to come out.
Should I binge it?
YES! Currently there are only two seasons with thirteen episodes (season three is in production right now and will premiere in 2019). Each episode is only a half-hour long. Perfect for a weekend binge-a-thon.
Is there a live audience/laugh tack?
Yes, and it is a bit distracting at first. Eventually you won’t notice. You are too busy laughing with them.
Can I watch it with my kids?
Absolutely! Get the whole family watching. This is a great show where the family fights with one another and do not always see eye to eye, but they still love and support one another. Plus, there are a few episodes which can serve as a conversation starter with your kiddos about sensitive subjects.
Will I need tissues?
Yes, have a box or two ready. Especially during both season finales. You will laugh so hard you are crying, then you will bawl at the beautifully sweet moments, then you will have even more tears streaming down you face as something hilarious happens.
The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.