In recent years, Netflix has been a pioneer of casually featuring minorities in its shows and movies. Which was why it was surprising that after three seasons it cancelled sitcom One Day At a Time. All is not lost though as the light and funny show that is still packed with meaning and political messages, sees single mum Penelope (Justina Machado), her feminist daughter, metrosexual son and their abuela move to Pop TV for the fourth season.
Tackling almost all the -isms, including racism, sexism, classism, indirectly ageism with a relatable grandmother, as well as heteronormativity and toxic masculinity, the show also exposes the hot topic of immigration in a period when he who must not be named is America’s president.
It is a remake of a 1975 show of the same name originally by Whitney Blake and Allan Manings, now taken over by a diverse group of mainly Latinx (gender neutral Hispanic people) writers and members of the LGBT+ community because “this show can’t be written by 12 white guys,” according to producer and writer Mike Royce.
Contrary to the 1975 show, based on Blake’s life, this version centres on Penelope, a Cuban veteran who struggles to raise her family alone. Another significant difference is the introduction of her daughter Elena, an opinionated young woman and a discrimination and an environmental activist. Last but not least, there is Lydia, the deeply catholic grandmother who loves to dance and to make an entrance.
The female trio spanning three generations try to find some common ground in their LA apartment.
All the characters might appear shallow at first glance, but each hides their painful past well enough, whether that is PTSD, an addiction, or a family member killed under Franco’s rule. And all while being funny, clever, empathetic and deeply touching.