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Why You Need To Watch 'One Day At A Time' Before It's Too Late

By Kristy Puchko | Streaming | February 21, 2019 |

By Kristy Puchko | Streaming | February 21, 2019 |


one-day-at-a-time.jpg

In 2017, Netflix rebooted the 1970s series One Day at a Time with a Cuban-American family to bring its warmth, humor, and life lessons to a new audience. The show has been a critical success, earning rave reviews and Emmy nominations. But hard on the heels of its season three release, the family-friendly sitcom is being threatened with cancellation. So, its co-creator Gloria Calderon Kellett is calling on fans to save the show they love.

If you already watch One Day At A Time but haven’t gotten around to season three, now’s the time. Hell, leave it on while you go to work to log those numbers. Do it daily. And if you somehow haven’t gotten on board with this deeply sweet show, let’s break down some of the reasons you should right this minute.

The Cast Is Magic
Justina Machado leads One Day At A Time as single-mom Penelope Alvarez. And she does so with an enchanting verve, able to spin from poppy punchlines to tender moments with ease. Isabella Gomez plays her teen daughter Elena, a big-hearted nerd and activist who matches her onscreen mom for zippy enthusiasm whether she’s talking politics or Doctor Who. Marcel Ruiz is brother Alex, who is smug, snarking and grandma’s favorite. Rita Moreno plays their abuela, Lydia, a lusty lady who loves life and would rather die than give up her dancing shoes! And Todd Grinnell plays the new spin on Schneider, who is less creepy and more cute! Think Paul Rudd’s younger, geekier brother.

It Tackles Modern Issues With Insight And Heart
The Alvarez clan faces the same issues that many American families do. A military veteran, Penelope struggles with her mental health, and the shame and stigma often attached to that. She wonders if she needs a gun in the house to protect her family. Growing up in a culture chock full of toxic masculinity, Alex must listen to the women in his family to better understand how not to be that guy who makes women feel uncomfortable or unsafe. In season one, Elena came out as a lesbian, and since then has gotten into her first relationship with the non-binary Syd (Sheridan Pierce). Their blossoming romance recurringly addresses issues of gender identity, homophobia, and sex positivity. Season two dealt with the fear of being deported in the wake of Trump’s racist Wall campaign. And even the goofy handyman has offered some serious moments, exploring his history of substance abuse.

They Got Guest Stars!
Ariela Barer, who played the snarky Gert in Marvel’s Runaways, appeared throughout season one as Elena’s bestie with moxie. Scrubs’s Judy Reyes recurs as one of Penelope’s pals. In the season three opener, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz pop by for a funny funeral, but the biggest guest star in that ep is hands-down Gloria Estefan, who plays Moreno’s sister/rival. (Naturally, there is a sing-off!) Strapping Joe Manganiello swings in by season end. And adored character actor Stephen Tobolowsky rounds out the regular cast as a nebbish doctor who is dating the lively Lydia on whatever terms she decides!

Did I Mention Rita Moreno
The 87-year-old EGOT winner is a living legend and she’s living for this series. Moreno’s got all the sexual verve of all the Golden Girls combined and comic timing that stand-ups would kill for. Watching her salsa, shout, bicker, and cajole is exhilarating. Her every molecule bursts with charisma and her energy is contagious. I’m not a doctor, but if I were, I’d recommend a bit of Moreno daily for improved mental wellness and stamina.

Its Theme Song
Want to get up and get moving? Turn on this catchy and vibrant theme song that demands to be danced to!

It’s A Show We Need, Right Now Especially
Trump’s Wall campaign is brick by brick building a narrative that American greatness is dependent on white supremacy. One Day At A Time dismantles this argument by offering a heartwarming and hilarious show centered on a charming Cuban-American family. Blithely rejecting Trump’s dehumanizing portrait of immigrants as parasites and criminals, this show welcomes us into a home proud of its Cuban heritage and its American life. It shows us people, not political footballs. It gives us stories, not propaganda. And it offers what the American Dream can look like, one day at a time.

You can watch One Day At A Time on Netflix. Share the love, spread the word, and help this wonderful show get the fourth season it deserves and we need.



Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.



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