A second season of One Day at a Time was recently announced by the cast. Here are a few of the things they tackled in their 13 half-hour episodes that make it a groundbreaking must watch.
Penelope, played by Justina Machado, is an Iraq war veteran who struggles with depression. The show does a really great job of providing a layered depiction of the many issues she faces. From the stigma that comes from a generational and cultural misunderstanding of medication, to having an uphill battle getting coverage from the VA.
Penelope's daughter, Elena's, sexuality leads to much speculation throughout the first season. From abuelita (Lydia), Rita Moreno, assuming Elena and her best friend are secretly dating, to Penelope's own struggles against her perceived lack of support for her daughter. It was a refreshing depiction of LGBT issues in the Latinx community.
Generational and cultural differences are two running themes in the show, and both of these come to a head when Elena finds out she was offered a "diversity" spot in a program she accepted in. Elena was upset to think she wasn't good enough on her merits aside from being a "diverse candidate." On the flip side, abuelita was ecstatic to see her granddaughter was being recognized for her Cuban heritage.
Imagine telling your devote catholic mother (or grandmother) you don't want to go to church. Doesn't seem like a big deal? Well, Catholicism is deeply imbedded in many aspects of modern Latinx culture. Penelope and her mother fight over this exact situation. It brings up a lot of feelings from Lydia (abuelita) who is just trying to continue traditions she grew up with.
As mentioned earlier, cultural differences are a running theme throughout the show, and one of the more nuanced ways this is portrayed is with Elena's refusal to have a Quinceañera. As a staunch feminist, Elena rebukes the patriarchal ideals a Quinceañera stems from. From fighting with her grandmother about having one, to giving in and fighting about what to wear, this storyline makes Elena, a self-proclaimed social justice warrior, a believable character, rather than a caricature of what anti-pc culture thinks young people are. Despite Elena's activism sometimes being the brunt of a joke, her family respects and seeks to understand her point of view.
So many more...
The wage gap, sex talk, dating post divorce, immigration... If you haven't added One Day at a Time to your Netflix watch list, go do it now! This is Netflix's second attempt at a remake, but don't let the disappointing Fuller House remake steer you away. As someone who was too young to have watched the original, I can't even begin to compare. However, what I find allowed this show to be more authentic than the Full House remake is that Netflix allowed the One Day at a Time remake to have new life. It isn't tied down to the original. While the concept is the same, this show was allowed to have it's own identify separate from it's predecessor. However, for your die hard fans of the 1975 version, there is a special cameo from one of the show's original stars.