The Netflix original series One Day at a Time premiered on January 6. The reboot of an old 70s show of the same name by Norman Lear, One Day at a Time effortlessly reimagines the golden era for an audience in 2017. In spite of its retro ambience in the modern age, the family sitcom feels familiar yet, new. With a star cast featuring Rita Moreno, Justina Machado, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz, Todd Grinnell and Stephen Tobolowsky, the show shot up to global fame within a few days of its release.
The story centres around a Cuban family with an Afghanistan veteran and a single mom Penelope, played by Machado, who struggles emotionally and financially in providing for her two kids and mother (Rita Moreno). Doesn’t exactly sound comical, does it? Well, it is when you combine it with four completely different, loud Cubans under one roof! Penelope finds work as a nurse and lives with her mother, who is thrice the proud Cuban that she is, and her children, Elena and Alex. While Elena, the elder, is more of an intellectual with respect towards the planet and worldly issues, Alex is more flippant and is the kind of boy who spends an hour in front of the mirror in self-admiration.
Comedy is only one of the many elements the show has to offer. There’s drama, warmth, compassion and more than that, it is a female dominated series so, through the laugh riots, you are exposed to the flaws in our culture that have helped created a divisive society of men and women. Both Lydia and Elena, strong women in their own rights, parallel modern day feminism with age-old cultures which brings balance to satisfy the needs of the past and the present.
One Day at a Time will overcome you with a feeling of gladness which I’ve only ever experienced while watching Modern Family.
A huge shout-out to Rita Moreno, who is clearly the highlight of the show. The 85-year-old actress with the big four (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) to her name continues to shine with the level of energy she puts into her character as if she were still trying to make a name for herself.
Created by Whitney Blake and Allan Manings, the plot has been spun a full 180 aside from the similar challenges the protagonists had to face in the new and the old show. So, you needn’t worry about not being familiar with the original show.