Based on the 1975 sitcom with the same name, this reboot is helmed by the original creator, Norman Lear. This time it centers on a Cuban-American family led by the mother, Penelope, a separated military veteran raising a son who is socially inept tween, and a strong-headed, feminist daughter. Penelope’s mother, Lydia, helps her take care of the kids and the house chores.
By ‘strong-headed, feminist’ we mean lesbian.
And yes. We do.
The first season had a progressive arc of Elena’s quincés, the family’s pride as a Cuban American, the difficulties of being a single mom who’s also a war vet, and of course Elena’s coming out as gay. It’s not all happy either. While it’s a comedy, they play the line with comedy and drama perfectly. The show is fun. It’s funny. And it’s aware of the jokes it’s making.
Perhaps that’s a hallmark of Norman Lear, as most of his shows have the same gravitas. He understand that laughter comes with the drama, or it doesn’t work. One Day at a Time is one of those magical shows that just gets it right. It’s awkward when it needs to be, serious when it should be, and above all it reminds you to value family. Even the weird Canadian man child who’s attached himself to you.
This show, very quickly, became one of my favorites, if not the favorite modern sitcom. It’s been a long time since I laughed at a comedy. Longer since I found a show that was a comedy and not queer for laughs.