One Day at a Time (2017): Season 1

one-day-at-a-time-s1Wasn’t sure what to expect from the Norman Lear reboot, One Day at a Time on Netflix. The new show continues to focus on a single mom raising two kids. This time instead of being a white family, they are Cuban-American living in Miami with their abuela. If you can get past the dopiness of the classic sit-com formula, or if that’s exactly what you need on a crashed out Friday night after a long work week, you’ll be rewarded with some incredible attention to social issues in-between the laughs and the groans. Yes, Rita Moreno’s abuela character, Lydia is a modern-day version of J.J. from Good Times. But today Lear (he’s executive producing the show in his 90’s!)  turns the stereotype on its head and uses Lydia to draw in the viewers for comedy and then even Lydia joins in on the more serious subject matter. It’s genius using this tried and true formula to dig deeper. One Day at a Time tackles immigration, racism, diversity preference, parent sex talks, sexism, veterans issues including PTSD, and even the L in LGBT! At 30 minutes per episode, the show is easily digestible, has some very funny moments and shows a lot of familial love. Justina Machado (Six Feet Under) showing off her excellent comedy chops stars as Penelope the mom with Moreno, and Isabella Gomez and Marcel Ruiz as Machado’s feisty kids. Rounding off the cast is Todd Grinnell as a modern-day Schneider, this time around incarnated as handsome and hipster with a trust fund, an amazing set of teeth, but still goofy as the original. One Day at a Time really grew on me. I have a soft spot in my heart for warm family dramas (The Fosters). Especially when they feature realistic LGBT characters. 3.5 out of 5 for the brand-new One Day at a Time from the king of comedies, Norman Lear.

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