To those who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, One Day at a Time was one of the best shows on tv thanks to the sisterhood shown by the strong female cast. Thanks to Netflix, the show has been revamped with an all-Cuban cast (except Schnieder) and has finally shown the world that reboots can be great. Lookin at you Fuller House.
This time around we meet the Alvarez family, led by Peneolpe (Justina Machado) an Army vet who is separated from her husband while she raises her two children with the help of her mother Olivia (Rita Moreno) and, of course, Schnieder (Todd Grinnell). Let’s face it, you can’t have this show without Schnieder, and Grinnell makes the part his own. The entire cast is stellar and together make this show live up to what we remember One Day at a Time to be.
The new series, albeit a comedy, does not shy away from dramatic storylines making the show an instant and topical classic that stands on its own. Each episode tackles deep topics from undocumented immigrants to race relations in America and even the gender wage gap and veteran’s issues while providing laughs and solid storytelling. The coming out story shown in episodes 10 and 11 is particularly hilarious and heartwarming. Could you imagine if Valerie Bertinelli had come out to Anne?
Unlike Fuller House, this show does not rely on forced nostalgia and unnecessary jabs at stars of the original. A brief cameo made by Mackenzie Phillips gave a great nod to the past without shoving it down our throats. The show is tastefully made and brings with it the voice of Cuban America. All 13 episodes are now streaming on Netflix, and I defy you to listen to the theme song, performed by Gloria Estefan, thirteen times without dancing even a little.