One Day at a Time: (2017) (Season 1)
January 8, 2017 2:25 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

This is it, this is life, the one you get, so go and have a ball!

This remake of the original Norman Lear sitcom One Day at a Time from 1975 keeps the apartment set but moves the action from Indianapolis to Los Angeles, focusing on a separated single Army veteran nurse, her two teenage children, and her traditional Cuban mother. It's still very much a Norman Lear multi-camera sitcom, but just the absence of commercials (it's a Netflix exclusive) does a lot to keep it feeling fresh. And when you're talking about a sitcom with a superintendent named Schneider, fresh is something you really, really need.

NB: I have no financial or other interest in Netflix or the other companies involved in producing and airing this show.
posted by infinitewindow (24 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Sadly, no Schneider cameo is possible at this point.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:05 PM on January 8, 2017

Rita Moreno is a freakin' national treasure!

Only a few episodes in, but really enjoying this. It has that Lear feel to it: the jokes are funny, the emotional moments are well earned, and the laugh track is over-the-top and annoying as hell.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:32 PM on January 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

Fun fact: Rita Moreno's character is 72. She is 82. Because why not, she still looks like a million bucks.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:23 AM on January 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

It's really a delight how well the Norman Lear sitcom model is updated here. I don't know if I'll watch all of the episodes of this indefinitely, as I tend to tire of even good sitcoms after a season or two. But it's much better than anyone had any reason to even hope for. It's both a confident revisiting of the sharp, socially conscious but still traditionally set up Lear sitcom model, and a smooth multicultural update of the same.

It's like seeing a once-common, but ostensibly extinct bird pop up in your neighborhood, alive and well, and not only not looking out of place, but being perfectly incorporated into the local habitat in such a way that you're vaguely embarrassed how sure you were that it was gone forever.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:14 AM on January 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

The bit with Schneider mansplaining mansplaining and then talking over the women to say that he valued their opinions was easy to see coming a mile away but still pretty funny.

I also liked the nuance in having Dr. Berkowitz not having been consciously sexist in suppressing Penelope's wages, but most assuredly complicitly sexist in not speaking up when she didn't stick up for herself during hiring to ask for a good salary.

Rita Moreno's character is pretty close to setting the new standard for immigrant MIL characters. I know in our (Romanian-Hungarian-American) home she still hit a bunch of painfully true notes. There's something very specific but kinda universal to her and she's just great.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:35 AM on January 10, 2017 [5 favorites]

I was wrong, by the way. Moreno is EIGHTY FIVE YEARS OLD.

My wish for all of you is that when you reach such an advance age, someone will cheerfully say you could pass for 15-20 years younger.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:37 AM on January 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

It took me a bit to get past the SITCOMness and laugh track, but I ended up really loving this.
posted by moira at 3:43 PM on January 10, 2017

My hat is off to those of you who in 2017 can get past that hilariously obnoxious laugh track. I got to the fake shrieking at Rita Moreno's entrance, then noped outta there.
posted by mediareport at 3:19 AM on January 11, 2017

(Love Moreno and used to love the original show as a kid but can no longer deal with laugh tracks)
posted by mediareport at 3:20 AM on January 11, 2017

I got to the fake shrieking at Rita Moreno's entrance, then noped outta there.

That's the only one of those, fwiw.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:23 AM on January 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's really a delight how well the Norman Lear sitcom model is updated here.

There's a great article in the Times (How Netflix Is Deepening Our Cultural Echo Chambers, by Farhad Manjoo) about how its cultural impact is very different than the original primarily because it's consumed very differently. This is a great read and only kind of tangentially about ODAAT, but well worth the time. Very thought-provoking.

By the way, this is a great show to watch with your kids. I've got a kid on the spectrum who is very particular about what she watches. I love that she will watch this with me and really seems to enjoy it. The only other sit-com she can tolerate is Fuller House and this is SOOOOOOOOOOO much easier for ME to watch with her than that crap.
posted by Stanczyk at 1:28 PM on January 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm only about halfway through but this is surprisingly sharply observed. The Catholicism episode was great, I LOLed and I got teary and just about every bit of it rang true, especially abuela saying they had to go on Christmas, Easter, and at least one other day so they wouldn't be "those people."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:10 AM on January 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm a few episodes in and so loving the daughter, whose feminism seems to be played for laughs but then turns out to empower her mom to stand up to unbearable sexist dude at work. Has "microaggressions" ever been mentioned before on TV?
posted by emjaybee at 6:05 AM on January 14, 2017 [5 favorites]

I liked the first half of the season, but I totally loved the second half. I hope there's a second season.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:04 PM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]


I have a relative who was a Pedro Pan child, and I am a big supporter of Americans knowing more about Pedro Pan (especially when Central American children were crossing the border fleeing violence and many of my fellow Americans were being jerkfaces about it), and I will basically read or watch anything at all that shows Operation Pedro Pan in even a remotely realistic way because it's so important!

"It's impressive that they can have such originality in such a traditional format. "

One of the things I like about sitcoms is the very formalized format. Shakespeare was able to be wildly creative and original within the constraints of the fourteen-line sonnet; a well-done family sitcom does the same. It takes the very traditional, very constrained format and uses it to illustrate and illuminate the American experience in specific ways -- like Fresh Off the Boat, or One Day at a Time, or Black*ish, or Roseanne. They take a standard family sitcom story, such as "$BoyChild likes a Girl!" and illustrate it with the specific concerns of an immigrant Chinese family, or a Black American family, or a working class family, and render it both universal to the American experience, and specific to that sub-group, and this is a glorious thing. (And then One Day at a Time can take $BoyChild likes a Girl! and make it $GirlChild likes a Girl! and, again, render the very traditional story specific and wonderful and uplifting.) What makes a family sitcom fresh and wonderful is taking these very universal stories of childhood, and adolescence, and dating, and marriage, and working adulthood, and so on, and telling these universal stories with the specificity that belongs to the family in your show, so that we both understand how a specific cultural subgroup deals with a particular issue in unique ways, AND we see that that particular cultural subgroup is like everyone else in their concerns. I adore the family sitcom format.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:12 PM on January 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

I am not usually a big fan of sitcoms, but I put this on in the background while I was working on other things, and after a few episodes it really started to suck me in. Rita Moreno is a gem, and Justina Machado is really warm. The Cuban immigrant/ex-military/sexual questioning character beats open up a lot of potential pathos without stretching credibility.

I just finished episode 9, Viva Cuba, and Moreno's work in that is outstanding and genuinely moving. It's amazing that she has such energy and ability at 85. Perfect casting.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:41 PM on January 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

I just got to Season 1, Episode 9, where Rita Moreno talks about her experience as a Pedro Pan child, and I am crying my fucking eyes out and I'm going to need a Tylenol for the weeping headache. JESUS. CHRIST.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:24 PM on January 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

Justina Machado was so good in Six Feet Under and I remember her in ER, too. The theme song was updated really well, too!
posted by rhizome at 7:29 PM on January 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

Okay, just finished season one last night and--wow--that was quite a ride from a mild diversion while I was grading papers to a genuinely moving experience. I'm not sure when I readjusted to the "filmed before a live audience" experience, but I found it really jolting in episode one and barely noticed it by the end.

Here's hoping for a season two, if they can do it that well again.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:12 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

I absolutely loved this! I don't recall seeing Justina Machada in anything before but she has such amazing presence here that she felt familiar to me almost immediately.

A good family friend of mine was a Pedro Pan child and reminds me so much of the Rita Moreno character...they did a great job writing this.

(And I was happy to see that dude from the old one-season Hulu show about a Wisconsin election campaign pop up for a couple episodes...)
posted by sallybrown at 5:24 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Justina Machada was on Six Feet Under. I forget character names but she was Freddy Rodriguez's wife (he was the embalmer).
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:22 AM on February 1, 2017

Season two is a go! Yay!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:14 PM on March 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Wow, so impressed with this! The world is so heavy and hard right now, I am thrilled to find something truly light and funny, like a little tasty marshmallow, yet so smart and feminist! Is this even possible?!

One of the things I like about sitcoms is the very formalized format. This is an insightful observation. I was born in 1974 so sitcoms - the good and mostly the bad - just defined television for me through my whole childhood. It's so interesting to revisit this format and see what can be done with it. It's almost like the narrowness of the format gives them more room to expand creatively. So impressed.

I'm very curious if we'll see any big name cultural commentary on this show. Publications like the New Yorker just love talking about the new, hyperviolent TV dramas: will a 1/2 hour domestic comedy about women raise to their notice?
posted by latkes at 9:21 AM on March 5, 2017

This show has made me laugh out loud and cry so many times. I love every character on this show, and I want a big old family hug with all of them.

I can't even believe how successful this is, given its format. It works because of the format, as Eyebrows McGee insightfully explained above. Good golly, I'd love to see some excellent analysis of the intersection of format and content on this show.
posted by meese at 12:59 PM on March 9, 2019

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