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‘One Day At A Time’ Renewed For A Third Season—Here’s Why This Is So Important

Based on the original sitcom from the 1970s, it’s easy to see why One Day at a Time has captivated America. Thankfully, Netflix also sees how important One Day at a Time is because the streaming service has renewed the critically acclaimed series for a third season, according to Variety.

Beyond disrupting our The Office binge-watching schedule, which we typically slate for every second and fourth Friday of the Monday (and expedited during our stress-induced procrastination benders), One Day at a Time is a vital addition to the Netflix family—and here are a few reasons why.

While our current Netflix fave aired in 2017, One Day at a Time revitalizes a classic series in an interesting, and necessary, way.

Although the original One Day at a Time series ran from 1975 to 1984, Netflix’s remake features a new cast and script that incorporates present-day issues. Instead of whitewashing relevant issues of today, One Day at a Time features a modern Cuban-American family. Focusing on Penelope (played by Justina Machado), the mother of our fave TV family, One Day at a Time reimagines typical gender roles. Because Penelope is a veteran who battles with PTSD, Penelope’s multifaceted role as a veteran, a woman and a mother proves that women can have dynamic family roles and careers. After all, CNN reports that more U.S. women are expected to join the armed forces, so Penelope’s veteran status helps the growing number of women who are active armed forces members and veterans

Nevertheless, Penelope’s struggle with her PTSD and subsequent depression creates a healthy narrative about mental health. Including compelling themes about properly treating depression helps defray stigmas around mental health—because positive representation is a start to defeating stigmas. 

Beyond her mental health treatment and serving her country, the way that Penelope continually supports her family also outlines what it means to be a modern mother. After Elena (portrayed by Isabella Gomez), Penelope’s daughter, wore an elegant white suit instead of a typical gown to her quinceañera, her father Victor refuses to dance with her during the traditional father-daughter dance. USA Today reports that Elena’s decision to forego the traditional dress followed Elena’s “coming out” dialogue.

Instead of her father dancing with her, Penelope steps in as the temporary father-figure which also orchestrates a more realistic reaction to coming out. As Gomez tells USA Today, the One Day at a Time crew consulted several LGBTQIA+ organizations and representatives to make Elena’s coming out story more pragmatic. “There were quite a few LGBTQ people that were working with us that were really touched by it and really could relate to it, and they were emotional,” Gomez says.

One Day at a Time’s approach to modern coming out stories isn’t a solitary inclusion of relevant LGBTQIA+ issues. As Autostraddle reports, the series also approached non-binary relationships and representation after the show introduced Elena’s SO, Syd, who uses they/them pronouns. (Honestly, a little jealous that Elena and Syd weren’t around when I was a teen because we all need empowering LGBTQIA+ role models)

However, One Day at a Time’s ability to create positive women role models and necessary exposure for LGBTQIA+ rights aren’t the most conspicuous game-changers of the show.

Most notably, One Day at a Time creates positive representation of what it means to be a Cuban-American family.

According to NBC News, Hollywood has a habit of incorporating distasteful stereotypes about Latinxs. However, One Day at a Time is breaking down that stereotype by including insightful commentary about citizenship, racism and Cuban culture. As Vulture reports, One Day at a Time uses the Alvarez family to discuss issues about immigration, acceptance, racism and mental health.

Likewise, Variety adds the series uses Penelope’s struggles to fight the stigma around mental health that especially afflicts Cuban families. “Old school Latinos don’t really believe in depression. You work through it,” Machado tells Variety. Including Penelope’s internal struggle to open up about her mental health shows (and the fact that her family supported her throughout her treatment thereafter) and creates a positive narrative that mental health is serious and should be taken seriously.

Because Penelope’s family supports her decision to seek treatment and shows that treatment itself is necessary, One Day at a Time gives people with depression validation that their diagnosis is real. While this healthy depiction of mental health is directed toward Cuban-American families, it extends to other communities of people of color because, as the Huffington Post reports, mental health impacts people of color differently, as do the stigmas around mental health.  

Without getting mention in present-day news headlines, Vox reports that One day at a Time uses the Alvarez family to show how supporting one another, especially, can help defeat racist and prejudice jargon. Citing the incident when Alex (played by Marcel Ruiz), Penelope’s younger son, was tormented by racist statements, Vox notes that the Alvarezes supported and defended him.

Beyond casting Latinx actors and redefining what it means to be a Cuban-American, The New York Times adds that the One Day at a Time reboot also highlights people of color behind the cameras. In fact, Gloria Calderón Kellet is one of the show’s co-showrunners and executive producers. Plus, she’s also worked on Jane The Virgin and is a sitcom aficionado, after she wrote for How I Met Your Mother. Calderón Kellet’s extensive experience with sitcoms and crafting appropriate representation in TV and cinema could also explain why One Day at a Time is able to balance political commentary and comedy consistently. 

In a time of endlessly upsetting news, One Day at a Time is the comedy we need.

Regardless, One Day at a Time is a comedy by nature, so it’s vital humorous overtones can’t go unnoticed. While One Day at a Time urges us to look at current issues more critically, it also makes us laugh and smile. 

This show can effortlessly maintain its comedic nature while dissecting issues about LBGTQIA+ rights, family, racism, mental health and so much more—so it’s no wonder that Netflix renewed One Day at a Time for a third season (though TBH, we’d be happy if they renewed it for another 10 seasons right now). 

Nevertheless, we aren’t the only ones who recognize the merit of this revolutionary series. Basically, the entire Twittersphere is elated that Netflix renewed One Day at a Time for another reason. 

One Twitter user tweets, “Now that @netflix has renewed One Day At a Time, can Hollywood give them all Emmys for that season two finale?” (Fingers crossed.)

Whereas, another Twitter user responds with an appropriate GIF. (Because sometimes words just can’t describe our excitement.) 

Until the impending third season airs sometime in 2019, we’ll continue to re-watch the first and second seasons of One Day at a Time on repeat (don’t @ us). 

Chelsea is the Health Editor and How She Got There Editor for Her Campus. In addition to editing articles about mental health, women's health and physical health, Chelsea contributes to Her Campus as a Feature Writer, Beauty Writer, Entertainment Writer and News Writer. Some of her unofficial, albeit self-imposed, responsibilities include arguing about the Oxford comma, fangirling about other writers' articles, and pitching Her Campus's editors shamelessly nerdy content (at ambiguously late/early hours, nonetheless). When she isn't writing for Her Campus, she is probably drawing insects, painting with wine or sobbing through "Crimson Peak." Please email any hate, praise, tips, or inquiries to cjackscreate@gmail.com