Netflix v. The Viewers: Canceling "One Day at a Time"

An important part of any college student’s life is their Netflix account. It’s a good way to relax after a hard day of learning. It has everyone’s favorite shows, ready for their enjoyment at any time of day. It even has some original shows made for your entertainment. However, a recent announcement has changed the future of many people’s favorite show.

One Day At A Time is a Netflix Original (based loosely on a show of the same name that ran from 1975-1984) about a Cuban family living in Los Angeles and the problems they face in their day-to-day lives. The show addresses subjects such as the treatment of veterans, LGBTQ+ issues, racism, PTSD, and immigration. It tackles these issues in an entertaining way that can make you both laugh and cry. The show is filled with amazing actors, most notably Rita Moreno, an actress famous for her role as Anita in the movie West Side Story. ODAAT is incredibly diverse and I would highly recommend it to any viewer. That’s part of the reason why it was so surprising when, on March 14th, 2019, Netflix announced that they would be canceling ODAAT.

The announcement that it wouldn’t be renewed for a fourth season came as a surprise to many as it has a rather large fanbase. Audience members identified strongly with the different characters and were amazed by the tact and emotion put into talking about important issues in modern-day America. It also has a large amount of critical acclaim. Though this wouldn’t be the first time that Netflix had canceled a beloved show. They did the same with the shows Everything Sucks! and The Get Down. Despite their success, the shows were canceled because their viewership allegedly wasn’t large enough to justify the costs of production.

In response to the cancellation of ODAAT, critics and fans alike called out saying that this was a terrible decision made by Netflix. It’s a good show that has had a large impact. Some criticism of the decision is that Netflix is more ready to cancel diverse shows than they are traditionally white sitcoms. On Twitter, people have noticed a pattern of Netflix canceling shows with their most diverse actors and actresses (including series such as Sense8 and Girlboss). This has also caused some fear of a possible cancellation of Queer Eye, yet another beloved show that has a varied cast.

However, there is hope for ODAAT. The producers have said that they are looking for another home for the show. Celebrities such as Lin Manuel Miranda, who played a large part in getting Brooklyn Nine-Nine renewed for another season, have been reaching out on Twitter in an effort to raise awareness in an attempt to save the show by using the hashtag #SaveODAAT. There has been overwhelming support for the return and hopefully the next season will be coming soon.

Diversity is an important part of the media. The audience wants to see people who represent them in the shows they watch. And to see a show this diverse tackle major issues is amazing. It’s an important function of the media to teach lessons to the audience, particularly the younger members of the audience. One Day At A Time shows these lessons in an interesting and engaging way through its characters. It’s an incredible show that should definitely continue.