HC Watches Netflix's "One Day At A Time"

“One Day at a Time” (ODAAT) is a (sort of) new Netflix show that is based on the 1975 sitcom of the same name. It follows the Cuban-American Alvarez family, which consists of single mother and veteran Penelope Alvarez, her two children Elena and Alex Alvarez, and the abuelita Lydia, as well as their neighbor Schneider and Dr. Berkowitz, Penelope’s boss. There are currently two seasons out, and every episode is full of excellent content--this show manages to traverse laughter and tears seamlessly, and is unafraid to broach contentious and/or controversial subjects from different perspectives. From gun control/firearms possession, to BGLTQ issues, to immigration and prejudice, there is little that this show does not manage to touch, yet it remains lighthearted and warm throughout.

Each episode is thirty minutes long, which hits an especially sweet spot between the usual 20 minutes for comedies, and 45 for dramas and mysteries. Each episode manages to play out a solid plotline from open to close, and is able to add in enough fluff and flair without compromising content, because of its ample runtime.

All of the characters are delightfully loveable, and not without flaws. Their development over time is fascinating to watch, and is multi-faceted, as they make breakthroughs as individuals, and as a family as well. The fact that they are Cuban-American only adds culture and charm to the show.

The acting from all parties is phenomenal--and Rita Moreno is especially legendary. Her character, Lydia Riera/abuelita (I’ve subtracted a long string of names here) always manages to steal the show. Flamboyant, fierce, wildly patriotic, and zealously religious (she has pictures of multiple popes in here room), Lydia also often serves as, ironically, the devil’s advocate, who provides more traditional views, and adds depth to the question at hand. And yet, she is still always able to bring in a hint of glamour and a large dose of humor when she makes her point.

So, if you have 30 minutes to spare, or are looking for a show to binge, I would highly recommend Netflix’s “One Day at a Time.”