*This article contains spoilers*
One Day at A Time recently returned to Netflix with its third season and it is safe to say that it is my favorite season so far. One of my favorite parts about sitcoms is that the audience gets to see each character grow as individuals but also in their own relationships. Each season, the show focuses on a number of topics that are relevant to what is going on in American society today. While some of these topics had been briefly addressed in previous seasons, the writers brought those topics back and went in depth with them.
Anxiety (and Depression)
Anxiety and depression is an important topic in the sophomore season, specifically for Penelope (Justina Machado), who began attending group therapy and taking medication for the sake of her mental health. Season three continues to focus on these issues, but it has also expanded it. Not only does she continue to gain that extra support from the girls from group, but the show expands on anxiety attacks and the importance of letting your family know that you have anxiety. When she tells her children about what she’s been going through, Elena is able to relate and Alex is able to learn how to be there for both his mother and sister when they have those panic attacks.
Right in the first episode of season three, in just about five minutes, Elena and her sig(yd)nificant other, Sydney, explain the importance of the Me Too movement, just by addressing how schools handle explaining to students sexual assault. One of my favorite parts about that scene is when Sydney and Elena explain the one time they were walking outside together and these guys started to torment them, and even follow them home. It’s so important to talk about how dangerous sexual assault, even if it is just to clarify consent, as that is something Alex (and many men) struggled to understand.
Elena explores her sexuality and relationship in season three. From learning to listen to her partner’s needs and not just her own, but also to discovering that there is no need to rush into her first time. Despite the fact that she is more experienced, Sydney still respects Elena’s wishes and tells her that she will wait however long she wants her to, or if Elena really doesn’t want to have sex, she is also okay with that. In season two, we saw their relationship begin, and by the end of season three they have both matured and continued being the cutest LGBT couple on Netflix.
I have been waiting for Schneider’s storyline for so long and season three did not disappoint. Though most of the time he is used as another comedic piece to the show, he’s one of Penelope’s closest friends and confidant. Though he is eight years sober, when his neglective father makes a return, Schneider might turn back to old habits. His decision not only ends up affecting him, but it ripples into the relationships he established with the Alvarez’, especially Penelope, who has had a history of dealing with men who suffer from alcoholism. The show also reveals what Schneider’s first name is and if I’m being very honest, he doesn’t look like a Pat to me.
Use of Marijuana
The show gave us a bit a storyline for Alex in the beginning, with the in-depth explanation of sexual assault and the way he was acting towards his friend (or possible girlfriend) wasn’t consensual or right. His other short storyline has to do with the use of marijuana. He’s a high school teen, he’s bound to experiment and his mother doesn’t really like that idea. Weed is not a bad thing, and the show makes sure to let its audience know this by allowing Dr. Borkowitz to explain how it’s actually helped him calm his anxiety. Marijuana is not for everyone, which the show also highlights with Lydia’s hilarious opera bits, but it’s not a bad thing and there’s no need to rush into things.
The third season touches on other small topics, and one of my favorite parts about this show is that they touch on these heavy topics that sometimes even drama series don’t do justice. One Day at a Time continues to be one of the funniest shows on Netflix and after that season finale, I need a season four, so Netflix needs to come through!