The Alvarez family tackles renewal “One Day at a Time”

Isabella Fernandez, A&E Editor

After a long year of fighting and protestation within the hashtag “#SaveODAAT,” One Day at a Time will be returning with a fourth season coming soon. Cancelled by Netflix earlier this year, One Day at a Time received plenty of love from fans who were adamant about keeping the show going. Fans rushed to Twitter to promote the show and petition for its renewal. Luckily, in June the show was picked up by Pop TV. Almost immediately, fans rejoiced! But what is this show that people are so determined to keep alive? Well, let me tell you. 

One Day at a Time is a 2017 remake of the original 70s sitcom of the same name and follows Penelope Alvarez, veteran, nurse, and mother of two teenagers, Elena and Alex, living together with Lydia, her passionate and overzealous mother. And of course, let’s not forget their lovably oblivious and nosy neighbor/repairman, Schneider. The basics of the show stay true to the original with Penelope being a divorced single mother of two teens and characters like Schneider making a return, but rest assured that the rest of the show takes off into delightfully uncharted territory.

In contrast to the original, which follows Ann Romano and her daughters in Indianapolis, the more modern take is set in Los Angeles with our main family being Cuban-American. This opens the door to plenty of uniquely Latino and especially Cuban experiences and jokes (within the first two episodes we get Lydia calling Elena “una sinvergüenza” and in just about every episode a nice can of Café Bustelo can be seen somewhere in frame). Still, non-Latino viewers can enjoy the show just as much for its relatable characters and topical humor. Within the show itself, plenty of non-Latino characters recur such as Elena’s partner, Syd, and Penelope’s boss, Doctor Berkowitz. Characters like these offer an outside perspective to the Latino issues and topics present throughout the show and provide their own comedy.

Similar to its 70s counterpart, today’s One Day at a Time tackles a variety of social and political topics. Episodes cover topics ranging from sexuality to illegal immigration and, while 25 minutes isn’t quite enough time to cover each topic in depth, multiple points of view are expressed through the diverse cast of characters. The occasional episode can be quite heavy, ending and leaving the live audience with no fun outro theme, but just silence. But in the end, each topic is approached respectfully. While jokes are made about these topics, they’re made less at the expense of the seriousness of the issues and more as a way to lighten the mood of the episode.

Overall, One Day at a Time was an important show for 2017 and is just as relevant today. The showrunners pay particular attention to every plot thread and, most importantly, to the audience. Co-showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett is herself a Cuban-American woman and, with an extremely diverse cast and crew, contributes immensely to the accuracy and quality of the show and its messages. Since its release in 2017, One Day at a Time has been a beloved and touching show for Latinos and non-Latinos alike. 

So, the outrage over ODAAT’s cancellation is certainly warranted. ODAAT is a show rich with diversity, representation, and heartfelt moments that audiences quickly clung to. It’s no wonder that the cancellation of such an outstanding show came as a shock. But, thanks to the overwhelming support given to the show, it’s managed to bounce back under a new network with the opportunity to gain an even bigger audience. Just this month, actress Isabella Gomez – Elena on the show – revealed that the show’s newest season is set for March 2020 and will be available on the Pop TV channel as well as their mobile app. Hope to see you and the Alvarez family there next year!