Are you overwhelmed by how much television is available right now? Is life getting in the way of keeping up with the shows you wanna try out? We feel your tube-related pain. Here’s a handy feature that’ll help you locate the hidden gems in this era of Peak TV.
NETWORK | Netflix
CREATED BY | Norman Lear; adapted by Mike Royce and Gloria Calderon Kellett
NUMBER OF EPISODES | 13 episodes (in Season 1)
EPISODE LENGTH | 30 mins.
PREMISE | This reimagining of the Lear classic puts the focus on Penelope Alvarez (Six Feet Under‘s Justina Machado), an Afghanistan war vet now working as nurse. Recently separated, she is raising her two kids — teenagers Elena (Matador‘s Isabella Gomez) and Alex (newcomer Marcel Ruiz) — with the help of traditional Cuban mother Lydia (EGOT winner Rita Moreno) and friendly building manager Schneider (Grace and Frankie‘s Todd Grinnell). Also in the mix is Dr. Berkowitz (Silicon Valley‘s Stephen Tobolowsky), Penelope’s boss who eventually takes a liking to Lydia.
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WORTH YOUR TIME IF YOU ENJOY… | Traditional family sitcoms — not that there’s anything wrong with that. Despite the recent popularity of single-camera comedies, an old-school, four-camera comedy still has the potential to be great. Just ask Lear, who spent most of the 1970s churning out some of the very best multi-cam fare ever on television (see All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude). The 94-year-old auteur might not have a writing credit on any of the new episodes, but his signature brand of forward-thinking comedy is not lost here; it’s specifically what makes this reboot shine, and adaptors Royce and Kellet (who hail from Everybody Loves Raymond and How I Met Your Mother, respectively) deserve kudos for honoring both the original One Day and its creator in that regard. And if nothing else, you’re bound to enjoy Moreno’s performance. The woman is a national treasure.
YOU SHOULD PROBABLY ALSO KNOW… | As alluded to above, this show delves into heavier topics than most of the traditional multi-camera fare on network television today. Over the course of just 13 episodes, the show deals with gender inequality, healthcare and veterans’ benefits, depression, religion, alcoholism and PTSD, among other subjects. The series also does a terrific job with the coming out story of one of Penelope’s children.
On a lighter note, One Day at a Time has one of the most infectious theme songs on TV today, courtesy of Gloria Estefan’s vibrant redo of the original “This Is It” (embedded below).
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IS IT COMING BACK? | Yes. Netflix announced back in March that it has renewed the comedy for a 13-episode Season 2. (Premiere date TBA.)
WHERE CAN I WATCH IT? | The complete first season is streaming on Netflix.
Watch the trailer for One Day at a Time below, then tell us if you’ll be gathering the whole family to binge on this throwback sitcom.