Between my midnight binging of Black Mirror and re-watching of Charmed, Netflix suggested I watch their new original series One day at a time. The Latino re-make of the American classic was a delight to see especially after the cancellation of Cristela back in 2015. Cristela was also a Latino comedy with an American classic sitcom style. After low ratings, ABC decided to let it go. My only latino fix has been The CW’s Jane The Virgin (the CW also has Supergirl. Read my review here). It was also a great surprise to see Rita Moreno on the small screen or in this case “the web screen.”
One day at the time/Un Daia a la Vez tells the story of a single mother raising her two teens with the help of her mother. The Cuban-American family deals with more than just cultural and intergenerational clashes. Subjects range from depression, alcoholism, and even homosexuality. It delves into veterans’ rights, deportation, and religion. These sensitive and heavy topics are well balanced with humor and heart.
Rita Moreno and Justina Machado (who is also great on Jane the Virgin) who play the mother and daughter Lydia and Penelope are a great pair; they feed off each other’s energies showcasing their acting chops. Isabella Gomez (Elena) and Marcel Ruiz (Alex) also play well off each other and bring in the intergenerational humor.
Besides the great balance between heart and laughter, my favorite part of the show is the fact that I’m able to watch it with my mother. Nothing beats finding a piece of entertainment that we can both watch. While she enjoys being able to understand what’s going on in the Spanish language show, I enjoy having the space to talk to her about the same issues facing the Latino family.
You see, like in many cultures questioning the family’s religious practices, one’s sexuality or even mentioning the word “depression,” it’s taboo; a can of worms you do not wish to open. However, society seems to be changing. Whether my devoted catholic mother likes it or not, these are issues everybody is talking about. Stories like one of Penelope’s family are here to reflect the need for these safe spaces to have such dialogues. At the end of the day- it accurately portrays a modern Latin family, taking on the world, Un Dia a la Vez.
- The show has been officially renewed for a second season!
- Though the Alvarez family is Cuban-American, Moreno, Machado, and Ruiz are Puerto Rican while Gomez is Colombian
- The S1E3 No Mass is my favorite episode (Sex Talk and Quinces are tied in second place)
- The theme song in English “This is It” and in Spanish is voiced by the great Cuban singer Gloria Estefan
- I love seeing fellow Latin actors Judy Perez and Tony Plana guest star on the show
- Gloria Calderon Kellett is the Cuban-American co-showrunner who is known for her work on How I Met Your Mother and iZombie
- Finally, if you want the expert’s opinions’ here Remezcla puts the show to the test by having their own Cuban focus group watch the show