“One Day At A Time” puts heartwarming spin onto the sitcom genre

Netflix

At least one stellar show has gotten lost within the slew of the many new shows and movies released on Netflix at the start of 2017. “One Day at a Time”, a 2017 reboot of the 1975 CBS sitcom of the same title, is one instance of this crime. From producer Gloria Calderon Kellett, of such shows as “How I Met Your Mother” and “Drunk History,” the show is a classic sitcom with empathetic characters and plot twists that make it worth watching.

Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado) is a newly divorced, single, veteran mother not only dealing with her two children but also her zany mother Lydia (Rita Moreno) and Schneider (Todd Grinnell), her overreaching landlord. This unlikely grouping runs into constant hijinks, as one might expect of a classic form sitcom. However, due to the depth of each character, the plot-lines don’t become the tired and repetitive cycle most other shows of this style would become. 

Playing the lively Lydia, Rita Moreno not only serves as comic relief, but she conveys the depth of her relationship with her daughter, which creates a more heartwarming sitcom.”

— Abby Letscher

Penelope’s preteen son Alex (Marcel Ruiz) is not only dealing with the plights of puberty, but also with becoming the only man in his house. The dynamic between him and Elena (Isabella Gomez), his teenage sister, is that of a truly caring and loving relationship. Their relationship doesn’t get bogged down with cliché fighting over petty things; instead, it highlights the love that two siblings can have, which adds to the warmth of the show. Rita Moreno steals the show as she always does.

It takes around 2 episodes to get into the swing of the show. It is a classic sitcom in the sense that it follows the setup, joke, setup, joke structure. With a laugh track running over the audio, those who don’t consistently watch sitcoms will need longer to adjust. However, to veterans of the sitcom genre, this show will definitely be a welcome change.

Being on Netflix, the show is a full half-hour, which gives the writers time to fully develop a story with deeper meaning than a typical network show plot line would provide. The tired “woman trying to have it all” trope adds another layer when one remembers Penelope’s life as not only a veteran but also as a recently divorced mother. The focus lands on her love life no more often than it centers on her dealing with PTSD.

Rita Moreno steals the show as she always does. Playing the lively Lydia, Moreno not only serves as comic relief, but she conveys the depth of her relationship with her daughter, which creates a more heartwarming sitcom.

“One Day at a Time” takes a classic sitcom format and manages to provide a family story that the audience is bound to become invested in. The compelling story of the Alvarez family is a tale not to be missed.