Hey everyone, I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy!
Right now, the world is a mess, and I think we could all use a short break from everything happening. Today, March 24th, is the season four premiere of One Day at a Time, on the TV channel, Pop. It was originally produced by Netflix, and the first three seasons are still on there. However, Netflix didn’t renew One Day at a Time for a fourth season because of low viewership (according to them), but with the amount of outcry against the decision, Pop picked the show up for its fourth season.
The current, One Day at a Time is a re-imagining of the show from the seventies, set in present times. It follows Penelope, a single, Latinx mother (of Elena and Alex) and nurse living with her Cuban mother (Lydia), all while dealing with their landlord (Schneider), who’s essentially am honorary member of the family. Before working as a nurse, Penelope was a member of the military and was deployed over to Afghanistan.
Besides the fact it’s a hilarious and heart warming show, there are many reasons why I enjoy watching One Day at a Time. I love how each episode teaches you something, but balances it out with the comedy in a way to avoid sounding preachy, which works, for the most part. It also gives the younger generation a chance to laugh at ourselves, as Lydia is a good juxtaposition to Elena, and though she pokes fun at her, Elena also pokes back, so the back and forth is mutual. After all, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, then what is the point in life?
The back and forth between Elena and Lydia also depicts the classic squabble between the older generation and the younger generation. The times are changing, and it’s hard for those who grew up in the past, where the values and culture was different, to adapt to some of the new aspects of our culture that have arisen over the years. One Day at a Time covers this dissonance in a manner that is comedic, rather than attacking or shaming either generation.
For today’s post, I want to talk about my favorite episode from each of the past seasons, so without further ado, here are a few of my favorite episodes from One Day at a Time!
Season 1 Episode 13: “Quinces”
The last episode of season 1, “Quinces” follows Elena’s quinces, which has been an ongoing storyline the entire season. In an earlier episode in season one, Elena comes out to her family as gay, and though it was a shock at first, everyone readily accepted it. As a result, Elena decides to come out to her dad, since everyone else had been accepting of her sexuality. However, Victor isn’t supportive, and though he goes to Elena’s quinces, he leaves before the father daughter dance. Elena is heartbroken, being left out alone on the dance floor as “De nina mujer” plays overhead, so Penelope goes out and joins her, followed by Alex, Lydia, Schneider and Dr. Berkowitz. Even though Elena didn’t receive the support she wanted from Victor, the rest of her family and friends were there to remind her that she is loved, no matter what.
“Quinces” is an emotional rollercoaster, as it was awesome seeing Elena be so happy to have been celebrating her quinceanera, when in the beginning of the season, she had been dead set against having one. Then, when Victor left her behind, what could have been an even more depressing moment was saved by the support of Elena’s family, along with Schneider and Dr. Berkowitz. I think we all need a reminder how there will be situations or choices in our lives that won’t elicit support from certain people we love, we can find support elsewhere, even from the most unlikely places.
Season 2 Episode 9: “Hello, Penelope”
The episode, “Hello, Penelope” is a great example of how mental health can impact your day to day life, especially if left untreated. Penelope is at a great point in her life; everything seems to be going amazingly with her relationship with Max, the kids are in a good place, and her relationship with Lydia is good as well, so she goes off her meds and stops therapy.
At first, Lydia, who is very traditional, doesn’t support Penelope taking antidepressants or going to therapy, and is happy for Penelope. In her own words, Lydia is relieved Penelope isn’t going to her “cuckoo party” anymore.
However, as Penlope stops taking care of her mental health, her life begins to spiral, and though nothing changes externally, internally, Penelope is suffering.
Lydia is heartbroken seeing her daughter suffer like this, and turns to the church to help understand what is happening. In confessional, the priest tells Lydia although she can’t fix her daughter, she can support Penelope while she fixes herself. Lydia realizes though she personally doesn’t understand or need medication for her mental health, Penelope does, and that’s okay.
By the end of the episode, Penelope is back on her meds and returns to group therapy, because it is her way of maintaining her mental health. This is one of my favorite episodes from season two because of the way it addresses mental health and the stigma that still surrounds it.
Season 3 Episode 2: “Outside”
This episode is one of the most quoted episodes from the series, in my opinion. Its take on consent and the treatment of women in society is refreshing to see, especially as you see it from the perspective of three different generations.
It all starts with Penelope and Lydia learning about Alex’s “Finsta”, or his fake Instagram account. They see him post updates about his date with Chloe (his new girlfriend), and some of the posts make Penelope uncomfortable. When she shares it with Elena and Lydia, both are shocked, then Elena gets mad about how Alex is acting. We also find out that Lydia encouraged Alex to keep pursuing Chloe even though she had already turned him down, and Elena grows even more angry, as it seems more like Chloe was pressured into going on the date. After Alex gets home, a conversation about consent and respect ensues, and we find out how Elena and Syd were harassed by a couple of guys on the bus the previous week, and it made them so uncomfortable, they didn’t want to go out in public again, instead opting to stay inside and play video games.
I appreciate how the episode brings up a lot of different discussions surrounding the topic, like from the guys point of view for example, and are able to rebuttal common arguments and disgruntled comments behind the idea of consent.
It’s a great episode to start off the third season, and also a great conversation starter when it comes to be respectful towards others when it comes to romance and sexuality.
What was your favorite episode (or episodes) from the past three seasons?
Are you planning on watching the premiere on Pop TV?
Let me know in the comments below!
I’ve also been posting a lot about One Day at a Time on my Medium page, which you can check out here!
Other than that, thank you for reading, and I will see you all soon with another post!