5 reasons One Day At A Time needs a season 4
One Day at a Time is a Netflix Original remake of a sit-com that follows the lives of single mother Penelope Alvarez, her mother Lydia, her daughter Elena, and her son Alex, who all live together in an apartment in Los Angeles. While their family dynamic is very much at the centre of the show, their individual relationships, both with each other and with the secondary characters in the show, are just as significant and heart-warming. Netflix announced they would not be renewing ODAAT for a fourth season on the 14th of March, but there is still hope that a different network will pick up the show.
Given that, here are five reasons you should join the fight to #SaveODAAT:
- It’s really freaking funny
This goes without saying for a sit-com, but I’m going to say it anyway because it is important. From puns to plays on accent, the show consistently delivers lines that make you laugh out loud, which is no mean feat for a web series, because those can usually only hope to make you breathe slightly harder out of your nose than normal.
The writers fluctuate between playing on the cultural, gender, and age dynamics in the show for comedic moments to more general jokes based on the context of the episode that everyone can relate to. All of them are done in good humour which results in a captivating viewing experience and makes the show one of the funniest on Netflix.
- The cast is diverse as hell
The Alvarezes are a Cuban family first, and this manifests itself throughout the show in a variety of ways, from the cultural references they make to Spanish pet names they give each other. The bulk of the cast are portrayed by Latinx actors, as are various people involved in the production of the show, which leads to an experience full of salsa dancing, Cuban music, and Spanish phrases that boldly go unsubtitled.
Netflix has been publically applauded for their diverse casting in the original films and TV shows they create, with shows like Queer Eye and On My Block both releasing new seasons this month. However, the advertising for them tends to be a little lacklustre, which leads to situations like the one that One Day At A Time is in now.
- It explores important issues in the best way
In a time when difficult issues tend to be addressed in one, maybe two episodes of a programme, it can often feel like the media are just trying to fulfil their PC content quota for the year without actually engaging with the topics they bring up. ODAAT can never be accused of that. Although it has the standard sit-com structure in which whatever conflict raised at the start of the show gets resolved by the end, the resolution usually involves a long-term commitment from the characters, rather than them just realising that they can live with whatever problem they have with a little help from the people around them, and it never being addressed again.
For example, Penelope suffers from anxiety and PTSD throughout all three seasons of the show, and while the show takes a different episode to explore the different aspects and trails of that (one focusing on panic attacks, another looking at antidepressants and cultural views on them, etc.), resolutions are things like her joining a therapy group for female veterans that she continues to go to for the rest of the show.
- All your favourite celebrities are fans
From Lin Manuel Miranda (the guy who wrote/starred in the musical Hamilton on Broadway), who also led to the charge for the campaign for Brooklyn Nine-Nine to get renewed for a sixth season on a new network after it got cancelled, to Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars Melissa Fumero and Stephanie Beatriz (Amy Santiago and Rosa Diaz, respectfully), both of whom guest starred in an episode of ODAAT in season three, and music icon Gloria Estefan (who sings the theme song for the show), people who are objectively awesome have tweeted using #SaveODAAT. If you don’t trust my judgement, surely you can trust theirs?
The diversity among the fans, both famous and otherwise, reflects how accessible the show is. Anyone, regardless of age, gender, or race can relate to at least one aspect of the show, from the struggles of parenthood to the coming-of-age stories that are presented through Elena and Alex’s story lines.
- It is just as relevant now as when the original show premiered
The original ODAAT was made in the 70s and followed a white single mother and her two children, so it makes sense that in its 2019 update, the show pushes even more boundaries and continues to shed light on issues people rarely talk about. The episode on gun control feels even more poignant following the shooting in New Zealand and the subsequent law change, Elena’s coming out story and subsequent relationship with Syd (who identifies as non-binary) brings more media representation for LGBT couples, an issue Comic Relief also engaged with after the LGBT story line in the Four Weddings and a Funeral parody, and it’s hard not to think of the rise of the #MeToo Movement after watching an episode focusing on consent, and specifically young men’s role in ensuring women feel comfortable and safe.
But what can I, a lowly student with no influence over anything in my life, do to help?
I’m glad you asked. Firstly, and requiring a very small amount of effort from you, you can tweet, or post on Instagram or Facebook under the hashtag #SaveODAAT. The cast, writers, and producers of the show have been whipping up a social media frenzy after Netflix announced the cancellation, with showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellet giving fans hope that the show might find a new home on a different network. Fans are being encouraged to post about their favourite memories from the show or how much it means to them with the hope it will encourage other networks to pick up the show by illustrating how strong the fan base already is. By making a contribution to it, you can become part of the reason the show lives to see a fourth season.
Another option would be writing an article about how great the show is for the magazine at your university, but frankly that would be a little unoriginal at this point.
Importantly, you can also watch or rewatch ODAAT on Netflix while it’s still there. By increasing the viewership the show becomes more attractive both to Netflix and to other potential networks, and you get to enjoy a hilarious and heart-warming programme that deserves to reach more people.