By Clarissa Pompa |
Valentine’s Day is next week. It’s also Black History Month, and we can’t forget President’s Day! Although there’s a lot going on during this time of year, we absolutely cannot forget that One Day At A Time season three premieres today.
The series is a remake of the Norman Lear classic from 1975, with the characters reimagined as a Cuban-American family, the Alvarezes. We see the Alvarez family encounter unique and ubiquitous situations- whether it be religion, racism, dating or finances, this family covers it all and more.
Penelope Alvarez, played by Justina Machado, is a United States Army Nurse Corps veteran whose storylines have followed her through mental illness, sexism, heartbreak and maneuvering motherhood. Her children Elena and Alex are portrayed by Isabella Gomez and Marcel Ruiz. Elena is a high school girl and was a driving force behind the plot of season one- her quince was the finale, but the crowning moment for her was when she came out as lesbian to her family. She struggles with dating, social issues and independence in both seasons. Alex is an average middle school entrepreneur looking to make some money- he is the victim of racial comments in the second season and is definitely not his grandma’s favorite, but the two do share a certain dramatic flair. Lydia Riera, or abuelita, is played by Rita Moreno. From her entry in the show to every scene she’s in, Moreno livens up the screen with her comedic timing.
Speaking of comedy, this series would not be complete without Schneider and Dr. Berkowitz. Todd Grinnell is a stellar Schneider who perfectly encapsulates a man who appears to be a clueless guy, but is actually wiser than he seems. Dr. Berkowitz is played by Stephen Tobolowsky and is the possible love interest for Lydia. His endearing stuttering and blatantly obvious affection for Lydia has made him a fan favorite. This cast has taken the show from one that could come across as casual to a series that many can identify with.
Whereas the first season started off strong and introduced us to the characters we would soon know and love, the second season put them through the ringer. We saw our characters confront bouts of depression, citizenship, love and even death. Last season’s finale was titled “Not Yet.” The episode left everyone, onscreen and off, an emotional wreck. I was sobbing at four in the morning with a pile of tissues next to me, wondering how the family would get on without Rita Moreno swinging open the curtains upon entry… although that might just be a solely personal experience. When it comes to the prospective season, we are ready to see the repercussions of Lydia’s time at the hospital.
However, with moving on from the near tragedy of last season, the viewers have much to look forward to coming up in this new season. Gloria Estefan sings the show’s theme song, is an international star with one of her hits even being in Parks and Rec season four, and will soon portray an estranged family member. A preview shows Estefan and Moreno greeting each other coldly, leaving us eagerly awaiting the latest drama. In addition to Estefan, Stephanie Beatriz and Melissa Fumero of Brooklyn Nine-Nine will also guest star.
One Day at a Time season three premiered on Netflix early this morning. While Lydia may not be in a coffin, the preview shows that someone is… who it will be? We don’t know yet, but with great writers, actors and directing, it’s sure to be as fun as a funeral can be.