Fanart by the talented Dylan Meconis
One Day at a Time is the on point piece of television the world so desperately needs. When the first season came out last year, thousands of people became a part of the Alvarez family and found themselves falling in love with a show that gave them everything.
When One Day at a Time season 2 was announced, the world rejoiced. When season 2 was released on Friday, we all put our lives on pause and caught up with our favourite family.
One Day at a Time is a stand out show for so many reasons. Each episode is only half an hour long, but in that half an hour so much is acomplished.
i’m so happy one day at a time covered homophobia, depression, racism, colorism plus introduced non-binary queer people and they did all of this in 13 episodes only never once felt like they were overdoing it. this show means so much to me
— emily thickwin (@dishcnored) January 26, 2018
A lot of the issues tackled in season 1 are still there, but One Day at a Time season 2 also touches on a lot more. We see the young son of the family, Alex, having to deal with racist comments such as “go back to Mexico” and “build the wall” – which is ever present in today’s political climate.
Speaking of today’s political climate, season 2 is quite clearly a reflection of the issues people are facing everyday under Trump’s America, without ever once mentioning his name. Episode 4 sees Elena frustrated as she finds out Lydia has never voted. Being Elena, she brilliantly educates her grandmother (and family) on the importance of using your vote, as failing to do so is what got “that monster in The White House”.
We also see gun control, citizenship, mental health and even a woman’s decision on having a baby brought to the surface. All of these topics are addressed exceptionally without ever distracting from the focal point of the show, which is a family sitcom.
The highlight of season 1 was undoubtedly Elena’s coming out arc, and season 2 didn’t disappoint with the continuation of this story. Now Elena feels comfortable in her identity, she’s able to explore everything that comes with it. It’s refreshing to see her family’s acceptance and even playful jokes (which is never once done offensively/at her expense).
In this season, we get to see Elena explore the world of romance as she gets her first girlfriend, Syd (which her family help her to do).
Syd identifies as non-binary and uses “they/them” pronouns which is rarely represented. There will be many people streaming One Day at a Time season 2 who will be seeing themselves on the screen for the first time, and that’s something that this show should be proud of.
i can’t believe syd is actually non-binary and uses they/them pronouns and is gay and presents as mostly femme like holy shit i have never seen myself on screen like that and i never thought i would, one day at a time rly is that show and no one is left out
— chels (@brieIrsons) January 27, 2018
Elena and Syd’s relationship is undeniably adorable. They’re both seen as the nerdy outsiders and they’re the perfect fit for each other. We see them share their first kiss and they’re given a great amount of screen time.
As well as exploring Elena’s love life, we also see her pick up on an issue that she was left with in season 1. Not all of her family are supportive of her sexuality, as she hasn’t spoken to her father in a year because of it. One of the most beautiful scenes in the season comes when we see her confront him about it. Isabella Gomez shines through in this scene and you can see how much the story means to her, and how much she’s putting into this character to ensure it’s portrayed right.
One Day at a Time provides incredibly healthy and much needed representation to the LGBTQ community – so thank you to the LGBTQ writers on the show who help to ensure it’s done correctly. If only other shows could do the same!
Latinx (as Elena would be pushing for us to say) representation has always been an issue and One Day at a Time sets the bar high. It highlights the every day struggles that many Latinx families like the Alvarez’s are subjected to, whilst showing how hard working and how far away they are from the image that so many people try to proclaim.
The importance of this representation is emphasised by the world’s reaction to it. When these characters are brought to our screens, when they’re realistically portrayed and are given the right stories, we get a step closer to seeing an accurate image of what society really looks like.
But, the stories One Day at a Time tells would be nothing without the talented actors portraying them.
Justina Machado takes on the role of Penelope, who has a lot of hard hitting stuff to deal with on the show, effortlessly.
In season 2, we see Penelope continue to attend therapy and discuss her mental health openly. We see her fall in love and juggle the highs and lows that comes with that. We see her love her children unconditionally and do whatever she can to protect them from the harsh world that surrounds them. If her acting in the first 12 episodes of season 2 didn’t get to you, the season finale most certainly will.
I don’t want to spoil the scene for those who haven’t seen it, but if you have you’ll know which one I’m referring to. Machado steals the spotlight and delivers an incredibly emotional performance that is done so tenderly. Everything but her falls to silence and as the audience, you feel captivated and hung on every word she says.
For her performance in One Day at a Time season 2, Justina Machado deserves every ounce of recognition and acclaim.
justina machado aka penelope alvarez deserves multiple awards for her stellar performance
— lauren (@chyleighdnvrs) January 27, 2018
But, how can we talk about One Day at a Time without talking about the spectacle that is Rita Moreno?
I could watch Rita Moreno play Lydia for the rest of my days. Lydia would not be the character that she is without what Moreno brings. She’s dramatic, flamboyant and fierce and with anyone else this may be seen as over the top, but with Lydia you can’t help but crave it. The final episode is incredibly touching and makes you realise how special a character she really is.
One Day at a Time definitely did not disappoint with season 2. Netflix needs to continue it for season upon season because it’s importance cannot be denied, nor should it be taken away.
This is one of the best Netflix originals out there at the moment and I hope we get to see more of it, because so many of us need it.
Why do you love One Day at a Time so much? Leave a comment below!