One Day At A Time Netflix

One Day at a Time Team on Reboot's 'Universal' Cuban-American Twist

When Netflix’s One Day at a Time reboot drops on Friday, Jan. 6, it will look a bit different from producer Norman Lear’s iconic ’70s series that ran for nearly ten years on CBS.

Reflecting our current times, the update follows three generations of a Cuban-American family, led by single mom/military vet Penelope (Queen of the South‘s Justina Machado). EGOT winner Rita Moreno co-stars as Penelope’s vivacious, old-school mother Lydia, and the actress has nothing but praise for the show’s honest depiction of Latino life.

After reading the script, she emailed Lear, who serves as an EP on the reimagining, with Gloria Calderón Kellett (iZombie, Devious Maids) and Mike Royce (Enlisted, Men of a Certain Age) sharing showrunning duties. “I said, ‘This is the most authentic, Hispanic-type Latino show that I’ve ever seen or read,'” Moreno shares.

That realness comes courtesy of Kellett, who was “concerned” when Lear first approached her to add a Latino voice to the project.

“‘My family’s really important to me. It’s very personal,’” she recalls telling Lear. “I know so many very talented comedians and friends that are Latino that have sold shows about their family, and it gets messed with in a way that makes it feel no longer theirs.”

One Day At A Time PreviewKellett singles out Masters of None‘s “Parents” installment as an example of a cultural story done right. “I totally related to that episode, and I’m not an Asian man,” she says. “The specificity of that is what made me love it. [Norman] and Mike have been unbelievably supportive in allowing me to be really specific in telling my very personal stories. Penelope is really based on me, and Lydia’s based on my mom, and a lot of those conversations are conversations my mom and I have had.”

Having that kind of realistic Latino brood on TV is “going to remind the audience there’s absolute richness there,” Moreno believes. “We bring a lot to the table: our food, our culture, our music. I love it that we are going to show the American public something they rarely get to see.”

But the clan is a family just like any other, so “if you’re not going to like [the show], it’s not going to be because it’s too Latino [or] that you don’t get it,” Machado argues. “This is universal storytelling.”

And it couldn’t have come at a better time. The outcome of the 2016 presidential election “tells me we need to communicate more,” Kellett says. “I need to hear more, and they need to listen more, and we need to come together more. And the one place where that’s sort of happening is television. If we can have those conversations, and if we can maybe open hearts and minds and make them laugh, my God, we will do it!”

In addition to chuckles, Lear hopes the series leaves viewers with a sense of “our common humanity. I hope they take away, ‘That could be my family.'”

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27 Comments
  1. bos4ny3 says:

    Sorry. Might turn out to be a terrific show, but it’s NOT One Day at a Time.

    • J says:

      You don’t seem sorry.

    • SmartChick says:

      I’m curious…what do you mean by that? What would make it One Day At A Time to you? The show I remember was about a single mom trying to raise her kids. That seems the be the same here. Mr. Lear takes on political issues which this show also seems to do. So, in my estimation, it IS One Day At A Time in basic premise.

  2. Big Mike says:

    If producers took what was traditionally a black or hispanic role/property and rebooted it into white one, the Internet would explode with the “racism”. However, when it is done the other way around, it is okay because of inclusiveness.
    .
    I’m a firm believer that if you’re looking to reboot something, it is because you have reverence for the original material. The Jeffersons shouldn’t be white, the Honeymooners shouldn’t be black, and so on. The same goes with gender roles. Watson on CBS’s Elementary should be a man.
    .
    *awaits being called names*

    • Carlos Lee says:

      I agree and I am Asian. A few times it does work (very rarely). Eg Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury in the Marvel Universe and Grace Park as Boomer on Battlestar Gallactica and Kono on Hawaii-Five O.

    • Super-Fan says:

      Amen,Amen, Amen. Can you imagine the whirwind of complaints on the web if they tried to make a white “Good Times”???

      WHY change the original to fit a new mold. Just create something good and new to celebrate diversity in every form. If it is good, it will gain an audience regardless of having a “name” attached to it.

    • Mimi says:

      The reason that they can reboot shows like one day at a time is because 99% of the shows in tv has and still have predominantly white case. Most shows that have a predominantly Black or Latino cast rely heavily on the cast race as a plot point. This is usually not the case with shows that have predominantly white cast, which is why you can reboot eith a diverse cast. That being said, I pray that reboots worth go out of fashion soon. They are just boring.

  3. Simon Jester says:

    But The Jeffersons was very much *about* the black experience, whereas One Day at a Time was never race-dependent. And frankly, if you have a chance to cast Rita Moreno in something, you should do it!

  4. grazelled says:

    It’s not “One Day at a Time”, at least from this preview, but it looks pretty good. Wish they had just gone with a different name.

    • Super-Fan says:

      There lies the problem. I hope the show does well, especially for Ms Moreno (a true legend)…. however if it’s good let it be good and not ride on the coat tails of a “brand”. Great sitcom perhaps, but not “One Day at a Time”.

      • g says:

        it’s a old name of a once successful show and basic premise of a family sitcom (minus a dad) … ODAT was neither groundbreaking or anything most people under 35 or 40 even know anything about or remember much …. trust me this new show wouldn’t be riding on any “brand” or coattails other than the name Norman Lear

        yeah sure ODAT had it’s run, but it was never in the same league as other Lear sitcoms like Good Times, All in the Family, the Jeffersons, etc … all of which were & remain in cultural references decades after they stopped airing …. ODAT … not so much

  5. Raul J says:

    With Debbie Reynolds’s death Rita Moreno is now the last surviving cast member from “Singin’ In The Rain”.

  6. readenreply says:

    One Day was a very very feminist show. The big “shock value” of the show in the 70’s was that is was based on a divorced woman who left her husband. Ann Romano was always giving “speeches” about women’s issues.

    The only comparison I see is having a strong female lead in Rita Morena… who will probably do the speechifying… but about what?

    • ninamags says:

      Exactly, readenreply. What possible shock value “issues” can there be now?

      Divorce is common-place. Unless they want to start addressing the fact that women’s rights are slowly being taken away again?

  7. Collette says:

    What a bad idea. Just a shameless attempt to capitalize on the name recognition. I’m out.

    • g says:

      name recognition ??? yeah for people over 45 … anyone younger has little or no memory of that show … Norman Lear has name recognition

  8. ninamags says:

    Eh, if I want to watch a show about cubans and their “experiences” I can go back and find “Que Pasa USA”.

    • Jake says:

      I grew up on that show. It was one of the best sitcoms ever. We’d watch them over & over like I love Lucy. Everyone laughed whether they were Cuban or spoke English or Spanish. In today’s culture, I’ve been shocked that no network or streaming service has green lit a well written bilingual sitcom

    • rayarena says:

      Exactly, these performers are not going to be channeling the Cuban experience. They’re going to be channeling Lear’s stereotyped, typecasted take on the “latino” experience [read this as essentially the chicano experience]. “Que Pasa USA” that was written by Cuban Americans and performed by Cuban Americans was unique.

  9. Another show with Mexicans and Puerto Ricans portraying Cubans. I will no doubt enjoy it as kitsch.

  10. rayarena says:

    “This is the most authentic, Hispanic-type Latino show that I’ve ever seen or read,’” Moreno says. Really? Another struggling generic “latino” family where one size fits all? Moreno with her really bad falsetto Cuban accent and the rest of the cast of Puerto Ricans and Mexicans playing Cuban Americans is really authentic [NOT]!

  11. DavidSask says:

    Why can’t this be a new Latino show on its own merit, especially as article states boasting of such? The only helpful thing aiding this, is reusing the name of classic long gone era sitcom; maybe getting a few OLD eyeballs tuning in, to find said deception! How hard-pressed Norman and all else involved in this must be, SHAME!

  12. At first when I saw a guy in the photo, I thought they had it with a married couple, instead of a single mom, so that bothered me! But now that I read it, I’m fine with it! I don’t care that it’s a Latino family, as long as it’s about a single mom! Though I do wish they had chosen to have her with two daughters, instead of a girl and a boy, since the original had two daughters! And the fact that there were basically 3 females in the house was a big part of the show, especially with the two girls being teens at the time! I just think it would have been better that way! But I will probably give it a try, especially since I like Rita Moreno!

  13. Judith Grayson says:

    Pick a different name. Will never be One Day At A Time.