Recently (read as over a month ago now) I was browsing Twitter and I discovered the terrible news that Netflix has cancelled One Day At A Time. To get over this I have been rewatching all three seasons and whilst I don’t normally talk about TV programmes here I have to talk about all the amazing things this show does. So let’s take a break from games to talk about the wonders of TV and their characters.
Now I am not Latinx, living in America, Cuban, an immigrant, a single parent, a veteran or LGBTQI+. However you relate to these characters, you fall in love with these characters and they cover such important topics that it really should be watched (seriously go watch it!). It also puts characters that fall into these demographic categories front and centre and that is highly important too.
One thing I love how they cover is mental illness. Penelope, the main character is the “kick ass” mom and veteran, is shown to have depression and anxiety. Elena, the daughter also shows signs of anxiety. One episode in particular which covers this is called Hello Penelope. This made me feel like I was watching me. When you see how low Penelope is, when you see her try to listen to her recording of her thoughts, I could see me. I could see me struggling and I could see me trying to keep going. The way you see her and other characters discussing mental illness is wonderful. They don’t shy away from the conversation, much like they put discussions of deportation, immigration and identity at the forefront. This is so important as you are seen through these characters. Also, because they discuss these issues you can see that there is help to be sought or support to be found.
We need TV shows like this that open up the conversations and show these issues with relatable characters. Sadly this has now ended after 3 wonderful series but I am going to continue watching this. It is just fantastic that these conversations were opened up in a programme that gave you so many feelings (tears, it gave me tears) and laughs and relatable characters.
Thank you Penelope, Elena, Alex, Abuelita (Lydia), Schneider, Dr Berkowitz and Syd (and others) for being there for me and for making me laugh, cry, find comfort and raising the issues that you have. Thank you Justina Machado, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz, Rita Moreno, Todd Grinnell, Stephen Tobolowsky and Sheridan Pierce for bringing your characters to life. You won’t know how much you have meant to me through your portrayals and through this show but I will always be thankful for it.