Critical Condition: One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time (Netflix, from Friday)

“Well, they only had to remake a jillion TV shows from yesteryear to finally get one exactly, perfectly right. Not only is Netflix’s reimagined One Day at a Time a joy to watch, it’s also the first time in many years that a multicamera sitcom (the kind filmed on a set with studio-audience laughter) has seemed so instinctively comfortable in its own skin. It doesn’t try to subvert or improve on the sitcom format; it simply exhibits faith that the sitcom genre can still work in a refreshing and relevant way.” — The Washington Post.

One Day at a Time, a new Netflix comedy that reboots and refreshes Norman Lear’s 1975 sitcom of the same name, is an object lesson in how to use the multi-camera format to advantage. The new show, which updates the original’s single-mom plotline to follow a Cuban-American family in Los Angeles, is fresh, funny, and smart … The pilot episode alone is an exercise in using sitcom rhythms to further, not just flatten, the themes of the show.” — Variety.

“For a family show, the presence of a studio audience is inherently welcoming, erasing some of the boundaries between viewers and the onscreen clan, which can be more important than ever when the family in question is one that, to put it politely, hasn’t been overrepresented on TV. Shows like Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat have illustrated that the invitation to laugh that the studio audience represents is hardly necessary — but that doesn’t mean it’s unwelcome, especially when, for the most part, those in-person laughs aren’t braying or overemphasised in the sound mix.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

“Justina Machado, a supporting actor on shows as diverse as Six Feet Under and ER, emerges as a star in her own right as Penelope, a single mom, US Army vet and nurse who’s keeping it together in an Echo Park apartment with two mouthy kids and a mouthy mother. Sounds pretty standard, but Lear and his producers, Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce, have given Machado a full-fledged role to play. She is completely believable as a middle-class mom and nurse who is not afraid to keep her kids in line.” — New York Post.

“The show is unabashedly old-fashioned, with a pragmatic application of contemporary issues: bureaucratic indifference by the Veterans Administration to former soldiers like Penelope and sexual identity exploration among teenagers, among others. The show is nicely written, but just that … It would be far more challenging to remake other Lear gems, such as Maude, because while that was a pioneering show, many of the issues it used for comedic purposes feel too time-locked. On the other hand, being a single parent and trying to keep a roof over your family’s head is timeless.” — San Francisco Chronicle.

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One Response to “Critical Condition: One Day at a Time”

  1. Netflix certainly have some great shows, I’m really enjoying Travelers at the moment, it’s excellent :)

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