One Day at a Time defies TV's downcast dramedy trend
"On Netflix, TV is in an edgy moment," says Lili Loofbourow. "BoJack Horseman has taken the cartoon to dark and painfully honest places. Sex Education makes the awkward obscenity of teen life deeply, uncomfortably explicit. Big Mouth is so overt about the pitfalls of puberty that it’s not clear whether it’s safe for actual teenagers to watch. Russian Doll thematizes existential self-hatred, although it does suggest there may be light at the end of the tunnel if you die often enough first. Life is atomized and hard—hard in ways that we can’t comprehend and aren’t equipped for, and that no conceptual structure can quite contain. If there’s a genre for our time, it’s the dramedy. If there’s a word for it, it’s LOLsob. Against this backdrop of angsty irresolution comes a third season of One Day at a Time, an almost unbelievably traditional sitcom that has stoutly resisted the downcast trend. Gloria Calderón Kellett and Mike Royce’s show is the antithesis of edgy reinvention. It’s the sobLOL of television...It insists (and this might be a light philosophical intervention) that life is hard, but laugh-out-loud joy is essential to being able to deal. It supplies resolutions that aren’t quite ambitious enough to be answers, but it makes up for their shortcomings with fun. Rita Moreno, playing the grandmother Lydia, is a party unto herself and really sells the healing properties of a good time."
- There should be room for One Day at a Time when there are nearly 500 scripted shows
- Netflix may be rewriting the TV rulebook with TV shows lasting two to three seasons
- One Day at a Time would have to wait years to join another streaming service, but the wait is less restrictive for broadcast and cable
- Lin-Manuel Miranda to ABC: One Day at a Time would look perfect on your network