Whenever Hollywood announces a reboot, there’s some hesitancy from fans of the original movie or series. Will the new version completely destroy the nostalgia and all the good things about the original? Or will it be a fitting tribute that old and new fans can enjoy? So far, it seems that Netflix's One Day At A Time reboot falls into the latter category, thanks to its solid combination of updates and similarities to the original sitcom.
The original series ran from 1975 to 1984 and followed a divorced mother who scoops her two daughters up and moves them to an apartment in Indianapolis. Netflix’s One Day At A Time focuses on a Cuban-American family of three generations — a divorced former military mom (Justina Machado), her two teens (a son and a daughter this time), and her mother, played by the legendary Rita Moreno. Mom is navigating the single, post-military life, the kids are navigating a changing world, and Rita Moreno is just being a star.
Though it may seem different at the onset, there are many similarities between the two versions of the show, including that Norman Lear — who created the original series — is producing the reboot. And writer and executive producer Gloria Calderon Kellett tells Bustle that the two shows' biggest similarity is their focus on real issues.
“That is the biggest thing the original series does for us. It gives us an opportunity to say, ‘These kinds of stories still need to be told,’" Kellett says. "The issues that Norman was tackling in 1975 with his show is stuff that — you know they did a CBS retrospective and they tried to get clips from his original series, and they couldn't air them on television today because standards and practices wouldn't allow stuff that was on their network 30 years ago. So, it's incredible that we're able to tell these provocative stories in a family setting, the way it would organically happen for this family.”
One Day At A Time — both the original and the reboot — have mass appeal because they talk about things people can relate to and may have experienced in their own lives. To star Justina Machado, the fact that a female showrunner, Latino cast, and diverse crew is now telling those stories only increases their impact. "We're portraying ourselves the way we deserve to be portrayed," she says. "We're telling the stories that are universal stories, and we're employing each other and supporting each other, and building each other up. So, I think that it is going to be a domino effect."
And the first season of the new One Day At A Time is just the beginning — Kellett already has a long list of stories she wants to tell. “I want to talk about so much stuff that we haven't talked about yet,” she says, “You're going to have to watch Season 2 to find out, but we have a lot more to say.”
Additional reporting by Samantha Rullo