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Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About One Day at a Time

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
Prepare to be surprised! For this list, we’re taking a look at fun facts related to the Netflix original series “One Day at a Time”. Our list includes Norman Lear is involved, it’s not a reboot, the show never mentions Donald Trump by name, the characters are inspired by real people, Rita Moreno had a specific request for her character, and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About One Day at a Time.
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Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About One Day at a Time


Prepare to be surprised! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About “One Day at a Time.”

For this list, we’re taking a look at fun facts related to the Netflix original series “One Day at a Time”.

#10: It’s Not a Reboot


Rebooting shows from the ‘80s and ‘90s is all the rage these days. “One Day at a Time”, which is based on a sitcom of the same name that aired from 1975-84, decided to take a different approach. Dubbed a “re-imagining”, the show takes inspiration from the original while infusing it with new life thanks to a primarily Latino cast. The plots and characters have been updated to accommodate the new approach. The only holdover from the original series is Schneider. However, aside from the name and the fact that both characters live in the building, they’re completely different characters.

#9: Norman Lear Is Involved


TV producer Norman Lear has had a hand in crafting some of the medium’s most iconic programs. “All in the Family”, “The Jeffersons” and “Sanford and Son” are just some of the shows he’s developed, in addition to the original “One Day at a Time”. And despite being in his 90s, Lear is still going strong in the industry in the 2010s; serving as an executive producer on the new iteration of “One Day at a Time”. As such, the show is packed with Lear-isms and follows his formula of deftly combining comedy and drama to maximum effect.

#8: The Characters Are Inspired by Real People


“One Day at a Time” may not be a reboot, but the characters had to come from somewhere, right? To achieve a stronger sense of realism in how the characters behaved, Norman Lear told showrunners Mike Royce and Gloria Calderon Kellett to draw on their own personal experiences. While developing Rita Moreno’s character, Kellett used her own mother for inspiration, while Royce used his children; who happen to be around the same ages as the kids on the show. To this he pointed out that, “they’re old enough where they’re sort of weirdly flattered, but also scared.” We would be too if our dad was mining our home life for ideas for his TV show

#7: The Show Never Mentions Donald Trump by Name


Despite taking on issues like racism and immigration regularly, “One Day at a Time”’s writers have made it a point not to mention Trump by name. While it would be easy to take pot shots at the president, whose aggressive stances on both aforementioned topics have been well documented, Calderón Kellett has held back. The reasoning for this is two-fold and comes with the stipulation that your tongue remain glued to your cheek. For starters, the writers have no way of knowing whether or not Trump will still be in office by the time an episode airs; what with his numerous legal problems. Second, Trump says and does an inordinate number of things every week, making it impossible for the show to keep up while remaining topical.

#6: Netflix Trolled "Roseanne" by Promoting "One Day at a Time"


In May of 2018 Roseanne Barr, star of the ABC sitcom “Roseanne”, posted a tweet deemed highly racist about former Barack Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett. ABC was quick to condemn Barr’s comments, with network president Channing Dungey calling them “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values" before cancelling “Roseanne”. In response, Netflix posted the following advertisement: “Reminder: One Day At A Time is a sitcom about a tight-knit, working class family that tackles extremely topical social issues in a smart and innovative way. Ya know, if you're suddenly looking for a show like that...." The tweet played off the fact that both shows had a similar premise, but that “One Day at a Time” was, you know, still airing.

#5: There’s Plenty of Latin Representation


Representation matters. It matters because Latinos have for far too long been portrayed on screen in only a handful of ways. “One Day at a Time” prides itself on its diversity, both on screen and off. Stars Isabella Gomez and Rita Moreno are from Colombia and Puerto Rico respectively and most of the other cast members are of Hispanic descent. The show is equally diverse behind the scenes, featuring writers from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as members of LGBTQ community. “It’s not 12 white guys in a room,” says showrunner Mike Royce.

#4: Mackenzie Phillips Is the Only Cast Member from the Original to Have a Cameo


Actress Mackenzie Phillips made a name for herself in the ‘70s and ‘80s playing Julie Cooper Horvath on the original “One Day at a Time”. In 2017, she become the first member of the original cast to appear on the reimagined version of the show. Phillips plays Pam Valentine, the leader of a support group for veterans with PTSD that Penelope Alvarez attends in season one. Phillips may be the only OG “One Day at a Time” cast member to have a cameo, but her former co-star Michael Lembeck, who played her on-screen husband Max Horvath, directed the season one episode “Sex Talk”.

#3: It's Inspiring More Latino-Focused TV Series


Due to its continued success, “One Day at a Time” has paved the way for a wave of new Latino-centric shows. Viewers can expect a “Party of Five” reimagining in 2019 that will focus on five Mexican-American children who must learn to cope after their parents are deported. Additionally, an English-language remake of the Spanish series “Gran Hotel” will premiere on ABC in June of 2019. The show was partially developed by Eva Longoria and theTejano actress will serve as a producer. 2019 promises to be a big year for Latino representation on the small screen!

#2: Rita Moreno Had a Specific Request for Her Character


Despite playing a grandmother on “One Day at a Time”, actress Rita Moreno, who is in her 80s, demanded that her character “be sexual”. The actress, whose character is a Cuban refugee who escaped to America after Fidel Castro seized power, claims that she told the showrunners that “Just because she’s old, or older, does not mean that all of that good stuff goes away.” We aren’t sure if she’s talking about herself or her on-screen counterpart, but seeing as how it’s a topic that’s rarely depicted on TV in a serious way, we’re all for it!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:

Showrunners Gloria Calderón Kellett & Mike Royce Have Worked on Some Big Sitcoms

Justina Machado Is Older Than Todd Grinnell

Gloria Estefan Sings the Theme Song

#1: There's a Strong Attention to Detail


As previously mentioned, the “One Day at a Time” writers’ room is one of television’s most diverse. With a vast array of knowledge at their disposal, they’ve managed to create a show that doesn’t skimp when it comes to making things as authentic as possible. For instance, Lydia’s love of the perfume Agua de Violetas is a shout out to something real Cuban mothers use to make their babies smell good! The show is littered with tiny winks and nods to Latino and Hispanic culture, ones that Vanity Fair writer Laura Bradley says, “are a crucial component of the show’s delicate high-wire act,” one that must be maintained so that the show remains accessible to mainstream audiences while continuing to cater to their Latino base.
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