‘One Day At a Time’ Isn’t Going to Let Go of Its Troubled Netflix Past

TV reboots are hardly rare, but it’s rarer when a revival of a popular sitcom happens to become a better product than its original incarnation. One Day At a Time is a good example of taking a once popular Norman Lear sitcom from the ’70s and ’80s and turning it into a more socially aware comedy-drama.

Those who grew up with the original series may remember it as just being a comfortable family dramedy. Because it came from Norman Lear, it wasn’t afraid to tackle some important issues of the day.

The new Netflix version did a flip-flop and made the family Cuban-American. Plus, the issues covered have become more complex, even if it’s still not afraid to mock pop culture. When it returns on Pop TV March 24, it’s going to have a little poke at Netflix, which is classic Lear.

Ribbing Netflix in the ‘One Day At a Time’ reboot/reboot

The cast of 'One Day at a Time'
The cast of ‘One Day at a Time’ | Rachel Luna/Getty Images

One could say bringing One Day At a Time to Pop TV after being canceled on Netflix is the first reboot of a revival, or vice versa. Had it not have been for Netflix picking up the series originally in 2017, nobody would have realized its value as the perfect reformulated sitcom of our day.

Because Netflix arguably gets more viewers than Pop TV does, some might find it sad One Day At a Time won’t be on a streaming service anymore. At least it gained a loyal following from Netflix, something the creative team seems to continually reiterate.

At the same time, there was also a lot of consternation about the cancelling  of the show when it seemed it had adequate viewership. According to Netflix, many of their original shows only have a shelf life of a few years because many supposedly attract only niche audiences.

Whatever the real truth is, no one may ever know since Netflix doesn’t reveal how they tabulate ratings. All of this confusion made Netflix ripe for being satirized. The new Pop TV edition of One Day At a Time is about to do this in their Season Four debut.

The Netflix joke will only be brief

According to a recent Entertainment Weekly preview of the sitcom revival, the show will have a scene with the family talking about watching something on Netflix. Alex (Marcel Ruiz) will reportedly reply: “No, it’s like there’s nothing good on Netflix anymore.”

Those familiar with Norman Lear sitcoms of the past (particularly All in the Family) will know he never wavered on going after pop culture. All in the Family was the one that did it the best, often chiding those who worked for the same network (CBS).

It isn’t known whether the Netflix dig was Lear’s idea since he’s letting others do most of the creative work. However, it certainly seems like it came from him since he’s also been known for going after those in states of power.

Whoever came up with the idea, Gloria Calderón Kellett (co-creator of the new show) said to Entertainment Weekly above they were still good friends with those at Netflix. She said it’s just a gentle joke, something past Lear sitcoms haven’t always done.

Will ‘One Day At a Time’ rib other pop culture on Pop TV?

One may argue this new Pop TV edition of the show may constrain it in some ways since it’s known for being a more family-friendly network. On Netflix, there was free opportunity to do whatever they wanted, not including full episode dumps.

In some ways, the constraint is good since it allows shows to take digs at networks and censors. Lear’s All in the Family went after everybody relentlessly, sometimes to the chagrin of CBS executive brass.

At least everyone can expect this continuing version of One Day At a Time to continue going after one subject the Netflix edition did: Issues related to immigration as still the hottest topic.