Why ‘One Day at a Time’ Should Have Outlived ‘Fuller House’

One Day at a Time – the Netflix original series recently canceled due to insufficient viewership – was one of, if not the most important and culturally relevant show on television.

'One Day at a Time' Cast
‘One Day at a Time’ Cast | Photo by Rachel Luna/Getty Images

Exploring LGBT+ issues, sexual consent, immigration, and psychological health, the show brought a breathtaking degree of heart to the sitcom sphere. While never foraying too far into melancholy, the creators – Gloria Calderón Kellett and Mike Royce – perfectly balanced social commentary with comedy.

Inspired by Norman Lear’s 1975 drama of the same name, the Netflix original took a contemporary approach to the source material. The revamp follows Penelope, a war veteran and mother of two, as she and her family navigate life’s day-to-day challenges as middle-class Cuban Americans in Los Angeles.

‘One Day at a Time’ was more than a sitcom

One Day at a Time granted a voice to extremely underrepresented populations in modern media. Immigrant families do not receive enough media exposure; One Day at a Time was attempting to change that, and it was succeeding.

One Day at a Time, boasting a 98% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, became an instant sensation among scrutinizing critics and everyday viewers who were lucky enough to stumble upon it while scrolling through Netflix.

According to the critics’ consensus, the last season “manages to up th comedy ante without losing the intimate family moments that help it hit so close to home.”

One Day at a Time hits so close to home because anyone can relate to the story. Not to mention, including a lesbian daughter struggling with her identity, an alcoholic neighbor in need of a family, and a grandmother a bit set in her old-school ways, the show is not afraid to venture away from the “sitcom safe zones” to deliver a story that is more sincere, and more poignant.

The Netflix original could not have come at a more appropriate time. In a nation divided under a Trump administration, One Day at a Time reminded us all of what truly matters: family. And at the same time, it begged viewers to reflect on their values and society’s current predicament…all while allowing Rita Moreno to make a few grand entrance and dance her way back into our hearts.

Why ‘Fuller House’ pales in comparison

Fuller Houseas light and as poorly acted as it ever was – does deserve its place on television. It’s easy to watch, and it’s easy to enjoy. However, with viewership and ratings down, the show is set to end after the upcoming fifth season. With two shows – One Day at a Time and Fuller House –failing to bring in necessary viewers, Netflix should have kept the one with a greater social impact.

Fuller House, like its predecessor, always ends with a hug and a smile. And, while it is a sitcom, fails to bring anything unique to the table. The reboot follows in Full House’s footsteps and relies on the nostalgia factor to sneak its way back into viewers’ hearts.

One Day at a Time, while offering a nostalgic reimagining, does not rely on its predecessor’s groundwork for success. Instead, One Day at a Time virtually reinvents sitcom standards to forge a nostalgic, yet utterly contemporary experience.

Somehow, Fuller House managed to make it to a fifth season, and One Day at a Time failed to see a fourth. While we would love to solely blame Netflix, this paints an interesting picture as to where society truly is as compared to where we would like it to be.