Entertainment

Queer Latinas Have A Very Relatable Character In ODAAT’s Elena Alvarez

Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” is truly one of the only sitcom comedies so many people have been able to relate to. Based on the CBS sitcom of the same name, Netflix upped its relevance by basing the story around a Cuban-American family. The show features a single mom, who is also a veteran suffering from PTSD; an abuelita Cuban immigrant; her pet grandson who can do no wrong; and Elena Alvarez, a teenage girl coming to terms with her sexuality.

Watching a gay Latina, well-played by straight ally Isabella Gomez, navigate teenagehood in an overprotective Latino home is a world of difference from similar shows targeting white audiences. Often, our experiences don’t come close to the loving response Elena gets, but seeing it come to fruition for a fictional character is everything. Here are some of the times Elena was the queer Latina representation that has been missing for too long.

We said it to our mami’s over and over again and they thought we were wacky feminists.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Well, it was all true. Elena’s mom’s response was like all of ours: “I know, honey, but you’ll find the right boy and then you’ll know.” Nope. There never was a right boy.

We all had one best friend that we called wifey and held hands with.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

You didn’t have romantic feelings for them (or maybe you did), but the intimacy you craved most was with girls and your lesbian heart knows no depths of love for your BFF. 

IRL, Gomez is besties with her on-screen bestie, played by Ariela Barer.

You were excited about saving the planet as a teenager.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Sure, the activist lesbian is a stereotype, but I haven’t found a fellow queero who wasn’t either vegan, plastic-free, or concerned about world affairs as a teenager. The world needs us.

You were the feminist authority in the house.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Before Elena’s sexuality ever came into question on the show, she was teaching Feminism 101 to all the generations that came before her. Same.

And you were never trying to be ladylike.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

The “how are you going to get a husband with Cheetos for fingers?” worked nothing on us. No me importa.

You were a constant disappointment for your lack of enthusiasm for beauty products.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

My mom threw away my skater Vans in a public dumpster to force me to buy different shoes or walk home barefoot, HBU?

Your reaction to kissing a boy for the first time was something like this:

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

I mean, it usually wasn’t, right? 🤞Elena thought that if there was ever a boy that she would like, it would be cutie pie Josh. Raise your hand if you gave yourself this test before just letting yourself be gay? 🙋‍♀️

Your abuela or tías kept trying to force boys onto you.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Or Elena onto Josh, in this case. Or your cousins kept calling you a snob for not being into the cutest boy on the block. “What, are you too good for him?” Uh, probably, yes.

When Elena justifies her attraction to Josh because he likes “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

These are solid reasons, Elena. Most people don’t have to write a list of nice things about a person to convince them they like them. Take note, baby gays.

“I feel more when I see a photo of Kristen Stewart than I do when I’m kissing him.”

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

During Elena’s official coming out to her mom, it all clicked for Lupe right here in this moment. For my mom it was, “I had a feeling. You always made a disgusting face when I mentioned cojones.”

It’s like, you’re my mother. Who wouldn’t make a face?

When it’s so complicated figuring out if the girl you like also likes girls (and you)…

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Sometimes, you have to revert to cave speak. Let’s be real, coming out at any age is like resetting the clock to a 12-year-old boy. Eyes up, eyes up.

ODAAT devotes so much good screen time to getting Elena’s S.O., Syd’s pronouns right.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

They identify as they/them and when Elena’s mom starts calling them girlfriends, these two set everyone straight. They spent half an episode trying to figure out a gender neutral, affectionate term for each other. 

And the right amount of awkwardness when Lupe gives Elena the ‘sex talk.’

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Lupe goes to her “lesbian Yoda”, played by Judy Reyes, for advice and comes back with this. K…

When Elena’s dramatic abuela tells her how to come out of the closet.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Apparently, flamingo style and with lots of flair. Lydia proves to be a priceless element of what it means to be queer and Latina.

Having to explain to her abuela identifying as gay is important by bringing up her Cubanidad.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

How many times have we heard someone’s abuela complain about why the gays have to have their own parade? But, yeah, we’re here to build the floats for all your Cuban parades, too.

When the abuela is in pure denial about the other gays in the family.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

“How is that gay?”

Literally, they all went to her wedding but Lydia eventually confesses she thought it was just a “very affectionate BBQ.” 

When Elena asked if she could wear Docs with her quince dress. 💀

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

I’m dead. When her abuela surprised her with a pantsuit instead of a poofy dress on her big day, I was sobbing right along with Elena.

Of course, what’s being a queer Latina without a homophobic dad to throw into the mix.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Luckily, he ends up coming around, but not before bailing on her at her own quince. ODAAT isn’t the fantasy world of what we all wish our childhood could have been. The machismo is real, and it made her dad bounce during the father-daughter dance.

Seeing Elena dance the father-daughter dance with her mami had us all 😭 😭 😭 

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Above all, this is a show about strong, empowered women, of all sexualities, ages, and interests coming together. There’s a reason why therapists are prescribing this show to their lesbian Latina clients (it me.)

We ultimately get to see Elena become comfortable and confident in her identity.

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

When she confronts her father again and someone made a hat that said V.A.G. (short for Victor Alvarez Guapísimo), he refused to wear it. This. 😂 

And watch her family climb on board…

CREDIT: One Day At A Time / Netflix

Granted, Lydia had to become accidentally super duper high to make this realization, but, yes, the opera is gay. ; ) If you are, too, we highly recommend “One Day at a Time,” now streaming all three seasons on Netflix.

READ: The All-Time Best Quotes From Lydia On ODAAT That Are Too Relatable

It’s Just Around The Corner! ‘One Day At A Time’ Has An Official Return Date

Entertainment

It’s Just Around The Corner! ‘One Day At A Time’ Has An Official Return Date

Netflix

It’s almost here, mi gente! 

Your favorite Cuban-American family is set to make its second television debut, this time on Pop TV, this coming Spring. After being canceled by Netflix earlier this year, the Alvarez family will prove that Cubanos can withstand just about anything when they return in March 2020 with 13 new episodes. 

Speaking recently about the series, writers for the show have given fans a few hints about what to expect. 

The “One Day At A Time” writer’s room is only a few weeks into creating the series, but they’re proving the show will be back with fervor. 

Netflix

Speaking during a Vulture Festival panel the series’ writers boasted that its new home on Pop TV means some pretty exciting things for the Alvarez family. Now, instead of streaming all at once, the new season will run weekly. 

“We’re so excited!” creator Gloria Calederon Kellett told Vulture during the panel. “We get to have a breath between each episode.” Creators behind the show have said that the decision to do a weekly release schedule comes with the hope that it will mean more consistent audience engagement with the show. Because of the show’s shorter airing window, Pop TV hopes to introduce more topical and poignant storylines. Which is pretty incredible considering the series was already doing that pretty well to begin with. All of this also means that the series will have a more traditional network sitcom runtime and format. I.E.L commercials.

The news was a pretty big surprise to EGOT  Rita Moreno who exclaimed incredulously during the panel: “We’re gonna have commercials?!” 

 “I’m sorry,” Maria Elena Fernandez, a moderator for the Vulture panel replied to Moreno during the reveal. “I didn’t mean to break it to you this way.”

Creators of the show also teased some series storylines which might include seeing  Moreno’s Lydia character falling in love with Dr. Berkowitz who is played by Stephen Tobolowsky.

Earlier this year, when news that Netflix had canceled the critically acclaimed show “One Day at a Time” hit Twitter, many were feared the entire site would be burned down. News that the beloved comedy-drama, which followed the life of a Cuban American family, had officially been canceled spurned various criticisms of Netflix and backlash from the show’s fanbase. Netflix users decried the decision accusing the site of giving POC viewers low priority and nearly no visibility through its shows. Some canceled their Netflix accounts altogether and even started hashtags to do the same. To say the least, fans were devastated.  

So when the TV channel PopTV announced that fans had convinced them enough to save the series and buy it for their own, Latino viewers were beyond elated.

Earlier this fall it became officially official that the Alvarez family is truly returning.

According to an image shared straight from the “One Day At A Time’s” writer’s room, creators of the series are already tapping out the new season’s scripts. On Monday, ODAAT’s series producer Mike Royce posted an image of the series’ sign at their new offices on Twitter. In his post, he revealed that the writers would start working on the show this past Wednesday.

If it’s three other earlier seasons can be any indication, ODAAT’s 4th season will undoubtedly be a major hit. Since its 2017 debut, the series starring EGOT winner Rita Moreno and actress Justina Machado has garnered copious amounts of praise from fans and critics for its portrayal of Latix culture in today’s Post-Trump world. For its work in portraying the trials and tribulations of its diverse LGBTQ+  and Latin American characters. The series has also tackled political issues related to Trump-inspired racist attacks and slurs as well as the portrayal of mental health in the military community. 

When news that PopTV had saved the beloved series, nearly everyone was elated.

No doubt, decisions to buy the show had been motivated by petitions and hashtags to #SaveODAAT. Various Latino names in the entertainment industry began to tweet about the series in support. This included Broadway star and Hamilton hitmaker Lin-Manuel Miranda who posted a series of tweets to his Twitter account to #SaveODAAT as well.

When it was finally announced that the series had been saved by Pop TV the outlet’s president, Brad Schwartz, released a statement saying “How amazing it is to be involved with this brilliant and culturally significant series that deals with important themes one minute while making you laugh the next. We couldn’t be more proud to continue telling heartwarming stories of love, inclusion, acceptance, and diversity that pull on your emotions while putting a smile on your face.”

Needless to say, as pleased as fans are for the new series and its renewal, they really can’t wait.

I mean basically, at this point it is kind of a tragedy that we have to wait. But everyone is still pumped. And for real ready for production and streaming to begin. Because this show is a gift beyond gifts.

With so much representation, there’s literally a character for everyone to feel seen. 

One user in the comments section of Mike Royce’s thread pointed out that the show isn’t just for those who are Latino.”I showed my Cuban spouse the episode not yet yesterday and we were all bawling on the couch frequently pausing for them to talk about how their Mami would also say try again tomorrow and how every time they were in hospital the entire family showed up,” user @danielzklein said. “I’m just saying this show is a god damned gift to the world. How is it so good and so heartfelt and so brave to go to dark places without the copout of a joke at the most intense moment and how is it still so laugh out loud funny the rest of the time.” 

And more importantly, this series is a savior in so many ways.

And not only are we beyond excited that the series means more representation on screen. It also means the Rita Moreno remains employed and on our screens.

Yes to ODAAT and the power of its fans!

Pop TV Has Saved ‘One Day At A Time’ And This Is Not A Drill, Y’all

Entertainment

Pop TV Has Saved ‘One Day At A Time’ And This Is Not A Drill, Y’all

odaatnetflix / Instagram

“One Day at a Time” is back. After strong fan support and a campaign to bring back the acclaimed series, Pop TV has announced that it has picked up the popular series canceled by Netflix earlier this year, for a 13-episode fourth season. According to Vulture, the series is set for a 2020 return and will also air the first three seasons of the show, which will also continue to stream on Netflix.

As well as airing on Pop TV, “One Day at a Time” will run repeats on CBS meaning the show will return to where the original series aired over 40 years ago.

Credit:@toddgrinnell/Twitter

According to Deadline, while some canceled shows have previously been picked up by Netflix, this is the first time a scripted series canceled by the streaming service has found a new home. This is just another example of how transcendent and popular the series has been since it returned back in 2017.

“How amazing it is to be involved with this brilliant and culturally significant series that deals with important themes one minute while making you laugh the next,” Brad Schwartz, Pop TV president, said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more proud to continue telling heartwarming stories of love, inclusion, acceptance, and diversity that pull on your emotions while putting a smile on your face.”

It seemed at some points that the series wasn’t going to make a return but with fan support anything is possible.

When the series was initially canceled back in March, fans and stars of the show were upset. Many credited the show for being one of the lone series with Latino representations on television. Netflix said low viewership numbers were to blame for the canceling but many didn’t buy that.

Fans soon rallied around the show on social media as producers at Sony Television had begun exploring other options for the show. Using the hashtag #SaveODAAT, fans called on a new platform to pick up the critically acclaimed series.

But for the past few months, it was unclear whether the show would ever come back. Today, showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett broke the news on Twitter and it set off a firestorm of excitement through the fandom.

“WE’RE BACK! Thanks to every fan who made #saveodaat trend worldwide, ONE DAY AT A TIME is heading to POP TV & we couldn’t be more excited! We have many more stories to tell about & we can’t wait to share them with you!

Reaction to the series returning has been met with joy and praise across social media.

Credit:@wichsrodgers

There is well-deserved reason to celebrate the return of ODAAT. One of them being the show’s inclusiveness and representation of various characters. It was this reason many felt the show deserved a second chance and now it will get an even bigger platform.

“I still can’t believe Netflix canceled One Day At A Time and fucked over Rita Moreno like of all the people you’re gonna cancel a show on, they had to cancel a living legend? And now a random channel came and saved the day? I’d be straight up embarrassed to be Netflix right now,” one user wrote on Twitter.

ODAAT is only going to grow in popularity now and we can thank it’s loyal fans for supporting and campaigning for its return.

Credit:@wperiyasamy

While details of the new season are yet to be released, we do know that Season 4 will see the Cuban-American family dealing with new challenges. This includes Elena entering her senior year of high school, Penelope moving up in her medical career and of course, more of Lydia.

We can hardly wait for the new season already. But at this point, we’re all just happy to see this much-needed series find a new home. We think Rita Morena said it perfectly about the show’s return.

“SAVEODAAT is old news…#MoreODAAT is more like it!! Thank you @PopTV #ODAAT @OneDayAtATime we’re backkkk!”

READ: Netflix Canceled ‘One Day At A Time’ And Fans Are Livid With The Network’s Decision