Something funny is happening over at Netflix. The on-demand streaming behemoth that brought us groundbreaking digital series like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and even Baz Luhrmann’s up-coming The Get Down, might be starting to catch a case the ole Hollywood flu. What’s that, you ask? According to medical science, the Hollywood flu is when your brain gets so overwhelmed by talk of profit margins and audience reports that you become incapable of producing original ideas.
Of course, it might be premature to throw around such a grave diagnosis, but we have just gotten word that Netflix will be complimenting their first incursion into the multi-camera sitcom format, Fuller House, with yet another classic sitcom reboot — though this one may be a little harder to remember. From 1975-84, One Day at a Time was one of power producer Norman Lear’s most popular network sitcoms, complimenting revolutionary television fare like All in the Family and The Jeffersons with the story of a single mom raising two teenaged daughters on the west side of Indianapolis.
Created by Whitney Blake and Allan Manings, One Day at a Time pushed the boundaries of representation by focusing on a female-headed household — which at the time was seen as wholly non-traditional — and even incorporated themes associated with Second Wave Feminism. This time around, such conceits may not have the same punch, but Netflix and the Sony TV production house have thrown a little sazón in the mix by making the family Cuban-American.
This would presumably allow writers Gloria Calderon Kellet (How I Met Your Mother) and Mike Royce (Everybody Loves Raymond) to explore issues of race, class, assimilation, and cultural continuity, but that may be a lot to expect from a sitcom reboot. We do know that the Netflix version will feature Rita Moreno in the role of an old-school Cuban-born abuela helping her daughter raise a rebellious teen daughter and astute tween son. That’s sort of like inviting you to a boring office party and telling you Beyoncé is going to be there. Where do we RSVP?
So we’ll let this one slide, Netflix, but easy on the reboots. We don’t want to break out the Vivaporú.