We’ve heard a lot about Netflix’s upcoming reboot of the classic 70s sitcom One Day at a Time – from writer Gloria Calderón-Kellett’s personal connection with its Cuban-American family to Rita Moreno’s appreciation for her male costars – but until now, we’ve had no idea what the whole thing would actually look like. For those unfamiliar, 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, and casting none other than Rita Moreno as an old-school Cuban-born abuela helping her daughter raise a rebellious teen daughter and astute tween son.
The sitcom’s brand-new trailer shows how this will all play out, with some pokes at casual racism and plenty of culturally specific humor around Latino staples like quinceañeras and abuela accents. Of course, Calderón-Kellett leaves plenty of room for the emotional ups and downs of family life, with matriarch Penelope’s backstory as a wounded veteran mixing social commentary with emotional heft.
Stylistically, however, Netflix’s spin One Day at a Time doesn’t seem to offer anything particularly new from the increasingly dated multi-camera, live studio audience-driven sitcoms that dominated the late 20th century. In fact, a brief taste of the show’s stilted timing, prosaic camera setups, and awkward audience laughter makes one wonder if this is a brazen play to gen X television nostalgia, or if the producers are really betting that this format can hold up in a post-Arrested Development comedy landscape. Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself.
One Day at a Time hits Netflix on January 6, 2016.