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YMMV / One Day at a Time (2017)

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  • Anvilicious:
    • The fact that Penelope and several minor characters were military gets mentioned often in the first season but wasn't too bad. The second season, however, has it mentioned at least Once an Episode and, barring mention of Penelope's PTSD, it's always in a positive light and even has Penelope talk about how she's so glad to have served and mentions her approval of someone else serving in the IDF. Made doubly cringe-worthy when the flashback episode has Victor saying he's re-enlisting after the September 11 attacks to "fight terrorism and protect [his] daughter's freedoms". All of it comes off almost like military propaganda.
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    • The episode "Strays" has an obvious and explicit pro-immigration message. Not surprising considering the shows's co-writer and most of the actors are either immigrants themselves or come from immigrant families.
  • Awesome Music: Gloria Estefan singing the theme song, which is also a spiced up version of the original.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Some of the jokes about Schneider's addiction fall into this. Schneider telling Penelope about ending up on a three day bender and waking up in an alley after having a beer? Not funny. Finding out it was a bowling alley and him getting hit with a bowling ball? Funny.
    • Penelope finally gets her close relationship with her cousin back when their mothers patch up their differences...and then it turns out she’s a Donald Trump supporter. The episode ends right there.
    • Lydia telling her family how their Tío Rico wooed her sister Mimi by abducting her from her room in the middle of the night, believing it to be a romantic story while everyone else looks at her horrified.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Carmen, Elena's goth best friend, for having some great lines, as well as a deeply sympathetic storyline when her parents get deported.
    • Syd, Elena's significant other. Both for being, well, Elena's partner, but also for being adorable, as well as a rare nonbinary character on television.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Fuller House, whom some fans accuse Netflix of favoring more than any other sitcom despite supposedly being inferior. It doesn't help that ODAAT took relatively long to be renewed for a third season.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Penelope and Schneider are strictly Platonic Life-Partners and Just Friends on the show. This does not stop the fandom from shipping them.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With Jane the Virgin, another liberal female-centric story about a Latino Multigenerational Household. Machado and Moreno have roles on that show as well.
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    • With Wynonna Earp; in addition to both shows having lesbian characters in the main cast and thus a huge following of queer women, when both shows were in danger of cancellation in 2019 fans and creators of both showed their support for each other online.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • A few plotlines in season two, such as Elena's stress over Lydia's and Schneider's immigration status and Penelope and Lydia's discussion on gun ownership, considering the season aired right on the tails of a government shutdown due to opposing parties' inability to compromise on immigration, and 11 school shootings in the first few weeks of January.
    • In the first season, Lydia and Dr. Berkowitz's She Is Not My Girlfriend status is played for laughs. Come season two, she reveals why she wasn't able to emotionally commit to a real relationship with him: she still carries a torch for her late husband, and feels like moving on would be betraying him.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Justina Machado has always done a great job, both with comedy and the more emotional moments, but the episode "Hello, Penelope" is really on a whole new level. The recording she makes at the end of the episode is harrowing.
    • Similarly, Isabella Gómez gets a chance to show off her chops in "What Happened?", when Elena tells Victor off. The anger and sadness is palpable.
    • In the same scene, James Martinez shines in what is in some ways the harder role of silently taking the speech in, with his facial expressions and body language alone perfectly conveying that he knows he deserves every bit of it but still can't quite bring himself to accept Elena's sexuality yet.
    • "Not Yet" is an extremely emotional episode overall, with all the actors being at the top of their game, but Stephen Tobolowsky shocked a lot of people, since his character is usually comic relief. His Anguished Declaration of Love to Lydia was equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking, with a lot of viewers noting how surprisingly moving it was.
    • From the same episode, Todd Grinnell killed it with his monologue.
    • Sheridan Pierce gets to do more than just be an amiable dork when Syd angrily chews Elena out for being so wrapped up in her own wokeness that she'd been ignoring Syd's obvious hint dropping about how they'd gotten tired of the constant activism and just wanted to go on a normal date.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A Norman Lear show being remade by producers named Mike and Gloria.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Lydia never hid from anyone how much she had to go through to get where she is. She ran away from home, having to leave her older sister, mother and father behind at the age of 15, and build a life with Berto and her younger sisters while facing prejudice and racism when she got to the states. Despite that, she is still an upbeat and eccentric woman with a deep love for her life and family.
    • Penelope is a war veteran still facing a shoulder injury, a bad divorce and mental issues trying to raise her children. She manages to be happy and strong with her family around, with a motto that life is tough, and she should rejoice every joy she has been able to find.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • There's a decent-sized portion of the fanbase that only watches the show for Elena, as she's an out teenage lesbian for part of season 1 and all of seasons 2 and 3.
    • Others are just there to watch Rita Moreno steal all her scenes!
  • Les Yay: There's a bit between Penelope and Jill, especially when the family thinks they were on a date.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Most people weren't too worried when Lydia had a stroke and went into a coma, save a few concerns that her actress might leave the show to do another project — Rita Moreno is a busy woman.
  • Narm Charm: There's something about your typical audience-based sitcom that makes a show extremely corny nowadays, that such genre has been used to it's limits and even parodied more than a few times, however, between the acting, the genuine drama, the very much updated ideas of the show (LGBT representation, issues with immigration and how veterans are treated, etc) and the comedy, made the series a well loved breath of fresh air in the genre.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • "Outside" had a Black Comedy Burst in which Lydia shares the "romantic" story of how her sister Mimi got with her husband. Mimi rejected him at first... so he broke into her room, blindfolded her, and put her in his car for a drive. He took her out to his farm and told her if she married him, it'd be hers. Again, Lydia genuinely believes this was romantic. Everyone else is suitably horrified.
      Penelope: That's the plot of Taken 2!
    • "Anxiety" treats us to some visceral anxiety attacks, the scene changing to black and white as Penelope and then Elena imagine the worst possible outcome of a decision they just made.
    • From the Adult Fear perspective, "Drinking and Driving" gives us a very tense scene of Alex finding Schneider completely drunk in the building's laundry room, who proceeds to become aggressive towards Alex when trying to keep him from telling Penelope.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Rita Moreno's fellow Puerto Rican entertainment legend Ivonne Coll as Doc's new girlfriend, who gets into a catty bathroom fight with Lydia.
    • The oft-mentioned Sister Barbara finally appears in the flesh near the end of Season 2, played by Georgia Engel.
    • Alan Ruck as Schneider's Affably Evil, microaggression-dropping father.
    • More like one episode wonder: Gloria Estefan as Lydia's sister Mirtha.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • "Sylena" for Syd/Elena.
    • "Alvareider" for Penelope/Schneider.
  • Stoic Woobie: Carmen. Despite maintaining a polite but gloomy outlook, has suffered a lot through first season. Having her parents deported and becoming homeless, having to live in hiding in the Alvarez house before being sent to live with her brother in Austin. Although she still maintains contact with the family and is liking her life in Texas, she had to say goodbye to a lot of her friends, including her best friend Elena.
  • The Woobie:
    • Schneider's history was not great. Despite being from a wealthy family, his father would casually abuse him emotionally, that's if he even bothered to remember Schneider existed, was constantly thrown in the middle of the fights between him and his several women who used to be his nannies and was mostly raised by the help, leading him to a lifetime of substance abuse and going through 4 rehabs before finally managing to become sober and find a family with the Alvarez. Made worse in season three when his father shows up and spends most of the time belittling him and gives him a bottle of alcohol, both of which end up making him relapse.
    • As of the season 1 finale, Elena. Her father reacts badly to her coming out to him, resulting in humiliating her by running away in the middle of her quinces and letting her alone. Although she is able to find solace in the rest of her family, she still struggles with what he did, and when confronting him in season 2, she reveals to have spent a long time crying and angry at him, even leading to weight loss during that period.
    • It's hard not to feel sorry for Dr. Berkowitz. His entire family treats him like garbage, his daughters cause him nothing but pain and react to his attempts of disciplining them with lawsuits. To top it all off, he is hung up on Lydia, who plays Master of the Mixed Message due to her own hesitance to love another man besides her late husband Berto.
  • Too Good to Last: After season 3, the show got cancelled.
    • Fortunately, the trope didn't last as it got picked up by another network.

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