‘One Day at a Time’ – New home, same topical themes
For its fourth season, “One Day at a Time” will have a new network and a slightly different format but with the same premise of a Cuban-American family’s life in Los Angeles.
Premiering Tuesday, March 24, the retelling of creator Norman Lear’s classic 1975-84 sitcom moves over to the cablenet Pop TV after three seasons on streaming giant Netflix, to continue the story of the Alvarez family through the experiences of matriarch Lydia (Rita Moreno), daughter Penelope (Justina Machado), her children Elena and Alex (Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz), building superintendent Schneider (Todd Grinnell) and family friend and Penelope’s boss Dr. Berkowitz (Stephen Tobolowsky).
Among the new season’s storylines, Penelope will explore a surprising relationship, Schneider’s romance with Avery (India de Beaufort) deepens, Elena and Alex experience rites of passage and Lydia’s will-they-or-won’t-they relationship with Berkowitz will continue to play out amid the tropical landscape of Cuba, where they were seen puffing on cigars at the close of Season 3.
“We are going to get to see Cuba. That much I know, right?” Moreno told a recent gathering of journalists in Pasadena, Calif. “But I have no idea, and I just love it that Berkowitz is involved, and … I hope (viewers) loved that ending with the two of us smoking cigars.”
“I still don’t know if I trust it or not,” Tobolowsky adds. “I don’t know if a ticket to Cuba is enough for me to trust this relationship. But I love the fact that the writers also – as well as I – believed that the course of true love never runs smooth, and that’s been my life, life. So I am very much looking forward to what bumps we’ll find along the road still to come.”
Viewers will also notice a subtle change in how the series is filmed. Shot in front of a live audience, the four-camera comedy now airs on an ad-supported network, meaning that acts will have to be written to accommodate commercial breaks, something that was not a consideration on streaming. Otherwise, everything else is the same, including its usual mix topical themes and family relationships.
“It is a universal story about family and love,” Machado says. “We just happen to be Cuban Americans on the show.”