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One Day at a Time

Netflix’s revival of the ‘70s series is TV’s warmest, most welcoming family comedy.

One Day at a Time Ali Goldstein/Netflix
Emily St. James was a senior correspondent for Vox, covering American identities. Before she joined Vox in 2014, she was the first TV editor of the A.V. Club.

Netflix’s One Day at a Time probably shouldn’t be as good as it is. The 1970s sitcom it’s based on was one of the less creatively successful shows made under the auspices of legendary TV producer Norman Lear, and recent TV history is littered with remakes and reboots that struggle to prove they have a reason to exist.

What a relief, then, that the series is one of the warmest and most welcoming on TV. Showrunners Gloria Calderon-Kellett and Mike Royce have updated the original One Day at a Time by centering the modern iteration on three generations of a Cuban-American family, all living together in the same house. The show’s warmth is evident, its cast sparkles, and the live studio audience laughter doesn’t grate because you’re laughing, too.

Now in season three, the series has reached a new level of emotional and thematic complexity, with storytelling that neatly blends serialized, season-long elements and more immediate episodic pleasures. It’s a true TV gem.

“The series proves itself to have a sophistication of storytelling on a level that many traditional sitcoms can only aspire to.” Liz Shannon Miller, Indiewire

Metacritic score: 82 out of 100

Where to watch: One Day at a Time is streaming on Netflix.

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