One Day at a Time
excellent = 4 stars; good = 3 stars;
fair = 2 stars, poor = 1 star
One Day at a Time's third season
This reboot of the 1970s Norman Lear sitcom was canceled by Netflix in 2019 after three seasons, but soon picked up by the CBS streaming service Pop TV for a fourth season in 2020. It features nurse lead character Penelope Alvarez, a Cuban-American veteran who served as a nurse with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. Now living in East Los Angeles, she practices with a goofy older primary care physician, and as the third season ended she had just become a nurse practitioner. Penelope struggles as a single mother with two school-aged kids and depression linked to her wartime experience. The show is mainly a traditional home-based sitcom exploring social issues, not health care. Still, Penelope has engaged in patient education and advocacy. In the third season, though, the nursing element was focused mainly on the final stages of Penelope's preparation to become an NP, a plotline that was inaccurate and damaging. Penelope repeatedly freaked out about how challenging her studies were, having nightmares about missing diagnoses, which was helpful to an extent in showing that becoming an NP is challenging. But the show also presented NP education as largely a process of independent study for an "NP test" (which it half-jokingly compared to Penelope's daughter's SAT exam in episode 9), with occasional mentoring from Penelope's physician colleague, rather than a university degree program run by nursing professors. In episode 13, Penelope graduated from "Our City of Angels Nursing School." Her family cheered and waved a Cuban flag. But the ceremony was in a small room with few academic trappings; it could have been a non-university certificate program. She was thrilled to arrive at work later to see her name plate below the physician's, reading "Penelope Alvarez F.N.P." (no degree). Penelope has been portrayed as a committed and knowledgeable nurse. But so far those benefits have been undermined by the limits of her practice at the outpatient office and, especially, by the show's undervaluation of nursing education. See the Netflix site for One Day at a Time for more information about the show. Capsule summary as part of the 2019 Fall TV preview...
One Day at a Time's second season
This Netflix reboot of the pioneering 1970s Norman Lear sitcom about a single mother will be back in early 2019 with a third season featuring nurse lead character Penelope Alvarez and her family in East Los Angeles. Alavarez is a Cuban-American military veteran who served as a nurse with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, where she was wounded. Now, she practices in a goofy older physician's primary care office and is studying to become a nurse practitioner. Penelope struggles as a single mother with two school-aged kids and depression linked to her wartime experience. The show is mainly a traditional home-based sitcom exploring social issues, so health-care does not usually take center stage. Still, episodes in the first two seasons have shown Penelope doing some patient education and advocacy. In episode 2 of the first season, she pushed to have her ideas for better office care systems taken seriously by her male physician employer (with whom she has a generally strong, respectful relationship). In the season 2 finale, Penelope explained to her family about her mother's condition after a stroke and advocated for her mother with a hospital nurse whose skills seemed marginal. The NP element has been mixed. Penelope's struggles with the course work (especially in episode 2 of the second season) indicate that NPs have to learn difficult material like biology. However, Penelope has also complained about that course content as if she doesn't understand why she has to learn it, also suggesting she didn't have to learn any to become the RN she is now. And the show has failed to really make clear that this would be a graduate program and that Penelope would already need to have an undergraduate degree in nursing. The show has implied that this is her first college experience. Penelope is generally portrayed as a tough, committed, and knowledgeable nurse. But those benefits are undermined to some extent by the limits of her practice at the outpatient office and by the show's undervaluation of nursing education. See the Netflix site for One Day at a Time for more information about the show. Capsule summary as part of the 2018 Fall TV preview...
One Day at a Time began airing January 2017. See more details on epguides.com.
Send your comments to the show's Executive Producers: Gloria Calderon Kellett (creator), Brett Miller, Mike Royce, Becky Mann, Audra Sielaff, Sebastian Jones, Michael Alan Garcia, Normal Lear and Pamela Fryman.
On Twitter at (@everythingloria)
Or by mail:
Act III Productions
+1 (310) 244-4011 phone
10202 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(That hyperlink will also send us a blind copy so we can follow your perspectives on the show. Thank you!)