One Day At A Time 4×02 “Penny Pinching” excels at the same brand of humor this show always excels, but it also manages to do something even more important, something the show is also adept at: showcasing an entire community and a way of looking at the world, without feeling exclusionary.
And oh, yes, it also excels at reminding me of my mother, and my grandmother, which in my adult age, is a much more pleasurable experience than I ever thought it was going to be.
Do you know how many times I’ve been told not to leave anything on a car, much less in plain sight. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve carried my laptop to brunch, malls, hair salons and a bunch of other places where it was more uncomfortable to have it than not just so I wouldn’t incur the wrath of my mom?
Or worse, so what happened to Elena would happened to me, and then I would have EARNED that wrath?
Hell no. Unlike Elena, I didn’t need to fall down to learn that one lesson.
But the fact that this show has, consistently, over four seasons, given me moments that feel real to my experience – even though I’m not Cuban- is a testament to how much the latinx community is alike, and how well this show understands its place as one of the few real sources of representation the latinx community has.
Yes, the Alvarez are still Cuban, and we love them for that, but we can’t help but feel like they’re a bit ours too, all of us.
I have not just watched my mother “penny pinching” like Penny, I have been known to do it myself. And just like Penelope, it’s hard to get to a point where you feel like you don’t have to, because that’s a little bit ingrained. We aren’t Schneider, and in many ways, his way of seeing things seems foreign.
But, like Penelope, we all need a Schneider in our lives, one that’s there to remind us that we don’t have to change completely, but we deserve to treat each other every once in a while. Even if it’s with a sensible purchase like a couch.
Two episodes into season four, it’s hard for me to understand how Netflix could let this show go. It isn’t hard, however, to understand why Pop TV would fight like hell to keep One Day At A Time. Especially with Schitt’s Creek ending, and especially in the world we live in today.
We all need a little smile, and we also need that little bit of hope that this this show provides. There are very few shows on TV that feel like a warm hug as you watch them, the kind of hug you absolutely don’t want to let go of, but One Day At A Time has consistently remained the kind of show that, even when it’s making you cry (not the case these past two weeks, but we know it’s coming), it still leaves you with that feeling.
You know the one, the one that makes your chest feel a little tight, and your smile grow a bit wider. The one that’s comfort, and belonging and just …happiness.
The one we need, right about now, more than ever.
Things I think I think:
- Abuelita has her cringe worthy moments, but few have topped the beginning of this episode.
- Like OMG.
- “God, it’s so easy being straight.”
- Preach, Elena.
- I’m so embarrassed by Lydia right now, I can’t even put it into words.
- Though Alex’s girlfriend does seem kinda awesome.
- Nerd really, really isn’t an insult anymore.
- OMG THE WAITER IS MY LEAST FAVORITE SERIAL KILLER.
- “Do you think it’s my first time complaining in a restaurant?”
- No one thinks that, Penelope.
- “If Nora breaks up with US over this…”
- Okay, look, I’m just gonna say it: I know it’s part of the gag, but Penelope is routinely too mean to Schneider, often for no reason whatsoever.
- And he just takes it and shrugs it off!
- It kinda bugs me.
- Awww, Dr B.
- Schneider and Pen shopping for a couch for THEIR family.
- I’m not crying, you are.
- No, wait, I am.
- “It’s only money”
- Who are you and what have you done with Penelope?
- Elena is me with money. Except I would never leave my laptop in the car. Ever.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think about One Day At A Time 4×02 “Penny Pinching”? Share with us in the comments below!
One Day At A Time airs Tuesday at 9:30/8:30c on Pop TV.