One Day At A Time 4×03 “Boundaries” is the type of episode no other show on TV could do. A smart discussion of an important, intimate subject that is rarely discussed, done while presenting and dissecting all sides of the issue? Check.
Awkwardness and a little laughter, all done not in expense of the characters, but because of them? Check. A solution that isn’t really a solution, but an invitation for the characters, and us, to be better? Check.
But this is on par for the course for One Day At A Time, the kind of thing that happens more than once, or twice, in the course of a season. It’s just that, before, with the seasons dropping all at once, it was much harder to point out the little things the show does well from episode to episode and be like AHA.
So allow me to say AHA right now.
Of course, this whole discussion of masturbation that ties into female pleasure is still a little uncomfortable to watch – but credit the show for making it palatable, which also pushing the notion that yes, this is something we should all talk about. It shouldn’t be taboo, and we should definitely not react like abuelita does.
That the whole thing then goes to a discussion of boundaries is even better, especially as someone who grew up in the type of family that didn’t really believe in the same kind of boundaries white people do. I agree with that show in that this is a cultural thing, we tend to have way less boundaries in general (though locks are still a good idea, please, get locks), and to see the show present this as a thing that happens, without any level of judging, is kinda amazing.
You see, as a latina, I’m used to my culture, even when it’s being represented well, still somehow being presented as something different. There isn’t always judgment, but there’s often a sense of otherness. A sense of this is how they live and love and relate to each other, and that’s good but that’s their thing.
With One Day At A Time, since the people telling the story are part of the community, there isn’t that sense, that separation. And yet, since they are dealing with very universal topics in the way a latinx family would, we end up with a show that speaks to the latinx community on one level, and to everyone else on a different one – but a show that speaks to everyone equally.
No, you don’t need to be latinx to love this show, and that’s the beautiful thing. If you are, though, you will probably get some inside jokes, and you will probably look at the screen at least once and episode and recognize either yourself, your mother, your abuelita or one of your siblings. That’s just the magic of One Day At A Time.
And this is the type of magic we shouldn’t take for granted.
Things I think I think:
- I love that we’ve seen more of Penelope’s therapy group. I love those ladies, and it’s so refreshing to see her have so many diverse opinions.
- But I will say, I am glad we didn’t have to see Alex walking in on her. I might have died of embarrassment.
- Can you die of embarrassment?
- Look, a family with no locks on the doors is a family with issues.
- And I’M LATINA.
- Wow, so watching Outlander is now an euphemism?
- A Mitch McConnell Joke!
- But what kid forgets his phone? That’s the real question.
- “I haven’t seen terror in a man’s eyes like that since Afghanistan.”
- The Jake Peralta cool cool cool cool, omg.
- I would have hid under the blanket too, Alex.
- Dear God, abuelita. I know the whole point is you’re showing the POV of an older generation, but dear God.
- This whole it’s okay for me and not for women thing has me seeing red.
- Elena’s “can I tag in?” was super cute.
- “Boundaries are for white people.”
- Did she really just say “you should be proud of your shame”?
- Lydia always goes too far.
- Well, to be fair, there IS just one right answer to the favorite Pope question.
- And Schneider knows it’s Pope Francis.
- Alex is like I’m out, but Schneider is like I’m staying to watch this trainwreck.
- Omg another Outlander reference. Well done, Schneider.
- I love the fact that Schneider has gone back to the support/common sense role.
- Oh, you again Max.
- Like …have the problems from before disappeared? No. Why are we trying to crash again?