One Day At A Time 4×07 “The Politics Episode” seemed like a great idea from the start – not just because we were starved for good content, but because in the world we’re living in, it feels like more and more, we need to be the agents of change this episode is pushing us to be, and that, of course, starts with the hard conversations.
Let’s be very clear – it doesn’t end there, not by a long-shot, but it’s a good place to start.
But great ideas don’t always translate to great execution. Thankfully, sometimes, like in the case of One Day At A Time 4×07 “The Politics Episode” they translate to the kind of episode that will make you smile, nod and yes, even tear up.
There’s a certain genius to the way this episode approaches both “sides,” because it never gives credence to the idea that both – particularly not the side that discriminates and puts down people, the side that considers hate and fear mongering and divisiveness the norm – have a point, but it still attempts to bring into focus the things people tell themselves to get through the day.
And this feels very important in a society where, as Elena so aptly put it “facts don’t matter” and “when they go low, we go high” went out the way with facts.
There isn’t a time in a twenty minute episode to go into why these people think the way they think – and there’s a lot to unpack there, from religion to the traumas of forced immigration to the ideas of the “good immigrant” vs the “bad immigrant.” But since the show doesn’t have time to really unpack the issues with an entire community, it does the second best thing it can do: it attempts to explain, in a way our community might understand.
Of course, this episode isn’t going to change everyone’s minds or hearts. An episode of TV cannot fix a community or cure racism. It might not even change many people’s minds. But that doesn’t mean it’s not supremely important to see these characters we have grown to love, characters that are anything but perfect, and that we might have related to at one point or another – in the good things and the bad things – be unequivocal about some things.
Black Lives Matter.
Trans Lives Matter.
Brown Lives Matter.
Just like abuelita’s whole rationalization about why Elena’s coming out didn’t mean she, a devout catholic, shouldn’t – couldn’t – support her, helped people from our community see the issue in a different light, the way this show took a stand is going to make people today, tomorrow, and even years from now, allow themselves to think about the things they never thought they had to question.
That’s a win. It’s not the big one that we want, and it’s not the big one that we need, but it’s a win. Sometimes we have to pile them all together to get anything resembling the kind of world we – and especially those less privileged than us – deserve.
But if even our favorite fictional characters can join us in the fight, then we might actually have a shot at lasting change. TV, after all, usually reflects the view of the majority.
Let this become the norm, not the exception. One Day At A Time.
Things I think I think:
- Schneider’s hair is a thing of BEAUTY.
- “Are you Cuban? Are you family? Are you Catholic?”
- I really don’t like how the joke about Schneider not being part of the family always ends up making it into every episode. I like, get it, cause we can be like that sometimes, but I also don’t like it.
- “Because they’re like us I always forget they’re like that.”
- That left no stone unturned: Global warming, Kneeling as a protest, Trans rights.
- “Changing people’s minds about politics is hard” indeed.
- I’m still laughing at “I’m going to drain your swamp.”
- To be honest, I’d never really stopped to think how socialist ideas sound to someone from Cuba, who is comparing them to Castro’s promises and what ended up happening there.
- I appreciate the point of view.
- “Watching episodes of our favorite shows, but they have to be animated ….”
- Black Lives Matter
- Trans Lives Matter
- Brown Lives Matter
- The comparison to the man in the Walmart, and pointing out that he wouldn’t have stopped or cared about the difference between Mexican and Cuban broke me.
- To these kind of people, we’re all Mexican, in the sense that Mexican, for them, means “other.”
- No one’s hiding their racism anymore, so why should we care about not pointing it out?
- This show always manages to touch me, and I don’t know why I thought an animated episode would be any different.
Agree? Disagree? Share with us in the comments below!
One Day At A Time is available to stream on the Pop TV website or the Pop Now app. You can also watch Pop TV if you are a subscriber to a number of streaming platforms: fuboTV, AT&T TV NOW, YouTube TV, or Hulu With Live TV.