Your “to watch” list just got gayer!
ICYMI, the Netflix original series One Day at a Time cleverly challenges stereotypes through the narrative of a Cuban-American family living in Los Angeles. The show, an update on the Norman Lear classic 1970’s sitcom, features Elena (Isabella Gomez), an openly lesbian teenager who is cumbersomely, yet confidently trying to navigate her social life. And here’s an awesome quirk: her partner is non-binary.
Mixing the themes of tradition and currency by introducing Syd (Sheridan Pierce), provides viewers with an up-to-date representation of queer people in the media. We see a lot of the cuteness between Elena and Syd in season two, and the season three trailer suggests that the couple will continue to warm our hearts. The kiss shared between the two foreshadows the awesomeness to come in the realm of diversity on streaming TV.
Amongst other things, the sitcom tackles stereotypes related to acceptance issues within families of color. The ease at which Elena’s mother, Penelope (Justina Machado), embraces her sexuality in season one sets the tone for how progressive, funny, and family-friendly the subsequent seasons will be. The plot lines reject the age-old prevalence of queerphobic behavior amongst people of color, which is quite refreshing if you ask me.
The hilarious and effective delivery of real-world situations puts the show at such levels as Atypical, The Fosters, and She’s Gotta Have It by inviting an intersectional perspective of life’s ups-and-downs. Shows like these paint a better picture; they are necessary to provide people with insight and knowledge on communities they are not a part of.
Putting a face to an identity marker on television and in movies gives humanity to groups of people that are not as widely celebrated as their counterparts. The opening sequence of a season two episode, in which characters of varying gender identities and pronouns are introducing themselves, gives an invigorating portrayal gender non-conforming people. There is no doubt that Elena and Syd offer a new and accurate image of smart, witty, and talented queer teens picking their battles and fighting them, just like everyone else.
Catch seasons one and two of One Day at a Time streaming on Netflix now.
Season three arrives on February 8th.
Ivana Fischer is a film and media enthusiast who specializes in cultural studies. You can find her across all socials @iv.fischer