×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘One Day at a Time’ Team Talks Depression, LGBTQ Representation at Season 2 Premiere

The stars and co-creator of the Netflix reboot “One Day at a Time” discussed the importance of acknowledging depression and properly representing an LGBTQ love story in the new season.

One Day at a Time,” the comedic sitcom following a Cuban-American family, held a screening of its new season in Los Angeles, Calif. on Thursday. The cast and executive producer shared how the range of issues shown in the first season, from PTSD to coming out, will be further addressed when the show returns along with other topics.

“There are so many people — just beautiful people — who are ashamed when they don’t need to be ashamed,” said co-creator and executive producer Gloria Calderon Kellett. “I feel like once we start talking about these things that are taboo, it doesn’t become a thing anymore. So I really like starting that conversation. Hoping that it can change hearts and minds.”

In season one, Penelope, played by Justina Machado, is hesitant to admit to her family she battles anxiety, depression and PTSD due to the stigma that exists in the Cuban community.

“Old school Latinos don’t really believe in depression,” Machado said. “You work through it.”

But, she’s hoping the way her character handles her illness will change people’s minds. “You don’t need a high power job to have anxiety. Sometimes you just have anxiety so it’s important to talk about those things,” she continued.

Season 2 also picks up after Penelope’s daughter Elena, played by Isabella Gomez, has come out to her family.

“This season is all about: it doesn’t matter who you like it’s just who you like,” Gomez said. “We see the family trying to help her get a girlfriend. We see grandma giving her flirting tips and Alex making fun of her just like any other family would work.”

“We really tried to stick to what would be just a good love story,” Kellett added, teasing Elena’s new relationship. “What is it like when you’re awkward and nerdy the way Elena is. We just lean so much on our LGBTQ writers to make sure we weren’t falling into any tropes. I hope people will be very satisfied with the way we talk about it.”

A new conversation this season is the presence of racism, especially given the current political climate. The show tackles how to address discrimination and derogatory remarks.

“So many people are listening to so much horrible rhetoric,” Machado said. “Every day if you hear, ‘These people are bad. These people are bad,’ sometimes it sinks into their head. It’s important to show that they’re human beings. We’re human beings. We’re all immigrants. We all got here a certain way. Nobody is a straight up American unless you’re Native American.”

Machado also expressed the importance of letting people know “you’re not going to go away,” but also that “we have a lot more in common than you think.”

Since “One Day At A Time” is a comedy, there will be plenty of lighter moments throughout the season, too. Gomez talked about her funny relationship with the cast in between takes as well. “It’s so much fun,” said Gomez. “They’re really like family. We just goof around and play pranks and run around and eat and laugh the whole time. It’s a dream come true.”

Rita Moreno, who plays Penelope’s mother Lydia, echoed Gomez’s enthusiasm and praised her fellow cast members. “I think Justina is just an insanely talented woman,” Moreno said. “She’s crazy talented and funny as hell. She is just the best acting partner I’ve ever had.”

“One Day at a Time” Season 2 is available to stream on Netflix on Jan. 26.

Stars Todd Grinnell, Justina Machado, Rita Moreno, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz and Stephen Tobolowsky at the premiere. Stewart Cook/REX/Shutterstock

 

Executive producer Norman Lear posing with Sony Pictures TV Studios president Jeff Frost, Netflix VP of original series Cindy Holland and Sony TV’s co-head of drama development Jason Clodfelter. Stewart Cook/REX/Shutterstock

More TV

  • Donald Trump

    HBO Fires Back at Trump's 'Game of Thrones'-Inspired 'No Collusion' Tweet

    HBO is firing back at President Donald Trump after he sent another “Game of Thrones”-inspired tweet in response to the release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation. “Though we can understand the enthusiasm for ‘Game of Thrones’ now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer [...]

  • Joel Edgerton Headshot

    Joel Edgerton Joins Barry Jenkins' 'Underground Railroad' Amazon Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joel Edgerton has signed on for a role in the Barry Jenkins’ Amazon series “The Underground Railroad,” Variety has learned exclusively. Edgerton will play the part of Ridgeway, a slavecatcher. He joins previously announced cast members Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon, and Aaron Pierre. The role will mark Edgerton’s first regular TV role in some time. [...]

  • LAST MAN STANDING: 150'th Episode: L-R:

    'Last Man Standing' Renewed at Fox

    “Last Man Standing” has been renewed at Fox, Variety has learned. This is the second season of the family multicamera comedy that will air on Fox, but the eighth season overall. (Its first six years were on ABC before the Alphabet canceled the series. Fox picked it up a year later.) “‘Last Man Standing’ roared [...]

  • Lauren Corrao

    Freeform Taps Lauren Corrao to Replace Karey Burke as Original Programming Head

    Lauren Corrao has been named executive vice president of original programming and development for Freeform. Corrao takes over the role from Karey Burke, who was named the head of ABC Entertainment in November following the departure of Channing Dungey. Corrao will report directly to Freeform president Tom Ascheim. In her new position, Corrao will oversee [...]

  • Allison Mack Sex Cult

    HBO in Production on NXIVM Sex Cult Documentary Series

    HBO Documentary Films is currently in production on a documentary series exploring the NXIVM sex cult case, which implicated former “Smallville” actress Allison Mack among others. The series, which is to be directed by “The Square” and “Control Room” helmers Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, will follow a range of people who joined the NXIVM [...]

  • Barry Killing Eve Pose

    'Barry,' 'Killing Eve,' 'Pose' Among 2019 Peabody Winners (EXCLUSIVE)

    “The Americans,” “Barry,” “The End of the F***ing World,” “The Good Place,” “Hannah Gadsby: Nanette,” “Killing Eve,” “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj,” “Pose” and “Random Acts of Flyness” have been named the entertainment winners at this year’s Peabody Awards, Variety has learned exclusively. Additionally, “Sesame Street” has been named the winner of the Institutional Award [...]

  • Les Miserables BBC

    BBC's 'Les Miserables' Recreates the Dark World of Victor Hugo's Novel

    Director Tom Shankland didn’t want his “Les Miserables” to be anything like the stage-musical version of Victor Hugo’s sweeping historical novel, nor like the 2012 Tom Hooper feature-film musical.  For the BBC limited series — a drama starring Olivia Colman, Lily Collins, David Oyelowo and Dominic West, which aired the first of its six episodes in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content