one day at a time | happy thing 3

*this post does contain spoilers for One Day At A Time Seasons 1 & 2*

Last January I opened up Netflix to find that a brand new show had landed. Thirteen episodes of an American sitcom sounded like an easy watch and truth be told I honestly wasn't expecting to find it ground breaking or even that interesting but I had nothing else to watch and over a week left of my Christmas holiday so I clicked play.  I clicked play and instantly fell in love.  The humour was perfectly balanced, it discussed a range of topics from school shoes to mental health, the characters were wonderfully crafted (and beautifully acted) and I laughed out loud every single episode even if I'd just been crying my eyes out at the scene previously.  I watched it once then and twice more in the twelve months since; counting down the days until last Friday when the second season would be landing back on my screen.

I clicked play, hopeful and happy to be watching a new season but also a tad worried at the same time; I'd loved the first season so completely and there was a tiny voice at the back of my mind that wondered if the second season would live up to the great heights.

Yes.  Absolutely, one hundred percent yes.  It took the bar, smashed straight through it and set a new one about fifty miles higher.

The show? One Day At A Time.  With it's clever writing, magnificent acting and that once again perfect balance between humour and serious topics this little American sitcom about a Cuban-American family deserves every single award and then some.  I already loved the show to absolute pieces but then, half way through the first season Elena's coming out storyline began and wow, talk about positive, healthy, wonderful representation.

Image result for one day at a time season 2 elena

Growing up and coming to terms with my sexuality was incredibly freeing but it was also incredibly lonely.  Everywhere I looked I found straight people in straight couples; even the books and TV shows I chose to find my escapes in had few, if any, people who looked like me, who represented me and those who did often either died or left the show.

Naomi and Emily from Skins were the first female same sex couple I ever saw and for me they were a revelation.  For the first time in my life I could watch girls holding hands and kissing each other just the same as the straight couples on the show were doing.  I felt less alone and less of a freak for thinking girls were prettier than boys were and yet the show with it's dark themes also presented a set of problems.  Something always seemed to be going wrong for them; whether it was an unhappy parent, a communication issue or just general drama and while I am so grateful for their existence on the show it wasn't exactly the light-hearted story I longed for.  Callie and Arizona on Grey's Anatomy became a comfort and a hope for me, the rainbow lights at the end of the tunnel.  Even though they were everything I wanted for my future they were just that - the future.  I had never even told anyone I was gay so getting married and going on dates seemed an untouchable kind of representation.  I still adored them and their relationship but as a young teenager they never really represented me as I was; only the me I wanted to be.

Enter Elena Alvarez.  From the very first episode of season one I adored her; she was unashamedly nerdy, passionate about a dozen different things and just a wonderful character in every way.  And then I started picking up the hints, the little comments and facial expressions that I've seen a thousand times before and my heart sank a little bit.  For every show that has an explicitly queer character there are fifty more with a 'queer-coded', queer-baiting one.  The character that every single gay person picks up on but never becomes anything more than a way to draw in an audience.  I thought the worst but kept watching anyway because I really did adore the show and I didn't want to stop watching yet another show.  Then boom.  Suddenly the impossible was happening and this wonderful character was actually gay and coming out and yet Elena wasn't put into the box of 'gay character'; she was still nerdy and amazing.  Her coming out story didn't take over the entire season or her own personality it was simply another aspect of her, just one story line that was weaved intricately into the show, adding layers, representation and an important message without distracting or taking away from anything else that was happening.  What made it so groundbreakingly wonderful for me was that not only was this a story line about a gay character but it was a story line that was written well, treated with respect and given the same humour opportunities as the rest of the show.

So Season One was wonderful but Season Two; wow.

Season Two was so much more than little gay me could have ever ever dared to dream of.  It perfectly captured that feeling of hopeless awkwardness when you get a crush, especially one of your first.  The script was full of light hearted jokes that fit seamlessly in with the rest of the show but they were jokes that I got.  The 'Oooohhhh' moment, Lydia asking about the lipstick and of course Syd who is definitely as much as a dork as Elena is and just awwwww.  This is what I needed to watch when I was seventeen; dorky girls getting crushes and being in love and being happy.  I smiled so much I nearly split my face in half - Elena's nerves over their first date together, Syd's dance & song combo as their 'big ask', the relationship developing slowly between the two of them.  It was wonderful and it was absolutely everything I wanted when I was fifteen, seventeen and even now.  I'm still longing for representation that feels right; that connects with every part of me and Elena is 100% it.

Other shows (and films for that matter) should be paying close attention to One Day At A Time because it is doing everything right.  The writing team one hundred percent know their stuff and the entire team - actors, directors and creative people - are treating the show and it's topics with such respect and dedication; they have created the perfect balance between meaningful subjects and delightful humour and I for one cannot wait until Season Three lands on my screen next year.   To everyone involved in ODDAT I thank you - thankyou from the bottom of my heart to the very top; and to everyone else; please please please watch this show.

eloise x


  1. It's funny you mentioned skins because I've just started watching that on netflix right now! Fab post x

    Morgan //

  2. It's a shame LGBT relationships are underrepresented on screen, I've never seen this show (used to love Skins though) but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I hate waiting for new series on Netflix, always feels like forever after you binge watch the first x