The underSCENE is very saddened at the idea of a show all about representation has been canceled, but there is hope, so until we find out what happens next, I had to put a few of my feelings into words.
This one, this one hurt.
It’s hard for me not to get attached to some television shows. Especially in shows that I can see myself in. First, in Community, I felt like Abed, someone who relied so much on pop culture that my identity based around it. One of my best friends acted so similarly to Glover’s Troy, and he to this day refers to everything as seasons. If he feels like an “arc” is ending, albeit a relationship or a job, or even a city as he sadly moved away recently, he’ll shrug it off and say “season finale.” He’s not wrong, life imitates art, and vice-versa. I’m not even sure what the original saying is anymore because frankly, both are accurate.
Then there was Happy Endings that was filled with laughter and jokes and true friendship. Friendship improved over time and the idea of making new friends is completely absurd. There’s history and compassion that overflows in Happy Endings.
For a long time, I’ve been looking for great television – and Arianne will tell you this all on their own, they’ve been yelling at me to watch certain TV shows and I never had the time, except I did this year. They said it to me clear and loudly, “One Day at a Time, you’re going to love it.” And I did, in strides.
Not only is the show incredibly hilarious, but it’s also perfect balance and response to our culture. Constantly talking about topics that the world as a whole need to improve on. The way we handle racism as it’s thrown at us, the abuse that POC suffer, the constant struggles women have to go through daily, that way men look and treat women and so much more. The show would always keep their chins up, and keep marching on while they taught people how to do better while also showing how the world really is: fucked up, and so beautiful.
In the Alvarez family, we have an insanely strong mother played effortlessly by Justina Machado. The always lovely Rita Moreno plays the powerfully sweet and religious grandmother. Isabella Gomez the brilliant Elena that has a beautiful spirit that will change the world, if the show could continue. Marcel Ruiz as the young son who gives his sister crap because it’s his sister, but cares so much due to his massive heart and is learning from a great family what it means to be a man, And then Todd Grinnell as Schnieder, who was one of my favourite characters from the beginning that really grew as a presence in the family over the years, his arc in the final (hopefully not) season makes me emotional just thinking about it. There are so many other incredible standouts from the show as well that we can not forget about Sheridan Pierce who identifies as non-binary. This show needs to be seen by people.
The cast is phenomenal, doing work together as a family about things that they truly, truly care about and you can feel every moment of it, on and off-screen.
I’m Spanish, but not from Spain or Mexico, my family is from Chile. I was born and raised here in Toronto, but I am still Chilean before Canadian, I know that now. The kids are the same way, they are Cuban even if born in the states. I speak no Spanish. I have struggles conjugating in time and I can’t rearrange my sentences in Spanish fast enough to have conversations with my own grandparents. So I don’t often get to see them or speak to them because it hurts me that I can’t, I can’t begin to fathom what it would be like for them. Penelope suffers from PTSD and anxiety and some of the things she goes through hits really close to home. In “Hello, Penelope” I broke down and cried for ten minutes before finishing the episode. And later on when it’s revealed that the anxiety was passed down to Elena, I felt my heart break all over again.
This show is of the utmost importance right now, to survive and continue. But here’s the sad truth, there’s a possibility it won’t. And if it doesn’t, there are still 3 seasons – 39 episodes – still availible to be watched on Netflix at any time. And for people like myself to always be able to return to see themselves matter.