Things were uplifting, optimistic, and socially aware when creators and cast of the multi-camera Netflix show took the stage at Sony Studios for TCA. The first season of the reimagining of the classic sitcom, in true Lear form, tackled hot-button current events like immigration, sexuality, and PTSD. With the current administration, season 2 is destined to have plenty of issues to address.
“This season follows up with the family as they move on past the trauma of the Quinceanera [from season 1],” said executive producer Gloria Calderon Kellett. In regards to President Trump’s administration, Kellett says there won’t be any direct storylines with his name attached.
“We’re addressing them in world where 45 is president and we’ll deal with specific things,” she said. “There’s an overall feeling and demeanor in how this family feels and how [the presidency] affects a Latino family.”
Joining Royce and Kellett on stage were cast members Justina Machado, Rita Moreno, Stephen Tobolowsky, Todd Grinnell, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz as well as Lear himself, who also serves an executive producer.
Reporters were quick to recall Lear’s previous works such as Maude and All in the Family and how watching this new iteration of One Day at a Time doesn’t feel like we’re watching a remake.
Lear, who opposed Trump throughout the presidential election, is a Kennedy Center Honor recipient. He also talked about why he decided to skip the annual reception at the White House ahead of the Kennedy Center Honors.
“The Kennedy Center is about the arts and humanities. I’m somebody who believes when the world is safe for everybody — and the arts have played a large part in that. A presidency that turns its back on the arts and refuses to fund the arts and humanities, I can’t imagine wishing to go there,” Lear said.
“It’s almost not political” he adds.”I understand everything else going on, but the turning of the presidency’s back on the arts and humanities — that I can’t honor with a visit.”
The panel went on to talk about tackling modern issue-driven stories through a Lear-esque lens and a Latino narrative. Even so, Moreno says that their writers room is very diverse.
“You name it, we got it!” Moreno said. “Our writers brought a balance on how Latino [the show] gets. Most of America is not Hispanic — and they have found a gorgeous balance.”
One of the biggest stories last year was when 15-year-old Elena (Gomez) comes out to her family, something that resonates with the actress. “It’s so much bigger than me and humbling,” said Gomez. “It’s truly amazing to be part of that story.”
Machado chimes in regards to the storyline, “Some people come up to me and tell me they wish I was their mom!”
One Day at a Time premiered in January to strong reviews and has been renewed for a second season. It revolves around a Cuban-American family led by a recently divorced veteran mom, her two children, her old-school Cuba-born mother and their quirky building manager. Kellett pulled from her own life experience in shaping the show — her parents immigrated to America from Cuba during Operation Peter Pan.