REVIEW: ‘One Day at a Time’ Season 4, Episode 1 – Checking Boxes

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One Day at a Time

The fourth season of One Day at a Time has officially premiered, with an episode titled “Checking Boxes,” and fans everywhere are definitely excited. During the last season, viewers saw the Alverez family and their friends go through various experiences and obstacles. Whether it was family issues, Schneider’s (Todd Grinnell) drinking problem resurfacing, or Penelope (Justina Machado) dealing with her anxiety, the characters on this show had much to deal with. I was quite saddened when Netflix announced that the show would be canceled after only three seasons. It felt as if everything that these characters had just gone through since the start of the show was unresolved. However, finding out that POP TV wanted to continue with the fourth season was such an incredible moment.

In the season four premiere, “Checking Boxes,” a visit from a Census taker (Ray Romano) causes the Alvarez family to reflect on their relationships and on what else the future may or may not have in store for them. Penelope is left wondering whether she made wrong decisions in her love life that will result in her being alone for the rest of her life. Lydia (Rita Moreno) attempts to console her but may, in fact, have made things worse for Penelope. Meanwhile, Elena (Isabella Gomez) and Syd (Sheridan Pierce) attempt to spend some time apart to get accustomed to their inevitable breakup once they go off to college.

I’ll be honest, it was a bit distracting to get used to commercial breaks when watching “Checking Boxes.” Since One Day at a Time was previously on Netflix, a streaming platform that doesn’t have any commercials accompanied by its content, I’d gotten used to just being able to watch the episodes with no interruptions. There’s also the fact that the entire three seasons of the show were available to watch as soon as they were released. However, dropping a new episode every week might just be the change that this show needed. This way, more anticipation could be built up if a particular episode ended on a cliffhanger or if a major development would be carried on for more than one episode. Regardless, this new format for the show will definitely take some getting used to.

One Day at a Time

Even though various clips were released over the past few weeks, including a portion of the opening scene, I was still excited to see how the rest of the scene would play out. For one, I was completely surprised that Ray Romano would be making an appearance. I haven’t seen too many films or shows that he’s involved in, but his style of comedy fits well in “Checking Boxes.” It was also incredible to see all the main characters get their own time to shine, especially Lydia. She’s such an integral part of the show and every time she opens the curtains of her room, I can’t help but cheer for such a unique entrance. Above everything else, the comedic timing of everyone involved assured me that the show hadn’t lost the elements that made it special.

The central plots with Penelope and Elena in this episode are a perfect example that there were still more stories to tell in this show. Even though they’ve had completely different experiences in their past relationships, Penelope and Elena are worried about the same issue. Wondering whether we’ll find the right person for us is something that a lot of people can easily relate to, regardless of what stage in life we’re in. That relatability and the honest manner in which the show incorporated this into the plot of the episode make it truly special.

Though several new elements and plot points were introduced in “Checking Boxes,” a big portion of this episode was meant to act as a catch-up to everything that happened in season three. Even though I rewatched the show all the way through at least twice since the third season was released, it’s been an entire year since new episodes were released. I wouldn’t be surprised if people had forgotten several plot points that happened with such a long break from getting new episodes. There could also be people that are watching this show for the first time and the quick summary could easily motivate them to watch the show from the beginning. In addition, it severed as a sort of assurance that even though the show was now on a television network rather than a streaming service, it wouldn’t ignore anything that happened during the previous episodes.

One Day at a Time

Overall, I really enjoyed watching the season four premiere of One Day at a Time. When Netflix canceled the show last year, it was heartbreaking to know that there wouldn’t be any more episodes. What made it truly heartbreaking was that it felt as if the show’s cancelation meant that Latinx shows didn’t really matter. As someone who implements his Mexican culture into who I am, seeing shows like One Day at a Time holds a special place in my heart. I’ll be forever grateful that POP TV brought the show back for at least one more season.

The fourth season of One Day at a Time will be airing every Tuesday at 9:30 pm PST / 6:30 EST, only on POP TV.

REVIEW: 'One Day at a Time' Season 4, Episode 1 - Checking Boxes
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

The central plots with Penelope and Elena in this episode are a perfect example that there were still more stories to tell in this show. Even though they’ve had completely different experiences in their past relationships, Penelope and Elena are worried about the same issue.