I stumbled across this gem of a series on Netflix ‘One Day At A Time’ currently with only one season out, honestly Abuela got me with her over exaggerated accent from her first appearance and her granddaughter Elena with her queer latinx feminism I honestly couldn’t believe what I was watching. I’ve been recommending it to everyone I speak to or find myself mentioning it at some point in random conversations. I myself identify as black mixed race, my mother being white spanish I also speak fluent Spanish and my nationality is Spanish on my passport, but I was born here in the UK. I personally don’t identify as being spanish or british as I have lived and grown up in both places I just identify as being black mixed-race, if in future I go and live in france and stay there for 7 years I wouldn’t identify as french either… Neither do I identify with such terms as ‘Afro-española’ or ‘Black-British’. Regardless of what my passport states, I personally don’t feel like I have a nationality, I merely speak both fluent languages and have grown up and lived in both societies and have been culturally influenced by both. Nor does this show feel like you have to be latinx to get it. I grew up with latinx friends and the whole show brought back so many memories and even nuances of my own Spanish family.
The series is so important, so urgent with what’s happening in the US and I also just found it hilarious. I even teared up at the end, with each episode addressing issues I’ve never really seen talked about in comedic sitcoms such as ‘Religion’, specifically catholicism, as this is the predominant religion in the latinx, hispanic and spanish community. I went to a roman catholic primary school and my mother’s side of the family are predominantly roman catholic. My own Spanish grandmother was extremely religious and La Abuela in ‘One Day At A Time’ reminded me of the orgullo (pride) my grandmother would also have of being catholic with jesucristo hangin on all the walls, maybe not as far a seeing el Papa (the pope) everywhere but close enough… Topics such as, mansplainig, sexisim, queerness in the latinx community, acceptance, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, deportation, migration, the Cuban Revolution, Castro, watching EL PORNO (porn)! You name it. It’s there. I loved it.
BUT here’s hoping that in the next season some things may appear and be touched upon; even though I find myself really enjoying the whole season I still couldn’t help holding my breath each time I went to watch a new episode hoping to see an afro-latinx character or at least touching on the topic of anti-blackness in the latinx community and not just seeing the white cuban side (even though the whole main cast of the family are white-cuban) there could be a guest appearance or something, anything! I basically flew through season 1 and they served SO much that I can’t really get all that mad. They did cast a black actress to play a role in season 1, a role rarely seen played by black women in such sitcoms, which I found interesting.. But I don’t think this type representation compensates nor does is it suffice or should end with just her. There’s been a surge online for a while now in conversations on afro-latinx folx and the invisibility or even erasure of such identities. Another small critique would be on the Cuban Revolution I’d also would’ve liked to have seen perhaps two sides to the argument and not just through the lens of family and their experience, as with every revolution there are two sides especially since the death of Castro only last year.
PERO OYE, Overall, me encanto! I would definitely recommend everyone to take a peek when they can.
- Latinx: A gender neutral alternative term to latino/a referring to someone of latin american descent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLA6BM-o1uU
- Hispanic: Not to be confused with Spanish. Some who descends from a spanish speaking country. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6hbQ3Zs1v8
- Spanish: From Spain, also may be used to describe the language spoken in Spain. In Spain this language is predominantly recognised and/or defined as ‘Castellano’ as there are many nationally recognised languages in Spain. I.e: Catalán, Gallego, The Basque Language (Vasco), Valenciano..etc
- Afro-Latinx: A gender neutral alternative term for someone from black and latin american descent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSfpxfIAhsQ
Words by Tiff Webster.