How Netflix's One Day at a Time Reboot Changed My Life

By Marie Allred - February 23, 2019



Today, after reeling from the stress of about a hundred different things, I turned on Netflix and was greeted with the wonderful advertisement for season 3 of Netflix's One Day at a Time reboot that is now up. Having last watched the show in 2017 and really enjoying it, I was very excited to see season 3 had finally been finished. However, since it had been so long I decided to go back and rewatch some of the older episodes to get back up to speed.

This is when I stumbled across season 2 episode 9 entitled "Hello, Penelope." At that moment I remembered how moved I had felt by that episode watching it the first time around in 2017 when I was struggling with a severe bout of depression. Now, looking back from a time in my life where I am doing better and rewatching the episode I felt equally as moved as I did the first time around, and even watched my favorite scene two times through. 



Though the whole episode is very much worth a watch, the particular scene I am referring to is in the last quarter or so of the episode, and in essence, it goes like this: Penelope walks up to Schneider's door in the middle of the night and he answers it, letting her in when he sees that something is very wrong. She apologizes to him for some things she said to him days earlier after asking him to listen to a recording she made of herself thinking out loud. She tells Schneider he was right, and that she isn't okay, and shouldn't have stopped taking her medication without a doctor's help, but confides in him her worry about having to take antidepressants for the rest of her life. He tells her that he wishes he didn't have to wear glasses for the rest of his life, and when she tells him it's not the same he takes his glasses off and says "Oh no? Okay, you wanna go for a drive?" 



Haha! I love the look in his eyes when he does that! Not only do I love the analogy of the glasses but I love how painfully yet cathartically realistic it is.  It's very difficult for us to see the truth about how we are acting and treating others when we are suffering. It's tough to be reminded constantly of how wonderful life is when you're in utter anguish and want to feel that goodness but can't. It is painful to realize that there will be things you will have to do or not do for the rest of your life to be "okay" or "normal" or "happy" that other people are not restricted by. In any case, the entire scene just rings so true to me that I cry every time I watch it.

In fact, I love how funny the whole show is, even when dealing with such a range of dark and heavy topics all around, jokes are firing on all cylinders and making it possible to digest the truth of the concepts discussed without being overwhelmed by the heaviness. I love the characters, the writing, the genuine no-nonsense but hilarious ambiance it has about it, but truly what I love is the way it depicts those weighty topics. 

I think the sentiment that the episode expresses is a message that everyone needs to hear and understand. I think all people, though especially those friends, family members, peers, acquaintances, or even strangers around us who do not understand, acknowledge, or accept mental illness because they cannot see it need to hear and internalize this message. 

Just because it cannot be seen, doesn't mean the pain, despair, anguish, and desperation are not themselves real. They are more real than you can understand if you have never experienced it, and if you have then you know how important that message is. Give it a watch and share it with people you know to spread that truth around. And don't forget to let me know what you all think of it in the comments below, I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

- Love always,
Marie Allred

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