I had heard about it, I had seen gifs and screencaps on my Twitter feed, it was on my “Recommended for you” section on Netflix. And after three of my friends, in a one week period, had told me I needed to watch it, I decided it was time to finally click on it. All it took was hearing Gloria Estefan’s voice singing the theme song to get me hooked. A latino show on Netflix? I was in!
One Day at a Time is a comedy-drama about a Cuban-American family living in Los Angeles. I’m not Cuban, or American, or live in LA. But episode after episode, I recognized a lot of things I grew up surrounded by in a Mexican household. I had never felt so accurately represented in any form of mainstream media in my entire life. The story lines, the actors, the scripts, everything on One Day At A Time made my little queer, latino heart really happy. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, they threw a perfect quote from the Broadway hit “Hamilton” into the mix.
The show’s music is a big part of why it feels so familiar. Songs by artists like Celia Cruz, Julio Iglesias and Gloria Estefan play a really important role in the show and really help build some of it’s best moments. Songs that anyone who grew up in a Latino household has heard at one point in their lives. Songs that make us proud of who we are and where we come from. Then there are songs like A Thousand Years by Christina Perri and Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, which aren’t Latino, because in real life, Latinos (as much as we love it) don’t spend all of our time listening to salsa. Even through the music, One Day At a Time has done something a lot of shows have failed at before, portraying Latino lifestyles honestly, without turning us into stereotypes.
It’s truly remarkable how this show has nailed music without an official music supervisor. Gloria Calderón Kellet, writer and co-showrunner of the show calls herself and her parents the “unofficial DJs of the show.” This might be the reason why the music feels so right and so in place, because it was chosen by people who have lived with and through this music all their lives. To Gloria and the Calderón Kellet family: Thank you! We can’t wait for season two.
Here’s Superbized’s unofficial playlist with some of the best songs in One Day At A Time. A bailar!