A month after dropping the third season of “One Day at a Time,” Netflix introduced that it received’t be renewing the acclaimed collection for a fourth. It wasn’t a large shock; the scrappy household sitcom has been combating for its life since day one, doing its greatest to face out amidst Netflix’s more and more huge tidal waves of content material. And but each season discovered the present up towards the wall, pressured to justify its personal existence by declaring simply how groundbreaking its heartfelt depiction of a Latinx household actually is and will proceed to be, if Netflix would preserve placing its cash the place its mouth is.

The Red Tea Detox

Canceling its personal exhibits is Netflix’s proper (and never for nothing, “One Day at a Time” being produced by Sony and never Netflix correct definitely needed to be an element, whether or not the streamer will admit it or not). However the best way through which this specific cancellation unfolded in mild of Netflix’s latest push to tout its dedication to range represented the corporate at its most irritating.

There’s a lot to be pissed off about with this cancellation. First, there’s the fundamental truth of its singularity within the huge (and vastly repetitive) TV panorama, now snuffed out except Sony can efficiently store the collection to a different community. (For what it’s price, the percentages of this appear low; Netflix completely owns the licensing rights to the primary three seasons and is unlikely to provide these up.) Based mostly on Norman Lear’s 1970’s sitcom of the identical title, and boasting the legendary producer as an integral artistic voice, “One Day at a Time” is sensible, humorous, and, most crucially, empathetic towards individuals who hardly ever get such consideration and consideration.

Justina Machado’s Penelope, a military veteran combating anxiousness and despair whereas single-handedly supporting her household, is a mom determine that TV hardly ever represents. Her daughter Elena (Isabella Gomez) got here out as homosexual within the first season, and subsequently grew to become some of the real looking and grounded teen lesbians to ever grace TV. And if all that doesn’t persuade you of the present’s price, maybe Rita “EGOT” Moreno will, since her each flamboyant entrance has extra spark than most comedies are fortunate to search out inside a complete season.

Over three seasons, “One Day at a Time” tackled racism, dependancy, citizenship, psychological well being, and the evolution of LGBTQ acceptance with astonishing nuance — and it did so whereas centering working class Latinx characters who nearly by no means get to be the celebs of their very own tales. At a time when racist canine whistles dominate political debate and demonizing Latinx individuals is par for the course, “One Day at a Time” offered a respite that isn’t only a aid, however a necessity.

Netflix understood the cultural significance of the present. As co-showrunner Gloria Calderon Kellett tweeted shortly after the third season premiered in February, the corporate “made clear that they love the present, love the way it serves underrepresented audiences, love its coronary heart & humor, however…we’d like extra viewers.”

From there, Calderon Kellet, her co-showrunner Mike Royce, and the solid launched into an earnest social media marketing campaign to drum up consideration for the present. The swell of help was heartwarming, but it surely was startling and admittedly miserable to observe them take Netflix’s job into their very own palms. They had been, in essence, pressured to beg the web for his or her jobs whereas Netflix retains trumpeting its various bonafides as a way to show the platform’s energy.

However as per Netflix, that marketing campaign was unsuccessful, and the present’s apparently delicate numbers in the end led to its definitive cancellation. Each chief content material officer Ted Sarandos and the principle Netflix Twitter account emphasised the relative lack of viewers of their statements on the cancellation, concluding that “merely not sufficient individuals watched to justify one other season.” In fact, we’ll in all probability by no means know what “not sufficient individuals” means, since Netflix by no means releases particular numbers to the general public except it’s to say {that a} present or film is “on monitor” to garner 40 million viewers. However each community is nicely inside its rights to cancel or renew a present primarily based on its rankings, and if “One Day at a Time” didn’t make the grade, that’s sadly that.

Nonetheless: even whereas canceling the present, Netflix tried to have its cake and eat it, too. Its overly acquainted Twitter thread breaking the information to its thousands and thousands of followers waxed poetic about how heartbroken viewers shouldn’t “take this as a sign your story will not be vital.” It even insisted that “the outpouring of affection for this present is a agency reminder to us that we should proceed discovering methods to inform these tales” in the identical breath through which it was shutting these tales down. 

I don’t doubt that there are various Netflix staff who’re “One Day at a Time” followers who’re simply as upset in regards to the cancellation as the remainder of us, and I’m genuinely thrilled at what number of non-white and LGBTQ creators the corporate has lifted up over time. However in making an attempt to sofa this cancellation in saccharine rhetoric about how vital “One Day at a Time” actually is, Netflix comes off extra condescending and disingenuous than anything. It doesn’t matter what its Twitter accounts would have us consider, Netflix can’t “yas, werk range!” its approach out of being an organization that places numbers (no matter they’re) first. 

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