Season Two of Netflix’s hit series One Day at a Time premiered recently in late January. The show is a remake of the hit 70s sitcom with the same name and creator, Norman Lear. But now in the new version, Lear has tweaked the show a bit—instead of featuring a white family in Indianapolis, it features a Cuban-American family in Echo Park, Los Angeles.
And while some have questioned the choice to set the show in Echo Park (an area commonly thought of as a Mexican neighborhood), Cuban-American writer and producer Gloria Calderon Kellett’s personal life experiences contributed to the scene setting and other aspects of the show.
The modern spinoff tackles topics from sexual identity, to veterans issues, to mansplaining. Actor Justina Machado, known for her role in the HBO series Six Feet Under, is the star of the show and plays single mother Penelope Alvarez, a retired army veteran.
In this installment of “Portrait Of,” Maria Hinojosa speaks with Justina about growing up in Chicago and how that shaped her and her career, and what it’s like to work on a sitcom that tackles politics and social issues head on.
Featured image: Justina Machado (Courtesy of Pmk-Bnc)