One Day at a Time takes swipe at Netflix in season premiere — watch the first 90 seconds
One Day at a Time (2017)
One Day at a Time is teasing Pop TV's debut of the Alvarez family with a first look at the premiere episode — the first 90 seconds, actually — and Alex (Marcel Ruiz) can't help but take a swipe at Netflix within the first few seconds.
"Did you decide what we're watching for movie night?" Penelope (Justina Machado) asks her family in EW's exclusive preview, above.
"No, it's like there's nothing good on Netflix anymore," her son Alex responds.
But the jab was all in good fun, according to series co-creator Gloria Calderón Kellett.
"It has been no secret that we really do love them and we love each other," Calderón Kellett tells EW exclusively. "On both sides, there’s been really lovely things said. We’ve said lovely things to them and they've said lovely things to us. We're very grateful for the three seasons, but now we can kind of make fun of it. Hey, they did break up with us. So we get to have a little bit of fun with that. I think that's allowed all in good fun."
The fun in the season premiere also includes guest star Ray Romano, who knocks on the Alvarez's door right after Alex's quip. The Everybody Loves Raymond and Men of a Certain Age star, who previously collaborated with One Day co-creator Mike Royce on those comedies, portrays census worker Brian.
"We've been wanting to get Ray, obviously, and it just needed to be the right thing," Calderón Kellett explains. "At the beginning of this season, we had a bunch of obviously Latino led issues we wanted to tackle. One of our writers said, ‘Hey we can use the census?’ which is something that's very important for communities of color, specifically Latinos because we are typically very underrepresented due to fear. This is a great way to talk about something that we should be participating in and at the same time, it's a great reintroduction for those who have not seen the first three seasons on Netflix, to get acquainted with who this family is and then get on board quickly to who they are, what their relationships are, and then we can start the show."
In the final moments of the season 3 finale, viewers saw Lydia (Rita Moreno) and Dr. Berkowitz (Stephen Tobolowsky) decide to visit Cuba. While the new season does not pick up directly after the events of the finale, Calderón Kellett says they will go back to it.
"We will be addressing it, it’s gonna be about halfway through the season," she says, adding that they thought it would be appropriate to let Lydia tell the story of their trip when she's ready.
She adds, "Going to Cuba is not a vacation for Cubans. My [uncle] went, and when he came back he had photos and things but it took him a moment of reset and everybody in the family was very respectful of allowing him the time he needed to process before he spoke about it. And I think that that's why this worked, because I think that she would come back and say how was it and allow Lydia to dictate how much she wanted to share and when. And that's really what the family has done."
Love is in the air again for Penelope, whose last serious relationship was with an EMT named Max (Ed Quinn). They split after Penelope learned he wanted kids of his own and she felt her family was already complete with two children.
"It's going to end up being a pretty perfect relationship for her," Calderón Kellett teases. "She lives a very busy life and she lives a life where her family is her first priority so she has to be with somebody who gets all of that and sort of has their own strengths, and she gets it this season."
Although Calderón Kellett won't say who will play Penelope's beau, she confirms it won't be Machado's Six Feet Under costar Freddy Rodriguez — but it's not for lack of effort.
"No! We love Freddy so much and we try to make it work every season. You can see our love on Twitter, we really love each other. It's just that he's on Bull and they have 24 episodes, they're just doing so many episodes and it shoots in New York, so trying to get him is impossible because he's working all the time."
While Calderón Kellett is back in the director's chair this season for three episodes, fans won't get to see the return of her character Nicole just yet. Danny Pino, who plays Penelope's brother Tito, is also not scheduled to return this season.
Machado and costar Todd Grinnell (Schneider) will also direct this season, which will include a "very political episode" about the 2020 elections.
Season 4 of One Day at a Time premieres March 24 at 9:30 pm ET on Pop TV.