The inspiration behind Netflix’s timely ‘One Day at a Time’ reboot

(CNN)Gloria Caldern Kellett was never quite able to fit Hollywood’s out-of-touch mold for a Latino woman back in her acting days more than a decade ago. Nor did she care to.

She’d audition for roles — mostly “gangbanger’s girlfriend” or “gangbanger’s wife” — and never rarely worked because she did not look “Latino enough.”

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“I also always had to put on a terrible accent, which I cannot do,” she recalled to CNN in a recent interview. “‘Chuy, put the gun down. rale!'”
The experience motivated her to be an authentic voice at a time when one was obviously needed. She decided to focus on writing.
“I will write my perspective and it will resonate, hopefully,” she said she thought at the time. It worked.
More than 11 years later, her story — and her family’s story — is now front and center in Netflix’s “One Day at a Time,” which is currently streaming.

The series tackles issues in subtle and accessible ways — much like ABC’s “black-ish.” (Creator Kenya Barris even attended a few tapings of “One Day at a Time.”)
One episode weaves in a storyline about Penelope’s struggle to get help from Veteran Affairs. Another tackles equal pay when Penelope finds out a less qualified male co-worker makes the same amount of money as she does. Another features a subplot about a young friend of Penelope’s daughter whose parents are deported.
“It’s interesting because when we set out to do this show, I didn’t set out to be really political with it but it certainly seems like it’s a time when these conversations need to be having,” she said. “I’m related to people who were on the other side politically and we still love each other and are able to have very educated, smart conversations about what’s happening in this country and still love and respect one another despite our differences. And hopefully that reflects on the show.”
“One Day at a Time” was shot from April to August in 2016, wrapping about two months before the end of the presidential election. The longer turnaround time required for episodes is a blessing and a curse for a show like “One Day at a Time.”
The negative: reacting to a specific event is impossible because by the time the episode made it to Netflix they’d be behind the curve. The positive: they can focus on being evergreen.
“If we’re talking about something specific that happened last week, it would date us,” she said. “I think these are going to stand the test of time, hopefully.”

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/06/entertainment/one-day-at-a-time-netflix-reboot/index.html

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