15 shows about working-class families that aren’t Roseanne

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One Day at a Time

Lots of critics have been screaming about One Day At at Time since its premiere in 2017. It’s one of those beautiful darlings that we love, but is woefully under-watched. I hope all the folks that are missing Roseanne find their way to this little gem.

The premise: Based on a Norman Lear classic from the ’70s, ODAAT has a fresh and modern update, featuring the Cuban-American family lead by Rita Moreno’s matriarch, Lydia. Lydia lives with her daughter and veteran, single mom Penelope Alvarez, played without one bit of reserve by Justina Machado.

Penelope is raising her two children while working as a nurse and returning to school. The four of them live in a two-bedroom apartment in Echo Park, and they often face financial issues, but go through everything, and I mean everything, together and as a family. They are a really close bunch.

Why you’ll like it: Much like another shows about working class family we used to love, it takes on more than the socio-economic standing of the family. Penelope’s oldest child, Elena, identifies as queer, and the show handled her coming out better than almost anything I’ve seen on television. It was carefully considered, yet it didn’t feel contrived or artificial. It was quite sweet.

Also, the show doesn’t shy away from issues facing not only middle-class Americans, but folks from all walks of life. As an Army veteran, Penelope faces struggles with PTSD and her mental health while trying to balance her life. The show also tackles modern ideas about immigration, gun laws, and interracial dating. But I promise, it never, ever, feels like it’s pushing its own agenda or making us eat our veggies.

Where to find it: Netflix rebooted the series in 2017. It’s aired two seasons, and just announced a season 3. Let’s all say a giant “Yay!”