One Day at a Time‘s Isabella Gomez (Elena Alvarez) made her second appearance at Clexa Con, and this year she was joined by Sheridan Pierce (Syd) and executive producer Brent Miller. Their panel, moderated by Chloe Tse, was a frank discussion of some of the personal challenges in filming season three and gave some hope to fans for season four.
First things first, how did we end up with a show like One Day at a Time (ODAAT) on Netflix? Miller and executive producer Norman Lear realized there was a “significantly underserved” audience and Miller suggested bringing ODAAT back with a Latinx cast. Miller discussed how proud he was of the show, cast, and the writers, and you could hear it in how he talked about the show. As a non-writing EP, once the show got going, he was able to sit back and just enjoy being a fan.
Gomez credited Netflix with giving the showrunners and writers the necessary creative freedom and pointed out that most networks wouldn’t have touched a show like ODAAT because they cover a lot of “taboo” topics. However, it does seem as if that’s changed with ODAAT’s success. Netflix recently cancelled the show for some ungodly reason, but according to Miller, there’s still hope for a season four as they have multiple networks interested. The only hitch is that the show can’t go to a streaming Network, thanks to original negotiations with Netflix.
If season four were to happen (and it needs to), then Gomez and Pierce already have some thoughts about storylines. Gomez is excited to see Elena and Syd getting ready to head to college and also wants to see a return of the debate team. She pointed out that the team was mentioned once in season one and Elena is the captain, but it was never mentioned again and she really wants it to come up in a future season. Pierce wants to see Syd’s “bonkers’ family and even has some ideas on casting; Danny DeVito as their dad and Liza Minelli as their mom because they’re both “wacky and confident.” Pierce also wants to see Syd and Dr. Berkowitz interact more, she feels like they’d get along great. They’ve already been to the opera together.
One of the major panel topics was episode 3×07 “The First Time” AKA the one where Elena and Syd get a hotel room together so they could have sex for the first time. Pierce discussed how intense of an episode it was and that she and Gomez really made sure to check in with each other to make sure they were comfortable. She also mentioned that one of the most amazing things about the hotel scene is just the discussion, the “whenever you want, whatever you want, if you want” attitude that you just don’t see in media.
Gomez added that for her, it was challenging because of the intimacy of that conversation. She was worried she wouldn’t be able to do justice to the script because she never had that conversation before, that check in, and she was terrified. She reiterated that she was excited to show this scene and for people to see it and hopefully have an experience she never had. Later, she mentioned that the first time storyline was one of her proudest arcs that they tackled on the show.
Another proud moment for Gomez was Elena’s entire LGBTQ experience and one of her favorite things is that Elena is not defined by her sexuality. She also stressed the importance of the fact that LGBTQ writers were writing Elena’s storylines. Gomez was unaware of the lack of representation until she took the role and started learning more and did some research. Pierce also talked about doing reading articles and watching youtube videos to make sure she educated herself as much as possible about the community. Along that vein, one of Pierce’s proudest moments was Elena and Syd figuring out what Elena should call Syd, because there aren’t a lot of gender neutral options that felt fitting. She loved how Schneider (Todd Grinnell) helped them figure it out and did so with respect.
Gomez and Pierce were obviously excited to be at the Con and to be talking about the show. The panel had a lot of great moments, and a few surprise guests, so if you want to watch the entire thing, check it out below (you won’t be sorry).