Tuesday, April 14, 2020

REVIEW: 'One Day at a Time' - The Alvarez Family Receives Some Wonderful News During Halloween in 'One Halloween at a Time'

Pop's One Day at a Time - Episode 4.04 "One Halloween at a Time"

It's a very scary Halloween when Lydia discovers something life altering in the kitchen trash. Schneider and Avery are determined to win an elaborate costume contest.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Pop's One Day at a Time.

"One Halloween at a Time" was written by Vincent Brown and directed by Phill Lewis

At its core, this episode is a celebration. Sure, there is some awkwardness that comes from Lydia discovering a pregnancy test in the trash. Once Avery is revealed to be the one expecting though, it is incredibly happy news. Schneider immediately accepts it as well. There should never have been any doubt about that either. Of course, all of this does come across as a fairly conventional and formulaic sitcom plot. The episode overall is less focused than the show usually is. But again, that final point is one of joyous celebration. This is a family that fundamentally loves each other. They may be concerned that the people they love are making mistakes. They may make accusations that are completely untrue. However, that love is always present and deeply felt. This baby is an addition to the family. Schneider and Avery may come from a place of privilege. However, the Alvarez family has welcomed them into their lives and will ensure that they succeed as parents no matter what. Alex and Elena laugh and are embarrassed when they are confronted by Penelope about the pregnancy test. Everyone was right to assume that it couldn't possibly belong to Elena. Meanwhile, it's awkward that this is the way in which Penelope meets Nora's parents for the first time. The boundaries in this family are incredibly close. However, Alex doesn't want to tell his mother that he hasn't had sex with his girlfriend yet. Sure, that can be an open and honest conversation at some point. The show did a wonderful job exploring that exact subject matter with Elena and Syd earlier in its run. And now, they get to be the awkward couple who completely understand each other even though the rest of the world fails to respond to them the way they think they should. It's a fascinating dynamic. One that allows a few cameo appearances from Reggie Watts and Marla Gibbs here. That's all those guest spots ultimately turn out to be. They provide quick jokes meant to reinforce that Elena and Syd's activism may not stand a chance in contrast to the fun of Halloween. That is the holiday that is seemingly bringing everyone together. Schneider and Avery are trying to win a costume contest. Penelope and Max feel the energy as well. Even Lydia and Dr. B have a lot of fun with it. Again, this episode wants to be fun and reassure the audience that everything is basically okay with these couples. This could have been the entry point for a much larger conversation between Penelope and Max. They broke up at the end of the second season because he wanted children and she was happy with the two she already has. She didn't think she could go through the experience of taking care of a newborn again. She made peace with love being a thing that potentially ebbs and flows in her life. It's not the sole story that should define who she is. She is also incredibly thrilled that Max is back. They still haven't quite had the conversation about what the future holds for them as a couple. Lydia immediately suspects that her daughter is pregnant. It's the answer that makes the most logical sense. It could have informed so much about how the audience should be reacting to this reunion as well. It will determine whether or not to believe in its long term prospects. Instead, it's mostly about the joy of seeing Penelope and Max together again. The show presents couples here that love each other and want to spend time together. It doesn't have to be any more complicated than that at the moment. It's likely that more drama will pop up at some point this season. The show always does a wonderful job in mining the emotions of life. But romance and fun can absolutely fuel an episode as well. These couples may not always want to be around other people. Alex would much rather die his hair and spend time at Nora's house where a party is happening. Life is evolving in that way. The family still remains incredibly supportive and united. Elena and Alex see themselves as aunt and uncle to Schneider's baby as well. That proves that they see him more as an older brother at this point. Someone they can rely on for a different perspective while also knowing their family is enriched because he is in it. He may have his doubts later on because of the tense dynamic he shares with his own father. But the overwhelming love and support he receives from each member of the Alvarez family will uplift him over any obstacle that may come his way. The audience instinctively understands that so the show can just delight in the celebration of what this news can bring.