2.26.19 ODAAT

Stars: 4.5/5 

The Alvarez family is back, and wherever they go, hilarity ensues. If you are unfamiliar with the series, it focuses on Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado) and the daily life of her family — her two children Elena (Isabella Gomez) and Alex (Marcel Ruiz), her mother Lydia (Rita Moreno) and their friends. Each episode focuses on important issues that Hispanic people and families in general experience. 

The seasons opens with the funeral of an extended family member. True to Hispanic form, nobody can remember which Tia it is, until Schneider (Todd Grinnell) walks in to remind them it’s “Tia Jack Sparrow” with the eye patch. The episode focuses on the years-long feud between Lydia and her sister Mirtha (Gloria Estefan) over a mantilla and how it has affected their daughters, and ends with Estrellita (Melissa Fumero), Mirtha’s daughter, revealing she’s a supporter of President Donald Trump, much to Penelope’s chagrin. 

Episode 2 deals with the difficult subject of consent, harassment and toxic masculinity. Penelope discovers Alex’s finsta and finds inappropriate pictures of him sexualizing things and touching his girlfriend’s breast. This sparks a conversation about what’s appropriate and that implied consent may really be pressure to conform stemmed from toxic masculinity. Social warrior and feminist Elena explicitly demonstrates consent with her non-binary significant other, Syd (Sheridan Pierce).  

Elena’s depiction draws a stark contrast with the traditionally patriarchal or “machista” views of Hispanic culture, views that are provided by Lydia. This is also displayed by Lydia throughout the season as she favors her grandson, advises him that “every no is a yes in disguise” and cleans and does things for him that she doesn’t do for Elena, presumably because Alex is male and Elena is female. 

Season three of ODAAT, as usual, does not shy away from dealing with difficult topics, such as recreational drug use, anxiety, teenage sex and consent. In episode nine, the show addresses mental illness through Penelope’s apprehension to share the fact she’s on antidepressants with her children, but later deciding it would be best that she tell them upon realizing that Elena suffers from anxiety attacks, too. 

In previous seasons, the series has dealt with topics such as sexuality, gender identity, religion and PTSD. This season also dealt with Elena’s father Victor (James Martinez) coming to terms with his daughter’s sexual orientation and making amends for having hurt her by refusing to dance with her for the father-daughter dance at her quinces.  

The most remarkable aspect about the series co-developed by Gloria Calderon Kellett, who appears in this season as Victor's wife Nicole, aside from the stellar writing and performance is its predominantly Latin cast. Besides Netflix’s “On My Block”, which was released the year after ODAAT debuted, I can’t think of another series featuring that many Latinos in their cast and crew. 

The inclusion and awareness that the show brings to the millions of Latin and Hispanic people is significant and should be preserved. Not to mention, the show is hilarious and has the capability of resonating with all audiences due to the vast expanse of issues it has tackled during its three-year run. 

Currently, the show is at risk of being cancelled due to disappointing number of views during its first weeks of release. Viewers can tweet Netlfix with #RenewODAAT to express their desire for a fourth season. 

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