Netflix made the unusual decision to announce the beloved comedy's cancelation via a Twitter thread that tried to frame the streaming service as a "good, conscientious, thoughtful content creator," says Kathryn VanArendonk. "Instead of owning the cold corporate logic of this cancellation, the tweets attempt to remind everyone how much Netflix cares, how much it understands the way fans feel. They’re an attempt to soften the blow, to make the company look better even while it twists the knife." VanArendonk adds: "One Day at a Time’s cancellation felt like a betrayal because, according to Netflix’s own best efforts at public engagement, the show wasn’t being cancelled by a giant faceless media company. One Day at a Time was cancelled by Your Online Friend @Netflix. As one decision about one show among an overwhelming slate of programming, it could have been a sad day for fans and nothing more. Instead, thanks to Netflix’s extensive social media efforts, it felt insulting, tin-eared, and greedy. It felt personal."
"Netflix is trying to throw away its cake and get credit for having baked it," says James Poniewozik. "TV outlets cancel shows all the time. But more often than not, they let the news come out quietly. In this case, Netflix, maybe anticipating a backlash, wanted to present itself as the disappointed fan as much as the practical-minded enterprise. So it frames the cancellation as less Netflix’s decision than something that just happened to it. “Simply not enough people watched.” You could write a book about all the complications packed into that 'not enough.'"
This was Netflix at its most frustrating: "In trying to couch this cancellation in saccharine rhetoric about how important One Day at a Time truly is, Netflix comes off more condescending and disingenuous than anything else," says Caroline Framke. "No matter what its Twitter accounts would have us believe, Netflix can’t 'yas, werk diversity!' its way out of being a corporation that puts numbers (whatever they are) first."
Why One Day at a Time mattered: "It painted a nuanced, rich portrait of a hard-working family of immigrants and second-generation immigrants at precisely the moment that portrait needed to be seen," says Jen Chaney. "The first season of the sitcom debuted on January 6, 2017, two weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration and three weeks before Trump signed a travel ban that barred immigrants from certain countries from entering the U.S. The Alvarez family on the show didn’t hail from any of the countries affected by that ban. Their roots were in Cuba, as Moreno’s Lydia, the grandmother who shared the family’s modest Echo Park apartment, mentioned practically every cinco minutos. But the Alvarezes represented the Latinx community that Trump had spent an election cycle frequently degrading and dehumanizing, and ODAAT made it clear that community is not some threatening monolith to vilify. They are people with beliefs and concerns that mirror those of any other Americans. This should go without saying. But at the beginning of 2017 and for the years that have followed, it really, really needed to be said."