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Everything You Need To Know About One Day At A Time Before Its CBS Premiere!

Clockwise, from left: Isabella Gomez (Elena Alvarez), Stephen Tobolowsky (Dr. Berkowitz), Rita Moreno (Lydia Riera), Todd Grinnell (Schneider), Marcel Ruiz (Alex Alvarez), and Justina Machado (Penelope Alvarez).

Photo Credit: Pop TV.

The critically acclaimed sitcom makes its network debut with back-to-back episodes on Oct. 12.

By Nate Millado

This is it: Norman Lear's critically acclaimed reboot of his classic sitcom is coming to CBS! One Day At A Timereimagined to center on a Cuban-American family—makes its CBS network debut with back-to-back episodes on Oct. 12.

The first three seasons streamed on Netflix, while Season 4 aired on Pop TV (and will soon air on CBS). So if you've never seen an episode—and honestly, why haven't you?!—or just need a refresh, here's your primer for all things Alvarez.

One Day At A Time premieres Monday, Oct. 12 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Season 1: Meet the Family…

Rita Moreno Justina Machado

Rita Moreno as Lydia Riera and Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez in One Day At A Time.

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/Netflix.

Newly single mom Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado) is taking it "one day at a time" with her Cuban-American family in Echo Park, Los Angeles. Quirky, confident, and no-nonsense, Penelope is a nurse who aspires to be a nurse practitioner. She's also a military veteran dealing with PTSD.

Snarky and stylish son teenage Alex (Marcel Ruiz) feels obligated to be, as he puts it, "the man of the house" now that his mom and dad are divorced. Daughter Elena (Isabella Gomez) is a nerdy teen who's passionate about social issues. The first season builds toward her quinceañera (15th birthday party)—though feminist Elena doesn't want one at first.

She also comes out as lesbian, which the whole family—even Penelope's mother, the devoutly Catholic Lydia (played by EGOT winner/living legend Rita Moreno)—makes an effort to support.

…And Meet the Extended Family

The cast of One Day at a Time

Rita Moreno as Lydia Riera, Todd Grinnell as Schneider, Marcel Ruiz as Alex Alvarez, Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez, Isabella Gomez as Elena Alvarez, and Stephen Tobolowsky as Dr. Berkowitz.

Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/Netflix.

Penelope may be the head of the family, but abuela Lydia is its heart. The cast is rounded out by Penelope's boss, Dr. Berkowitz (Stephen Tobolowsky), and the Alvarez's wealthy hipster landlord—and loyal friend—Schneider (Todd Grinnell).

Penelope's ex, Victor (James Martinez), reenters the picture, but refuses to accept Elena's sexuality. When he bails on the father-daughter dance at the quince, Penelope swoops in, and the season ends with an awww-worthy group hug/dance between the Alvarez fam, Dr. Berkowitz, and Schneider.

Season 2: Citizenship…

\u200bIsabella Gomez Rita Moreno Marcel Ruiz Justina Machado

Isabella Gomez as Elena Alvarez, Rita Moreno as Lydia Riera, Marcel Ruiz as Alex Alvarez, and Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez.

Photo Credit: Adam Rose/Netflix.

ODAAT tackles timely issues without ever being preachy. Alex punches a school bully for telling him to go back to Mexico. "You can't control the jerks," Penelope tells her son, "but you can control your reaction to them."

Canadian Schneider and Cuban immigrant Lydia become U.S. citizens. In relationship news, Lydia starts a no-strings platonic companionship with Dr. Berkowitz; out-and-proud Elena finds a girlfriend named Syd (Sheridan Pierce), aka her "Syd-nificant Other"; and Penelope gets involved with a recently divorced old friend, a hunky "stallion"—Lydia's words, not ours!—named Max (Ed Quinn).

…And Relationships!

Ed Quinn Justina Machado

Ed Quinn as Max and Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez in One Day At A Time.

Photo Credit: Mike Yarish/Netflix.

But their relationship hits a rough patch when she discovers Max wants to have children. After Penelope breaks up with Max, she gets into a fight with Lydia, who suffers a stroke. Lydia's late husband, Berto (Tony Plana), appears at her hospital room to accompany her to the afterlife. But when Berto asks, "So, mi amor, is it time?" Lydia chooses life. "Not yet," she says, as the studio audience goes wild.

Season 3: Highs and Lows…

James Martinez as Victor Alvarez and Isabella Gomez as Elena Alvarez

James Martinez as Victor Alvarez and Isabella Gomez as Elena Alvarez.

Photo Credit: Mike Yarish/Netflix.

Alex gets caught with pot and is grounded. Elena reconnects with Victor—yes, her jerk of a dad who left her hanging at her 15th birthday celebration—who apologizes for reacting so horribly to her coming out. They get a redo of their father-daughter dance when Victor remarries.

…And Lydia's "Bouquet" List

Rita Moreno with hands on hips in One Day At A Time

Rita Moreno as Lydia Riera in One Day At A Time.

Photo Credit: Adam Rose/Netflix.

After years of sobriety, Schneider falls off the wagon—no thanks to his jerk of a dad. Lydia uses her near-death experience to check things off her "bouquet," er, bucket. list. She finally returns to Cuba—with Dr. Berkowitz in tow—to scatter Berto's ashes in their home country. Oh, and Penelope is a nurse practitioner now! So who needs a man, right?

Season 4: Resolutions and Revelations

Cast of One Day At A Time on living room set

Marcel Ruiz as Alex Alvarez, Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez, Rita Moreno as Lydia Riera, Ray Romano as Brian, Isabella Gomez as Elena Alvarez, and Sheridan Pierce as Syd.

Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/Pop TV.

Luckily, ODAAT ties up most loose ends from Season 3, so even newbies will be able to catch up when CBS rolls out the Season 4 episodes, starting with an extremely timely census-themed show featuring Ray Romano.

Plus: Boundary Problems

Rita Moreno Marcel Ruiz Justina Machado in One Day At A Time

Rita Moreno as Lydia Riera, Marcel Ruiz as Alex Alvarez, and Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez in One Day At A Time.

Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/Pop TV.

Alex has a girlfriend named Nora (Raquel Justice). Elena applies to colleges and grapples with what that means for her relationship with Syd.

There's a hilariously cringeworthy episode (pictured above) where Alex catches Penelope in a very compromising position. (That episode, "Boundaries," just won an Emmy for Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series.) We'll get some resolution to the Penelope and Max saga. And someone's pregnant! But we'll never tell who.

One Day At A Time premieres Monday, Oct. 12 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.

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