What One Day At A Time's Stars Thought About That Heartbreaking Season 2 Finale

Penelope crying over her mother in the finale

Thanks to Netflix, streaming services have since become commonplace, with a wealth of fantastic content available to binge watch. After succeeding in both dramas and comedies, Netflix recently dipped its toes into the world of streaming sitcoms like Fuller House and the new One Day at a Time. The latter's second season was recently released on the streaming service, including an absolutely heartbreaking finale episode. We saw as Rita Moren's Lydia very nearly died, giving the rest of the cast a chance to deliver powerful monologues to Abuelita while she was in a coma. CinemaBlend recently asked the cast about the process of filming, where series star Justina Machado revealed what it was like to shoot the emotional episode. She told us,

I think it was, to me, incredibly exciting. Just because we did it like a play. Our fabulous director Pamela Fryman was very protective of us. So because we shoot in front of a live audience, we rehearsed the heck out of it. Then, we only shot it once or twice in front of the audience. That's it. So we were so prepared, and it was great. I loved it, I loved being able to go through that monologue without having to stop. And just doing it once or twice. Because you saw those monologues. More than that, I couldn't have handled it.

Well, this is interesting. Justina Michado no doubt relished the opportunity to deliver her powerful monologue toward the finale's third act, as she'd had experience in dramas like Six Feet Under. But it looks like One Day at a Time filmed the finale quite different than its lighter episodes.

One Day at a Time utilizes a live studio audience, so filming "Not Yet" was particularly challenging. While typical episodes have take after take of any bits and emotional scenes, the Season 2 finale changed things up. Each starring cast member only delivered their emotional monologue one or two times for the audience, meaning that the takes were very precious. As such, the cast had to rehearse the episode as if it were a play, where you only get one shot at each scene. Talk about pressure.

Actress Isabella Gómez also spoke to CinemaBlend at Netflix's recent press junket in New York City about her role in the finale. Gomez plays Penelope's daughter Elena in the One Day at a Time, and revealed how the emotional nature of the episode made her all but flee into her dressing room. She said,

I thought it was really hard. I'm the kind of actor that is always on set with everyone. I don't like being in my room. And that was the one week out of the whole season that I was like 'I can't do it. I can't watch this over and over again.' Especially Justina breaks your heart. It was a tough episode to film.

Much like audiences, it seems like Isabella Gómez couldn't handle watching the emotional scenes from "Not Yet", especially Justina Machado's powerful monologue at her mother. And One Day at a Time fans will no doubt understand why. Luckily, Abuelita managed to survive her brief coma, refusing to pass on and meet her husband Berto. At least, not yet.

One Day at a Time's first two seasons are streaming at Netflix. Additionally, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch, and our cancellation list to see if your favorite show got the chop last year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.