WATCH Magazine: August 2022: Summer Of Love


C ONTRARY TO COMMON BELIEF, Bonnie Franklin as Ann Romano on the original One Day at a Time was not the first divorced female character on a TV series. That distinction goes to legendary “second banana” Viv- ian Vance on The Lucy Show (1962–68). But One Day at a Time was the first to deal with the issues of raising a family as a divorced woman. Debuting on December 16, 1975, the show followed the lives of 30-some- thing Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin) and her two teenage daughters—Julie (Mackenzie Phillips) and Barbara (Valerie Bertinelli)—as they began a new chapter

in Indianapolis. Pat Harrington Jr. was their apartment building superinten- dent, Dwayne Schneider, who became a personal friend and a surrogate father, of sorts, to the girls. And Richard Masur as David Kane was Ann’s divorce lawyer, whom she was dating. When Masur asked to depart the series early in Season 2, Mary Louise Wilson as cocktail waitress Ginny Wroblicki was briefly added for comic relief. But Wilson, like Masur, made a quick exit, and the focus remained on the three women, and Schneider, through Ann’s tribulations facing single life and the girls’ young adulthood (including

eventual marriage and parenthood). Like any Norman Lear sitcom, One Day at a Time dealt with real issues: teen runaways, workplace sexism, shoplift- ing, infertility, etc. And, like any series on the air for a certain number of years, there were cast additions: Michael Lem- beck (Max Horvath), Glenn Scarpelli (Alex Handris), Shelley Fabares (Francine Webster), Boyd Gaines (Mark Royer), and Nanette Fabray (Katherine Romano). The action in the ninth season switched to the two young married couples (and eventually the three young adults after Mackenzie Phillips left the series for the second time) living



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