It’s been nearly 30 years since “One Day at a Time” went off the air — since Bonnie Franklin, who played single mother Ann Romano on the long-running sitcom, was regularly seen on TV. But Franklin’s death last week, at 69, has prompted an outpouring of emotion on the usually cynical Internet, with a common refrain: “I always wished she could be my mom.”
Ann Romano was a particular kind of mom, a rarity on TV when the show premiered in 1975: divorced and living in an apartment in Indianapolis, raising two teenage daughters on her own. Carol Brady had a Barbie Dream House, a husband, and a full-time housekeeper to help manage the minor dramas of sibling jealousy and cheerleading tryouts. For nine seasons plus syndication, Ann Romano dealt with smaller digs and bigger issues: runaways, suicide, birth control, sex.