The teen dramedy “On My Block” premiered on the streaming service Netflix on March 16. This series highlights the life of a friend group struggling to stick together through their high school years in South Central Los Angeles.
The show starts during the summer before the teens’ freshman year of high school. By the end of summer, everything changes. Monse comes back from writing camp to discover that her best friend Cesar has succumbed to becoming a member of his brother’s gang, and her other friends Jamal and Ruby haven’t tried to stop it. Monse then acts as the glue that tries to hold the friend group together through the turmoil they face during high school.
Each character is distinct and interesting. A fan favorite has become Jamal Turner, who is deathly afraid of playing football and is obsessed with an age-old scavenger hunt that supposedly leads to riches. There’s Ruby, a stylish boy that is waiting for his first kiss and is dedicated to impressing the new girl, Olivia. And Olivia, who is forced to live with her family friend as a result of her parents being deported. Then there is Jasmin, who is the comic relief.
Finally, the love interests, Cesar and Monse, who are the center of the group and feel responsible for the well-being of their friends.
“On My Block” explores the group of young teens’ battles with their hormones and new relationships while also dealing with their own coming of age dilemmas.
One great characteristic of this Netflix series is that there is great diversity in the cast. There are strong Afro-Latina, Hispanic and black leads in the series, which is something not typically seen on the small screen. It also portrays the severity of life in the inner city and what it is like to grow up in an environment with gang involvement. But it also shows the bright minds of teens that can spur from those same areas.
While some aspects of the show are unrealistic, it captures the viewers with its witty comedy and well-rounded characters. It is easy to watch this show’s 10 episodes within a few days.
Each cliffhanger leaves the audience begging for more. With a 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is clear that many individuals are enjoying the fresh perspective “On My Block” provides.
“On My Block” is a welcome addition to the world of teen comedy television. On April 13 Netflix announced the renewal of the show for another season — I am plenty hopeful for season two.