Netflix Series “On My Block” Renewed for Season Two

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.

Rowan Copley ‘Likes’ “The Social Network”

Photo Courtesy of thesocialnetworkthemovie.com
Photo Courtesy of thesocialnetworkthemovie.com

When I walked in to see The Social Network, I wasn’t really too concerned that it was going to be some super-sexified techno-romp like Hackers, the 1990s action flick. While Hackers was a whiz-banging good time, it existed in a glittering parallel universe where computer hackers clever enough could easily put on a light show with a skyscraper, or do any number of absurd things, through this new technology called the World Wide Web. I wanted a history that didn’t need to sex up its material to make it interesting.

But in actuality this movie isn’t about the technology, or really about the Internet at all. From the very first scene, where Mark Zuckerberg (played by Michael Cera doppelganger Jesse Eisenberg) gets dumped by his girlfriend (played by Rooney Mara), the film’s focus is squarely on Zuckerberg, where it remains for the rest of the movie.

And yeah, it’s a well-crafted film, one which claims to only be a dramatization of history (though real-life Zuckerberg denies that it is at all factual). It moves quickly, most of the scenes are beautifully dark (don’t forget that director David Fincher made Fight Club), and I am really impressed by Eisenberg’s portrayal of Zuckerberg.

Without a good actor portraying the guy, Zuckerberg’s absolute absence of tact or apparent emotion probably would have drowned out any empathy we feel for him.

Zuckerberg’s character is still shockingly arrogant, however, which makes it difficult to side with him when things start to get ugly and people start vying for a piece of the $16 billion Facebook pie. Actually, this aloof computer genius seems so fundamentally anti-social that you have to start wondering how the hell he ever ended up inventing Facebook, one of the most social inventions ever.

But that’s about as far as the filmmakers take you into Zuckerberg’s psyche, before reeling you back in with the movie’s other major players, notably including Justin Timberlake’s roguish Sean Parker, the founder of Napster who ends up leaving a major mark in Facebook’s seminal years, and Andrew Garfield’s Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg’s close (and perhaps betrayed) friend and Facebook’s CFO.

I enjoyed the movie because it didn’t feel fake, and I’d recommend it because it’s not trying to propagate any message. Go see it because it’s a well-told story about this crazy-smart guy who accidentally invented something almost everyone loves.