“On My Block” features tough teen realities


“On My Block” follows a group of four lifelong friends who are smart, funny, and street savvy. As they navigate their way through high school, they have to overcome pain and struggle with many traditional high school difficulties.

“Their friendships are tested as Monse (Sierra Capri), Ruby (Jason Genao), Jamal (Brett Gray) and Cesar (Diego Tinoco) confront the challenges of adolescence and life in their predominantly Hispanic and black neighborhood in the rough inner city South Central Los Angeles as this coming-of-age comedy series takes flight,” as said in a review by Wikipedia.

This uprising TV show was created by Netflix and co-created by Lauren Lungerich (creator of Awkward) and Eddie Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft (All Eyez On Me, and Empire). The show kicks off with a raging teen party; it gives a glimpse of what life is for the quartet when gunshots are fired and they call out what type of gun it is. They deal with everything from gang violence and first love to finding buried treasure.

The main cast includes, as mentioned before, Monse, an upcoming writer raised by a single father. Talk alot Ruby Martinez, a math genius who is eloquent, horny, and desperate. Jamal, a dork who collects mini garden gnomes, and can’t keep a secret for his life. And Cesar the good, bad boy who is in a local gang, called the Santos.

When Monse comes back from writing camp, all grown up and “blossomed’’ she finds that Ruby and Jamal aren’t vibing with Cesar. Is it possible that rumor could have broken up the group or is it when the new girl Olivia enters the show?

Regardless the situation, the group is tested for their loyalty to each other. As Monse continues to deny her love for Cesar and only digs herself into a deeper hole of lies. Ruby is head over hills for Olivia; leaving Jamal on the hunt for buried treasure. Released March 16, 2018 with one season and ten episodes in; one of the many unique things about this series is how it displays crime and the awareness of violence into everyday life. The actors and actresses portray their characters amazingly well. From the hard life of outcast and drama to first loves and everyday teenage life, making it incredibly easy for teens to relate to the characters.

Comic relief is used heavily throughout every show giving us hysterical laugh and break from all the tension. Like in the midst of all the drama with Cesar being checked by an opposing gang member, and possibly having to run for his life; Jamal never fails when he begins his hyperventilation at the thought of getting a football-related concussions and tries to fake his injuries multiple times.

Ruby and Jamal perhaps the two most dramatic characters, switching back and forth with
their comments, you will see that they do an amazing job of making us laugh. On the contrary, Cesar is a bit more on the “I’m still a kid, but I have adult business to handle” side. His character is a great relation to those who have grew up around gang violence and who has actually been in a gang. Diego Tinoco, makes his character very believable, with the emotional distress he goes through and the way he delivers it forces you to sympathize him. Last but not least (for now) Monse, comes to life as Sierra Capri sheds the real tears and shares the dirty truth of a broken heart.

All in all the characters, setting, and plot is nicely covered, in fact it’s so real that you feel like you are part of the show.

One thing that could have been better is the pacing of the show. It goes so fast it kinda gets hard to keep up with. Not spending any longer than one episode on a problem, the goes on to the next in a hurry. Slowing down the pace a bit could make it easier to keep up with all the drama.

It’s never too late to tune in now….especially when we know Netflix is gearing up for a season 2.