Following a group of friends, Ruby, Monse, Jamal and Cesar, during their first year of high school, the Netflix original “On My Block” finds a way to show the struggles of children in poor communities, while also providing lots of laughter to keep the show light hearted. The show “On My Block” has stood out from Netflix’s other originals over the past two years since it has joined the popular streaming site.
The first season of every show is important as it serves as an introduction to viewers and “On My Block” delivered in a big way. Season one showed what the show has to offer, as they filled the season with nonstop laughs, while also showing the trials and tribulations that incoming freshman have to face. The season follows the four friends on their way into high school, and trying to balance the troubles with that with the troubles with growing up in a poor community. The season focuses heavily on the problems with growing up, including having to make tough decisions, dealing with rumors, growing up and finding yourself. Cesar is heavily involved in the central plot of the show, as well as Monse, who just wants to keep him safe. Jamal sets himself apart from the rest of the group during this season, as he shows that even while not being the closest to the main storyline, he could be the most entertaining as he sets off on his own adventure to find money from an elusive heist to help him and his friends out. The writers keep the audience entertained for the next season, as they wrap up their two plots in two cliffhangers to set up the next season.
Season two picks up a few weeks after season one ended, answering all of the questions left over from season one. This season focuses less on the friends in their high school lives and more of them in their community and home lives. The season touches on other issues as well, such as colorism and having consequences for your actions. Monse gets her own mini storyline this season as she tries reconnecting with her mom, only to find out that her mom just wants to whitewash her. The show does a good job with bringing issues like this to light, while not letting it take away from the main plot. The main plot of the season being Cesar and his actions from the previous season
The show is not perfect by any means, however. The show falls short at the key aspects of strong acting and showing full emotion. While it is an entertaining and comedic show, their actors do not sell it to its greatest extent. The cast comes in without much acting experience, with the most of any recurring character in both seasons coming from Jasmine, one of the main four’s classmates. Their lack of experience shows when they are trying to show sadness and it comes off as forced. One of the few moments of truly shocking emotion comes from Ruby in season two, when he is demonstrating a shock and fear of events that he experienced in his past. While the actors show an easy and natural flow for comedy and laughter, they struggle with most other emotions.
“On My Block” is worth the time to watch and does not take multiple days to complete. The show only has a handful of episodes and with the way the show continues to improve in quality, it looks to become a standout show among all of Netflix’s originals. While it leaves a lot to be desired, it is enjoyable to watch, providing laughs even in bad situations. The show is currently only offered on Netflix.