The new Netflix series, On My Block, created by Lauren Iungerich, Eddie Gonzalez, and Jeremy Haft, has defied the typical coming-of-age story.
The show centers on four best friends who live in Los Angeles’ inner city, as they learn the ins and outs of high school. The show focuses on typical teenage issues within relationships and friendships, while also highlighting more serious issues that people in low income neighborhoods may face such as gang activity, violence, and discrimination.
All the characters are played by actors of color, giving viewers a glimpse into the adversities that they face.
The first episode introduces us to the main friend group of four. The group consists of Monse Finnie (Sierra Capri), Ruby Martinez (Jason Genao), Jamal Turner (Brett Gray), and Cesar Diaz (Diego Tinoco). The characters are about to start their first year of high school together.
After Monse returns from a summer writing camp, she discovers that Ruby and Jamal are no longer friends with Cesar for a reason unknown to her. A majority of the first episode shows Monse trying to find out what Cesar did to cause a split in their group. After much persistence Monse eventually gets Jamal to reveal what happened. Cesar bragged about having a relationship with Monse before she left for camp. We’re lead to believe that Cesar was lying, which is what caused Ruby and Jamal to cut ties with him, but towards the end we find out it was true.
Cesar explains to Monse that the only reason he told people was to protect her from his older brother, Oscar, who recently got out of prison and wanted to pursue her. We also find out that Cesar has been initiated into his brothers gang. Monse, Ruby, and Jamal decide they need to band together to help Cesar get out of the gang so he can return to his somewhat normal life. As the episode ends, we are left wondering the fate of these friends.
The show has received positive feedback with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The first season had 10 episodes. A second season hasn’t been announced yet, but we can guess that it’ll be likely with the overwhelming support it has already received.