Review: ‘On My Block’ perfectly mixes comedy and drama


Courtesy of Netflix.

Cody Downey

With over hundreds of hours of original programming on Netflix, “On My Block” is one of the shows that gets looked over between bigger shows like “Stranger Things” and “13 Reasons Why.”

The series follows Monse, Ruby, Jamal and Cesar, a group of black and Latino teenagers living in inner-city Los Angeles struggling with gangs and violence as they enter their freshmen year of high school.

Season two picks up with the crew coming together for the first time after a traumatic incident that left one of their friends dead.

With this show, each member of the group is given a story line that often intersects with the others while also staying independent. Monse, played by Sierra Capri, finds her long-lost mother but struggles between the decision to live with her or her single father. Ruby, played by Jason Genao, is dealing with the aftermath of season one’s finale struggling with loss and post-traumatic stress disorder. Jamal, played by Brett Gray, has come upon a significant amount of money and must deal with finding a way to keep it safe. Cesar, played by Diego Tinoco, is disavowed by his gang leader brother leaving him homeless moving from living with each of his friends.

One of the many reasons this show is great is due to its characters. Even if you haven’t gone through what they have personally, you can still find one to relate to and care about.

This is all helped out by the acting of everyone in the main roles. Most of the actors in “On My Block” have very little to no acting experience with the most recognizable having a small, supporting role in the X-Men film, “Logan.” Despite this, every actor provides a genuine performance that brings these characters to life.

The show’s writing has also improved since season one. To be fair, there have been some cheesy lines that come off like something from an abandoned Disney Channel script. However, with this season in particular, the writing hasn’t disappointed.

Character development is also another great change from the previous season. The primary example of this is in the character of Jasmine, played by Jessica Marie Garcia. In season one, Jasmine was primarily a comedic relief providing an annoyance to the main characters. However, season two provides a different look at her giving her more to do than just harass the group.

The show has also keep its degree of good humor in tact. Throughout my description of this show, one would probably assume it is a hard drama. However, that is not the case. For every tear-jerking moment, there is another that is having you rolling.

If you aren’t already watching this show, you need to start now. Don’t just put it on your never-ending list of things you need to watch. Start watching it now!

Illustration by Ariel Landry.