Rotten Tomatos: 100%
My Rating: 110%
“On my block,” Netflix original, coming-of-age story, gives a different perspective on American youths. The series is set in a low-income neighborhood– Freeridge, California– and focuses on issues that predominantly affect young people of color.
Like any other coming-of-age, teen drama and romantic comedy, there are love triangles, complicated friendships and difficult inner-family relations. This series goes beyond the characters’ difficulties to “stick together to survive” high school like advertised on the trailer.
Each character is charismatic with a profound backstory: Jasmin is the loud Hispanic girl that you hate to love, Monse is the “tomboy” who glues the circle together, Cesar is a lost soul with a big heart, Jamal’s drivel constantly intervenes with his loyalty, Ruby can convince anyone to do anything and Olivia struggles to keep her life together after her parents have been deported.
While the troubles they face are unusually televised, the creators incorporate American pop-culture to illustrate the similarities between all American teens: texting, puberty, gossip, “The Goonies” and high school stereotypes.
It may be because I am a woman of color, but it felt good to see diversity in a TV show. When we think of California we automatically think of The Kardashian lifestyle, or at least I do. “On my block” doesn’t feed into the fantasy of becoming famous, rather the desire to better oneself in the environment that he or she was born into. The people portrayed on the show have loud personalities, dreams and hardships.
The season consists of 10 short episodes that can be watched in one day. “On my block” ends on an exciting cliffhanger and Netflix has not announced whether there will be a second season. If you’re left with nothing to watch, “Jane the Virgin,” “One Day at a Time” and “The Fosters” are also engaging shows with similar stories.