Today I continue the theme of “shows that could do with more buzz“. After having talked about Here and Now on Tuesday, I wanted to do something that was targeted more at a teen audience. It was a close call between Everything Sucks (which is a nice nostalgia bomb for 90s kids) and my actual choice for today – On My Block. Maybe I will get to that other show at another point in time, but for now I think On My Block deserves more attention.
The show only premiered on Netflix a week ago, so I don’t expect everyone to know about it, but I didn’t see nearly enough people talking or tweeting about it as I would like to. Since it just came out, if obviously only has one season so far, but I really, really, really need it to continue because it ends on a terrible cliffhanger. I know that will scare some people away from watching, but I see no use in withholding that information from you just so you can be mad at me afterwards. It’s still very much worth watching and hopefully encourages everyone to give it another season.
On My Block is a coming of age story about a group of friends living in the gritty inner city of South Central Los Angeles.
There are so many reasons why one should watch On My Block, I don’t even know where to start. First off, our main group of friends are all people of color who live in a poorer neighborhood of LA. As with a couple of recent Netflix shows, they are really trying to move away from the predominantly white middle-class perspective and I am sure it will pay off on the long run (just think about how beloved One Day at a Time is! And yes, I will keep mentioning that show over and over until I finally hear something about its renewal).
On My Block generally has a quite light tone buckled with a lot of humour, but as the season continues it deals with increasingly more emotional and heavy topics. The actors and actresses are mostly newcomers and could definitely still improve, but nonetheless gave solid performances throughout. I am sure I am going to forget some of the topics that were talked about, but the show had such great moments all over, you don’t need to know every single one anyway.
Themes like first love, friendship and family are present during the entire season. Once again, this show proved that parents can be present and demanding and loving without being a hindrance to their children’s adventures and development. I love shows with complicated but positive family dynamics. We need more of that – always! And there were definitely difficult situations, especially in regards of generations being part of a gang and how difficult a legacy like that is, yet I am here for stories like that every time. There was also a great scene where one of the characters boldly called out cultural appropriation or another one that treated the devastation of current immigration laws. The show lets boys be vulnerable and girls be tough and also talks about how objectifying someone (no matter the gender) isn’t okay. None of the characters felt like fillers, but each had their own storyline and background. And I most of all loved how friendship prevailed and how despite some really stupid fights, they were all mature and recognised what was really important by the end of the season.
And, I seem to have a hand for those lately, On My Block is yet another show with a killer soundtrack. Music is so important for tone and vibe and it worked amazingly well for this show.
I am having difficulties with this segment this week, because a lot of the time I thought of the squad as an entity and not separate people. Obviously, they all have their own personalities and stories to tell, but it is difficult to just pick one because it will always be intertwined with someone else in some way.
I liked that Jamal’s story was without any hint of a love interest, because we need that too sometimes. I liked that Ruby fell in love with a girl and was ready to wait for her without pressuring her, fully knowing she could break his heart. I love that Cesar wanted to go public because he liked Monse so much, even if it could disrupt their group dynamic forever. I love that Monse was unabashedly herself and put others first even if that was one of the hardest things to do. I love that Olivia was simply a part of the squad because she needed them as a family and they had no hesitation in taking her in.
So, I am really into them as a group and that has to suffice. They all work together and they work as separate characters. In the end, this was just so much fun to watch and I binged the entire season in one day – no regrets!
Did you watch On My Block already? Do you want to? Let’s chat!