Netflix’s ‘On My Block’ Review: “When are we ever just gonna get to be normal teenagers?”

On My Block season 3 poster. from left to right- Jamine, Cesar, Ruby, Jamal, and Monse

Emily McNally

On My Block season 3 poster. from left to right- Jamine, Cesar, Ruby, Jamal, and Monse

by Emily McNally, Editor

On my block, we are all in our houses, waiting for this national disaster to pass.  While we are waiting, a great escape is Netflix’s original series, On My Block.

On My Block  follows the life of a high school friend group: Ruby (Jason Genao), the small but mighty. He’s the brains of the crew. Monse (Sierra Capri), the only girl in the group. But she doesn’t cause a rift in the crew. She’s the obnoxious headstrong member who keeps the crew together. Cesar (Diego Tinoco), a diamond in the rough. He has a bright future ahead but will never grasp it due to his birthright affiliation in the gang. Lastly Jamal (Brett Gray), extreme comic relief. He’s the member full of hope and light, waiting to solve mysteries for the future. 

The group lives in a run down, gang affiliated neighborhood called Freeridge which is located in Los Angeles. Due to the surrounding violence in their community, they are instantly drawn in together at the beginning of freshman year.

The plot of  On My Block is based on the experiences of the writers and producers behind the NETFLIX Original. This allowed the production team to incorporate their experiences into Monse, Ruby, Jamal, and Cesar.  

This show manages to mix humor, courage, true reality, drama, love, adolescence, and friendship all wrapped into one series. 

During Season One, the main goal for the group of teens is to get Cesar out of the gang that he got jumped into, the Santos. A new girl, Olivia (Ronni Hawk) moves into Ruby’s house after Olivia’s parents are deported. On My Block follows the relationships blossoming that eventually create a messy love square. Ruby likes Olivia. Olivia likes Cesar. Cesar is dating Monse. Messy secrets create the tension because they don” want to “screw up the fam.”

Jamal has a major goal is to find buried treasure, a fortune from a 1980’s money-laundering scheme of a rival gang in the 1980’s. Is the money a legend or real?

A member from the Prophet$, a rival gang, tries to kill Cesar.  Season 1 ends with plenty of blood and cash and audience desire to watch Season 2.

Season 2 is titled Rollerworld!  I was completely excited to follow the teens as they experience PTSD, finding Monse’s birth mother, and  more drama with the stolen money.  Season Two ends with a kidnapping and plenty more mystery.

Season 3, “Finding Lil’ Ricky” introduces a new antagonist, Cuchillos (Ada Luz Pla), leader of the Santos. This season, the teens have been blackmailed into finding a love-interest from the past, Lil’ Ricky. The teens ask Jasmine (Jessica Marie Garcia), who is very underrated throughout season 1 and 2, even though she brings a lot of humor to the show and actually helps quite a bit. Throughout the season, she and Jamal argue for the spotlight over being the “leader” of the team. 

This season is not like the others, the squad still faces hardships, except this season the writers went the cheezy route instead of the realistic plot lines in previous seasons. Even the unlikely plot points kept me watching.

“I was honestly so invested in this show, I watched it in two days” said Nazareth Guerrero. “But the ending was so sad, and I just hope there is another season.” 

Every character this season has their “breaking point.”

Ruby soon notices that his family is having money issues. They are drowning in his medical bills from when he was shot. Because of the money issues, Ruby’s parents start to fight and argue a lot. Ruby feels really guilty and is worried for his family.

To make things even more jaw dropping, Cesar’s dad (Ian Casselberry) comes home. There’s plenty of tension as he tries to fill his father role.

Season 3 if filled with action, maybe a little too many story lines. The group’s friendship is tested again and again.  When Monse decides to go to boarding school, Cesar doesn’t think it will destroy the team dynamic.  He says, “Because we made each other who we are. We are burned into each other’s DNA, and it doesn’t matter where you are, or what you do. When your heart beats, mine beats with it.” 

Though they said they would keep in touch and we thought everything would be ok…. IT WASN’T. 

The writers ended the season with a 2-year time jump, showing that everyone hasn’t stayed together.

This was heartbreaking yet realistic. It felt like I was moving on too. As sad as it is, in high school friends grow apart.

But as any fan would ask… Is it all over? Is the crew done with each other?

Fans now must wait until March 2021 to see what will happen.

On My Block is now streaming on Netflix.