On My Block is a Netflix series about a few teenagers growing up in, and around gang life. The series focuses on a friend group as they go through normal teenage life, but also intense life issues like loss, money struggles, and overall fear. Monse, Cesar, Ruby, and Jamal are the 4 characters who make up the friend group and are also the main characters. Monse is usually home alone because her dad works on the road and her mother left them when she was 3 years old. In the beginning of the series, she is the only female in the friend group, and is known as the “glue” that keeps the group together. Caesar lives with his brother, and is heavily involved in a gang. Ruby lives with his parents, but also his grandma who brings some comedy to the show. Last is Jamal, who I can’t describe other than comedy relief. They are all really unique characters that try to stick together in order to get through the things that happen to them.
The first season starts with slowly introducing things about the main characters, and they deal with a little bit of drama within the friend group. By episode two, things start to pick up and the friend group starts to deal with more serious issues. After Ceasar gets involved in the same gang his brother is in, he almost gets shot by a rival gang member and is forced to do something about it. His friends want to help him get out of this situation by helping him flee town, but everyone has their own idea on how to do that. There are two storylines about this conflict, one being the more serious one, and the other being more comedic. The serious storyline is with Caesar and Monse as they fight about whether Caesar should do what the gang asked him to do or not. The second is mainly about Jamal trying to uncover the mystery of hidden money in the town, and Ruby trying to snap him out of it. Of course things don’t go as planned, and now they have bigger problems on their hands that they deal with in season two.
Everyone I’ve talked to and myself love On My Block. I really loved this show because it properly covers terrible real world things that people struggle with, but also is full of funny moments. They also don’t white wash the characters, which I think is extremely important because colored people who are going through these things need to see representation, and not their story told through a white person. I also talked to Kyle Rohm and he said he loved the show because of its great storytelling and dynamic characters. My mom watched all three seasons in three days and said she’s never seen a show that portrayed certain serious issues from a teen’s perspective, and how they still managed to go on and grow up. The show also got a 95% on rotten tomatoes from critics and a 97% from the audience. So overall if you like well thought out teen dramas about underrepresented people, I would definitely try watching On My Block.