Netflix’s newest original series is an immediate hit and is currently resting at a score of 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
“On My Block” depicts the lives of four high school freshmen in the midst of gang territory in South Central Los Angeles. The summer prior to freshman year, best friends Monse, Ruby, Jamal and Caesar all part ways when Monse leaves for camp. Upon Monse’s return, she is confused as to why Caesar did not welcome her home with Ruby and Jamal.
Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead
Ruby and Jamal explain to her that Caesar had been hanging out with his older brother’s gang, therefore not associating himself with his best friends. Ruby and Jamal also tell Monse that Caesar had started a rumor about him and Monse. Crushed, Monse confronts Caesar, only to soon find out that he had been inducted into the gang. The plot line is carried by the friends trying to get Ceasar out of the gang with subplots of Jamal searching for treasure, love quarrels and plenty of gang violence.
Towards the end of the season, Caesar has a “green light” on him, and his older gang members make him “take care of the problem.” Torn, Caesar goes to make his problem go away, but instead he and Latrell (a member of an opposing gang) make a deal instead. This deal seems to fix the problem for a while, but it soon fails, causing heartbreak.
The show leaves viewers on a cliff hanger, and the ending will have you in tears. The kids are great actors, but like many shows there are times when you can really see that they are acting. There are a few cheesy moments, but all in all the season was fantastic.
One of the greatest things about the show is the originality. Normally on television (or Netflix in this case,) the majority of the shows are about suburban, middle-class lifestyles depicted by a majority of white actors. Of course, now we have “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish” which feature great black actors, but we just need more. The element that differentiates “On My Block” from “Black-ish and “Grown-ish” is that this show is about kids living in the midst of gangs. Life is not always rainbows and butterflies. For some, every day is a matter of life and death.
“On My Block” is a show unlike most, and that is exactly what our society needs. Netflix did an excellent job with the production and storyline. Season two will hopefully be in the works soon.