On My Block is an Important Show, & Here's Why

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On My Block is a Netflix Original show that premiered its first season in March 2018, but the show really got its hype about a month before its second season premiered on March 29, 2019. With a combination of spoilers released from the Netflix Twitter account and teaser trailers being dropped by the official Twitter account of the show, everyone on social media knew when Season 2 was being released.

 

The show addresses many important issues, like gang violence, post-traumatic stress disorder and the loss of loved ones. For anyone who hasn’t seen the show yet, the story follows the lives of four coming-of-age freshmen in high school, who are all dealing with finding themselves while living their lives in a rough neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles.

 

Monse, the sole girl member and leader of the group, searches for her mom who left her as a baby, in order to find the missing piece in her life, while also keeping her friends out of trouble. While Cesar is the unspoken protector of the group, he isn’t afraid to show his emotional side when the time comes. With his family having deep roots in the local neighborhood gang, his older brother, Spooky, forces Cesar to join the gang and leave his childhood friends behind. Ruby is the soft-hearted friend that has a way with words that usually get their group out of trouble. While his character development goes more in-depth in Season 2, Ruby’s personality is one that resembles an adorable puppy; he can either be really impressive and fun or you feel really sorry for him. Last, but not least, is Jamal. Jamal is the dorky friend that is always reliable, except when he has the burden of holding your secret. He is a good-natured kid that can get lost in his own head sometimes, but that’s one of the things you’ll love about him.

 

Now that you have a quick background of the characters, here are the top 3 reasons why you need to watch On My Block right now!

 

  1. Strong men can cry too

Especially in Season 2, we are lucky to see our favorite boys express their emotions in more than just uncontrollable rage. For countless years, media has portrayed anger as being the only viable way for men to show their feelings, reiterating the stereotype that boys don’t cry. But On My Block does a great job at showing the vulnerable side of these masculine characters. When Ruby is dealing with his PTSD from S1Ep10 (no spoilers!), we see him going through the stages of grief as his own pace. But whenever he has an intense episode, he isn’t afraid to let the tears go. And he isn’t the only one. When Cesar is trying to get back into the Santos gang, he has a heartbreaking moment with Spooky, as they hold each other and cry about their current situation. We get the chance to see these strong, tough men showing their real feelings instead of pretending that nothing can touch them and that is one of the most important parts of the show.

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  1. The female characters we need in 2019!

Monse and Jasmin. These two, strong female characters have made an impact on the show in one way or another, and they are only a few of the important women in the show.

Monse lived the majority of her childhood surrounded by boys and she didn’t let that make her cower or be the butt of their jokes. She became the leader of her friend group and showed us that girls can be tough too. While she was going through the events of an average teenage girl, she was always the first to defend herself in the face of scrutiny and the last to turn her back on her friends whenever they need help.

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Jasmin, on the other hand, went from being the annoying girl in Season 1 to a vital part of the group in Season 2. In the second season, Jasmin is the main person supporting Ruby through his recovery and we get to see her third-dimension as a character. Jasmin has a dad who has a disability from serving in the war and even though we don’t find out the full details of what happened to him, we learn that Jasmin’s home life doesn’t stop her from living her best life. She gives great advice about self-love and isn’t afraid to be herself.

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And we can’t forget about Ruby’s Abuela! She is the strong, Latina abuela that isn’t afraid to speak her mind. But this show lets us see that she is human and not a fragile old woman who needs protecting. She lived a whole life before she became a grandma and people need to treat her like it.

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  1. The daily struggles of a POC

It is not news to most that people of color (POC) have to overcome many more hardships in their daily lives because of the color of their skin, even though many people have assimilated to the culture of racial injustices. This show is able to show the issues that a lot of POC face in their daily lives, while still keeping the episodes light and relatable. In the first part of Season 2, Ruby’s older brother, Mario, comes back from college for the holidays with a surprise for the family, a pregnant white guest. Mario had knocked up a girl from his college during a one-night stand and after she was disowned from her family, Mario knows his only option is to go back home. But when Mario introduces Amber to his family, she starts to say offensive comments that lead us to believe that she doesn’t know any better. Amber begins by saying that “as a beneficiary of white privilege, [she] is sorry for keeping [their] people down,” and then goes on to initially call Mario’s mother, “Mama” as opposed to Mrs. Martinez and how she is going to be the “mother of a ‘whitina’” (later explained to be a white latina). While these comments aren’t outrageously racist, they provide a relatable interaction between a lot of POC and white people who feel a bit of white guilt from their ancestral history.

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On My Block is a diverse show filled with relationship drama and lighthearted humor. With the episodes averaging at less than 30 minutes, this series is a great binge watching opportunity for your slowest days. Hope you enjoy it!