How Netflix Original On My Block Portrays Teen Life in Inner-City Los Angeles

Life in inner-city Los Angeles isn’t always as bad as the media can portray it to be, according to "On My Block" co-creator Eddie Gonzalez. The show is packed with action, conflict and teenage drama to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The actors and interactions are kept as authentic as possible with strictly Latinx and black screenwriters. There aren’t many shows out that hone in on the problems occurring in an inner-city neighborhood, making this one a hit.

 

The creator of the popular show, Lauren Lungerich, had the goal of creating a show for teens that isn’t seen through a white prism. She wanted to create a sense of authenticity within the show by incorporating young screenwriters without agents into its creation. Alexi Gonzalez, a graduate of the Ghetto Film School, was one of the young screenwriters selected. Co-creators Jeremy Hath and Eddie Gonzalez were brought into the project as well to help incorporate the black and Latinx perspectives. Gonzalez, who grew up in the Compton/Inwood area, included his personal experience in the show.

The creators didn’t shy away from including topics like gang violence and drug use. These scenes paint a picture of what it might be like to grow up in inner-city Los Angeles. The second season opens up with a scene panning the neighborhoods, following a young girl on a bike riding past memorials on the side of the road. Is this falsely portraying these neighborhoods in a negative light? Gonzalez says that his biggest concern in high school was if his locker was on the top row, not getting shot in a drive-by.

 

Characters in the show "On My Block" navigate the difficulties of growing up while also facing dangers that come with living in the inner-city. Viewers may be asking themselves if teens actually do face these dangers on a day-to-day basis. While they do happen, the reality of an average teen’s life is more normal than it comes off as on the show. Much like reality, the characters face issues like racism, deportation, single-parent households and financial struggles.

The loaded plot and shocking ending episode to season one had viewers turning to Twitter to express their shock and wonder for what was to come in season two. Released on March 16, 2019, season two came with many plot twists which meant a full day of binge-watching the 10 episodes. The show features comedic, emotional and suspenseful moments that only draw viewers in further. Season three should be just as enticing, featuring a further look into the bumpy road the teens embark upon.