Remember the pressure of starting high school? There was the issue of what to wear, how to reinvent yourself, the heftier course loads and figuring out who to eat lunch with. For this group of friends, homework is the least of their concerns.
On My Block follows the lives of five 14-year-olds living in dicey neighborhood in Los Angeles. The series is rife with teen drama that primarily revolves around first love, a treasure hunt and gang violence.
At first the series comes across with a distinctly juvenile vibe as Jamal is obsessed with finding the RollerWorld treasure and the teens are constantly fighting with each other over standard adolescent issues (who’s said what, who fancies who, etc.). However, as the season progresses the teens face more mature issues as they concoct a variety of bumbling plans to help Cesar escape the gang life.
On My Block provides plenty of nostalgia for viewers who remember the awkward stumblings of first love and rejection. While the series does deal with serious issues like gang violence and deportation, it still embodies the laughter and at times crude humor that comes with being a teenager.
Sierra Capri as Monse and Diego Tinoco as Cesar have a sweet and playful chemistry together. Jason Genao shines as the amusingly, neurotic Ruby. Ronnie Hawk’s Olivia and Brett Gray’s Jamal provide plenty of laughs as they deal with their peers and the secrets their friends keep.
On My Block has 10 half-hour episodes available on Netflix and has been renewed for a second season. The show is rated TV-14. Fans might also enjoy Netflix’s Alexa & Katie, a fluffy series about a teenager with cancer and her best friend. For those that would prefer a slightly darker teen-focused series, Netflix’s Stranger Things follows a group of teens in the ’80s dealing with a mysterious enemy.