Spoilers. I warned you. Hoe.
I got asked to watch and review this shit so here I am. I had no desire to watch it so I didn’t know what it was about.
It’s about four friends who live in the hood in Cali meaning their shit looks like it’s the suburbs but they smell gun smoke in the morning like Folgers. I’m just gonna ramble so yeah.
I’ll say off top that this show is really different from any other show that deals with kids growing up. It does a good job of the kids not being shocked or surprised at the crime they grow up around. Gang culture and Police always being around is normal to them and it doesn’t really effect them or their behavior. This is clear on the first episode where they guess the gun that’s firing the gunshots at a house party they’re running from.
This show corny but entertaining corny. Like the jokes on it are some shit that I would hear a friend say and laugh at it because of how corny it was. Sometimes the humor could be a little too fucking much especially from Jamal. Jamal is the nerd of the group who has parents that love Football and wants him to play football to carry on tradition but Jamal has the athletic ability of one of those inflatable clowns in front of car washes. There would be spots in the show where Jamal had the chance to have good dialogue but his antics and over the top goofiness would overshadow everything. He was the most misplaced character out of the group to me. He basically has his own arc within the show where he’s searching for “The Rollerworld Treasure” Which is interesting because you don’t know if it’s just a kid being a kid using his imagination to escape his reality which is normal of kids in poverty or if the treasure really exists and the kid is onto something.
Cesar looks like he’s apart of a Backstreet Boys cover band. He’s the pretty boy and cool kid of the group and is apart of a family with a history of deep ties to a gang called the “Santos.” His older brother Spooky comes home from jail and Oscar feels the pressure to carry on family tradition and join the Santos. He’s the one out of the group that’s forced to grow up fast. I don’t buy the look of Cesar as a gang member, that was the only thing that threw me off a bit. He was too nice and intelligent of a guy to just join the Santos with no cause or purpose. It wasn’t believable to me. Cesar was the best acting wise though. In my opinion.
Rudy was a huge part of the comic relief. His intellect mixed in with his sense of humor was refreshing and the fact he was as tall as Bushwick Bill and always thinking about ass and having his own bedroom made him funnier. Monse is the lone girl of the group (for the moment). She’s very bossy, independent, and she’s a tomboy who lives with her single father and has aspirations of being a writer and has a secret relationship with Cesar. They’re in love but are at a age where they don’t know how to move forward with feelings which is normal because they’re only 14. Since they don’t know how to move forward they both lie to their friends about the situation.
Olivia is the last piece of the puzzle. She’s a friend of Ruby’s family who comes to live with Ruby after her parents are deported back to Mexico. She’s definitely the most adult out of the group. The other kids tend to live in a fantasy world and look at things in a child-like manner (Which is okay cause they’re kids) but Olivia looks at the situations the group face with a more mature perspective. Even her humor was more mature than any of the other kids.
Now what do I love about this show?
The show is an easy watch which is good. I don’t need every series to be 40-60 minutes with 10-12 episodes. The time limit for “On The Block” is perfect. I hate series that are long for no fucking reason and full of filler. This show gets straight to the point and doesn’t waste time.
I like that it shows black and latino kids in a way we’ve never seen before. Usually shows with those cultures are super serious but on this show it takes you down this road of optimism to the point you kinda forget what they deal with on an everyday basis. They just wanna be kids. On The Block reminds me of a 80’s sitcom with an 80’s MTV feel and it’s very fun to watch. It felt like watching one of those theater plays.
I actually liked Jasmine. Jasmine was their over the top freaky acquaintance in their hood who just wants to hang out with the group but she does too damn much. I liked how she fits on the show. Sometimes she goes too far and can get super annoying but as the episodes go on she kinda finds her lane and stays in it and she’s more tolerable and you kinda gain this sympathy for her. She just wants to hang with the group.
Now what didn’t I like about the show.
The finale was good. I seen it coming I just didn’t know who was gonna get shot but what I didn’t really like was what led up to Ruby getting shot. Cesar joined a gang and really thought that he didn’t have to kill anyone and like I said before he’s way too intelligent to not know that so it makes it unbelievable. He’s threatened by a rival gang member (A kid he’s known all his life) and the gang member puts a green light on him and Cesar has the chance to take him out and he doesn’t. He lets him live which leads to Ruby getting shot because of it. Did he really think that kid was gonna disappear? He’s from the hood. Where the fuck is he gonna go? Of course that same kid comes and shoots up the party. I don’t think Ruby or Olivia are dead. The show really doesn’t have much meaning without Ruby in my opinion. Them surviving makes for a better show. Them not surviving I just don’t see the point of.
The acting was pretty “meh” which I’ll give a pass because it’s a teen show but I wanted a little more cussing out of them because let’s keep it 100. We’ve all been cussing since we were like 9 or 10 years old. I think I called a kid a bitch ass nigga when I was 7 years old. It’s reality. My granny, parents, uncles, and aunts cussed a lot so that’s where I got it from. These teens on the show are going through some real life shit and none of them are cussing people out? Think about movies like “Superbad” or “Dangerous Minds” That’s how teens talk. Jamal said “Crap” Not even the nerdiest mothafucka is saying “Crap” instead of “Shit’ when they’re upset.
Another thing. Why all them kiss so aggressively? I dunno that shit was funny and awkward.
Overall “On the Block” is a better version of the movie “DOPE” in show form. It’s a good dramedy about friendship and the things that can test friendships. Season 2 needs to happen because I’m interested to see what direction they go in tone wise for the show. Does it get super serious throughout the second season or do they continue to find light in the darkness?