In a rough inner-city Los Angeles neighborhood, four smart, funny and streetwise teens find their lifelong friendship tested as they begin high school.
Freeridge can be a tough neighbourhood to grow up in, but at least Monse, Cesar, Ruby and Jamal have each other. Until high school starts, anyway, and their friendship gets complicated by things like first love, family drama, gang politics, and… garden gnomes. (No, seriously. There are way more garden gnomes in this than I would have assumed, i.e., none.)
Sierra Capri as Monse
Smart, tough, and headstrong, Monse is everything I love in a YA heroine and I only want good things for her, UGH.
Diego Tinoco as Cesar
Cesar gets recruited into his brother’s gang, despite really not being about that life. (This kid reminds me so much of Matty McKibben from Awkward, and then I found out that both shows were created at least in part by Lauren Iungerich, so go figure.)
Jason Genao as Ruby
Ruby’s a smartypants who sometimes concerns me with how closely he treads to Nice Guy™ territory, but he reins it in when it’s needed. Mostly.
Brett Gray as Jamal
I LOVE JAMAL. It’s hard to believe that the actor had no prior comedy experience, because he’s phenomenal. Anyway, Jamal is usually trying to fool his parents into believing that he’s on the football team, or obsessing over the legendary loot from an old robbery.
Ronni Hawk as Olivia
Olivia becomes fast friends with the crew when she moves to Freeridge after her parents get deported. (Speaking of actor doppelgangers (#sorrynotsorry), she totally reminds me of Nina Dobrev, by virtue of being a beauitful brunette with a raspy voice.)
Jessica Marie Garcia as Jasmine
Jasmine’s my favourite kind of annoying character, in that I feel sorry that everyone finds her annoying… but I also totally get why. You can usually count on her to say something outrageously hilarious, but just like all of the characters on this show, there’s more to her than meets the eye, too.
Couch-Sharing Capability: High
Only two seasons long so far, this show is perfect for a quick weekend binge, with its many intriguing moments that make you wonder “OMG WHAT HAPPENS NEXT??!” and immediately needing to talk it over with someone else.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Low
Alcohol’s definitely not necessary to enjoy this show, due to the spit-take potential of some of these gut-busting, actual LOL lines.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Excellent
I’m hopping onto the bandwagon a little late, despite having seen buzz about this show since it first aired (especially from my Showdown pal, Alexis!). Full of heart and filled with laughs, On My Block puts a refreshing spin on teen shows with compelling characters and storylines that traditionally have been underrepresented. Plus, it’s just flat-out fantastic. (And the shipping, OMG I SHIIP IT.)