“On My Block” redeems itself in second season


The following paragraph holds some of the biggest spoilers from season one of “On My Block.” Read only if you want to ruin the surprise.

Here’s where we left off. Ruby: lying on the ground, bleeding. Olivia: also lying on the ground, also bleeding, but crying and screaming Ruby’s name. Monse and Cesar: off to the side, hugging and watching the chaos. Jamal: riding down the street on a bicycle with a bag full of cash and $100 bills flying away with the wind.

Season one of “On My Block” was a whirlwind of 10 episodes. For starters, the entire show feels like Disney but with extremely adult topics. Prime example: Jamal becomes obsessed with the garden gnomes during his adventure to find buried treasure while at the same time Cesar is plotting how to shoot someone from a rival gang. Despite this not so over-seeable flaw, I watched all of it, very very fast. I had to see what happens with the relationships. So don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that this show is average at best, but that doesn’t make me any less invested.

Unfortunately, the unusually offbeat writing continues in season two. It still feels like these 22-year-olds, who are playing 15-year-olds, are acting like 11-year-olds with weirdly adult issues, like pulling off a money-laundering scheme, or finding a place to sleep at night when you’ve been kicked out by everyone you know. The good news is, the storyline hasn’t died. It actually picks up more. The Roller World money becomes more realistic and is no longer some fun scavenger hunt for Jamal. The core four get involved and talks about the money in a more adult way. They also start developing the gang violence plot line, and rather than acting like Cesar is the center of their lives, they start to realize that rival gangs are complex, and one freshman in high school won’t make or break the entire neighborhood. The season two storyline unfolds in a much more natural way, and I actually started watching for more than one couples fate.

Season two of “On My Block” brought a better story, better character development (hints: Jasmine is so much less annoying in all aspects, Spooky becomes more important to the story, and Ruby can rap.) There’s better dialogue, and it’s all around a better show. I would recommend continuing with it if you were iffy after season one.