The following review contains spoilers for “On My Block” seasons one and two.
“On My Block” yet again impresses me as reviewer. Season two took what made season one so memorable and built upon it tremendously. Season two dropped this past Friday on Netflix, and I spent most of the weekend binge watching it, and a few new innovations in the storyline and characterization stood out.
The characterization/character development for Oscar, also known as “Spooky,” (Julio Macias) and Jasmine (Jessica Garcia) were done tremendously, and new information about what drives these characters was organically included and not sloppily added in to just satisfy us viewers. Oscar was presented as a dangerous high-ranking gang member in season one, and while his character was certainly enjoyable in that season, we do not get to learn the details of his motivations and his past.
It is revealed that Oscar joined the street gang The Santos for mainly two reasons, one being that he was born into it and the other to protect and support his little brother Cesar (Diego Tinoco). However, there is a major problem between the two brothers throughout the season. Cesar had to be beat out of The Santos due to him disobeying a direct order to kill a rival gang member, and with Oscar being an active member, he had to kick Cesar out of his house forcing Cesar to live on the streets. It is revealed toward the end that Oscar truly cares and loves Cesar, and they devise a plan to guarantee Cesar’s safety from The Santos and The Prophets (the rival gang).
Jasmine was the previously established as the goofy comic relief character, but we see more of her character this season, and even our main characters grow to like her and become friends with her. While she was just used for comedy, and could be kind of unlikable in some situations, I grew to like her this season, and I am looking forward to seeing where her character goes.
When it comes to the main cast, Ruby (Jason Genao) and Cesar stole the spotlight due to the tragic ending of season one. Ruby and Olivia were both shot during the season one cliffhanger, and we learn in this season Ruby survived and Olivia died from her wound. Ruby has developed some type of panic disorder, possibly post-traumatic stress disorder, or a drastic case of survivor’s guilt. We get to see Ruby grow past this tragic event and learn to maintain his guilt, which makes an interesting character arc.
Cesar has to live in constant danger due to him refusing the order to kill a rival gang member. The Prophets are constantly on the lookout for him, and now he has no protection from The Santos. This does get resolved at the end, but he also must deal with the guilt of Olivia’s death, because in a way, it is his fault. That bullet was meant for him, and Olivia was caught in the crossfire. Like Ruby, we see Cesar deal with this throughout the season, making another interesting character arc.
This season had more dramatic elements, but they keep a healthy dose of comedy to outweigh the drama. There is nothing better than a story that can organically do that again and again. Jamal is still goofy and hilarious, Ruby is still funny even with the new panic disorder and so on. This season is a must watch, and if you have not watched season one yet, what are you doing? Kick back on the couch and binge both seasons immediately.
Jordan Boyer is a senior history major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]