On My Block on Netflix follows a quartet of quirky, street-smart urban teens going through high school and living in South Central, Los Angeles. There is Monse (Sierra Capri), Cesar (Diego Tonico), Ruby (Jason Genao), and Jamal (Brett Gray). Season four continues a couple of years after the events of the third season. The final season of On My Block wraps up the series with its usual flair of comedy mixed with drama and cements itself as a staple coming-of-age story.
Although they vowed nothing would change, we see that, with a two-year time jump at the end of season three, everything has. Monse made new friends in private school, Jamal became a jock, couple Ruby and Jasmine (Jessica Maria Garcia) don’t talk with Jamal, and Cesar has taken over the Santos gang his brother Oscar (Julio Macias) ran. Out of sight, out of mind was their mood. I was between crying and raging at the end. But then I learned there was one final season coming and joy reignited in my heart.
Comedic Skills Don’t Fail Them Now
This final season starts with the four estranged friends living separate lives, but thanks to the discovery of Cuchillos’ body, they now have to face each other, and we learn about the issues that separated them in the first place. On My Block always reminded me of 2001’s Fruits Basket because of contradictory emotions and scenes. Meaning a funeral visit can have laughter, and an innocuous conversation causes the waterworks later—as was the case in a Fruits Basket episode. That requires skill. They have lost none of their comedic mojo, and we get to see new relationship dynamics this season.
I never thought I would love another relationship as much as Jamal and Abuelita (Peggy Blow) in On My Block, but Jamal and Jasmine left me in stitches. Brett Gray and Jessica Maria Garcia understand comedic timing. Peggy Blow gives us the Abuelita we all need in our lives and gets to flex more than her comedic chops this season. Julio Macias has always nailed the role of Oscar and does so again this season, even though it is disconcerting to see him with hair.
Thanks to the cast, I watch scenes on repeat, such as when Monse, Jamal, and Ruby finally bring their parents up to speed on everything that has happened. And let’s yell at how they threw Abuelita under the bus; just whole confessions about Abuelita’s help laundering money and getting them out of school.
Not All Dialogue Hits The Mark
This is not to say that everything works in On My Block. I did not understand the point of Jamal crushing on Monse since nothing comes of it. That dynamic felt like they were trying to pad the runtime or were short on ideas. Furthermore, parts of the dramatic scenes—such as Monse’s conversation with her dad and stepdad—felt flat. Perhaps they struggled because the show was ending, because On My Block usually nails drama with as much ease as comedy. However, there were a few scenes that felt lacking.
They also did not do enough with Monse or Cesar this season. Their entire “will they won’t they” relationship was tiresome and there should have been more focus on them outside of that. Ruby and Jasmine’s relationship was not the center of either of their stories and their characters were the better for it. Monse’s liveliest moments are when she is with Jasmine, and Cesar had nothing to do outside of Monse and the Santos.
Will Always Love This Show
On My Block’s final season ends on a promising note for our core four. It was a show that put our communities front and center. On My Block is a compelling, hilarious dramedy with a diverse, talented cast using humor and characters with distinct personalities to showcase communities rarely reflected in shows. Their story, like them, was larger than life. Though proven before, On My Block again demonstrates that the main cast does not need a white person to become a popular show. Long live our cast…including the gnomies!