When we last left Monse (Sierra Capri), Ruby (Jason Genao), Jamal (Brett Gray) and Cesar (Diego Tinoco), it wasn’t looking too good; after a season involving stolen money, the death of a love interest and a family reunion, this new season should be a breeze, right?
After a being kidnapped and sent on a final mission, the Group is forced to make some of their toughest choices yet and decide how far they’re willing to go to protect their friends and family. The new season sees more character development from our main cast as well as insight into the lives of the families that surrounds them. As per usual, On My Block mixes deadpan humour with frank conversations surrounding life, death and loyalty. The new season feels the same as its predecessors, created by Lauren Iungerich (Awkward), Eddie Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft (All Eyez on Me). The non-serious tangled in with the serious, and characters playing off each other’s personalities in such a way it makes you wonder how they maintain their friendship throughout the season’s entirety.
This season also sees the development of one of my favourite characters, Jasmine (Jessica Marie Garcia), going from Monse’s sidekick when she’s had fallen out (of her own volition) with the guys. This new season sees Jasmine coming into her own for a power spot in the group.
Jasmine has had character development throughout this series in spades. She is often a sounding board for Monse during her on-again/off-again relationship with Cesar. She is a crutch for Ruby through his PTSD in the previous season, and she provides comic relief when Jamal is otherwise occupied. For me, Jasmine was the star of this season, each time Jessica Marie Garcia graces our screen, she is filled with wisdom, sass and carries herself in a way other characters simply can’t pull off. The scripting of Jasmine’s character gives the audience a chance to see her as more than mere comic relief, this season provides us, Jasmine, as a love interest, along with a mother hen.
Spooky (Julio Macias) brings the dynamic of halfway between adult and child in this season, a father to his younger brother Cesar and a child to the rest of the world. The leader of the Santos has a lot to take on this season, with dreams and hopes for the future I enjoyed the way his character was framed. With frank scenes between his boss Cuchillos, his brother and the rest of the gang, Iungerich and the rest of the production team create layers for Spooky where we, as viewers, really get to grips with someone who is genuinely only cold on the outside.
While sometimes, the show can feel overly chaotic, with so much being packed into eight 30 -minute episodes. It is carried over well for the first half, with palpable tension surrounding the future of the gang (in the last season, Monse was set to go and attend boarding school – an effort from her father to keep her from the harsh realities of the world of Freeridge). The show does well to include parental concern throughout, giving us as semi-realistic look into how the group’s parents are dealing with gang turf wars, money issues, and raising children in “the hood”.
On My Block Season 3 returns to Netflix March 11