7 Burning Questions I Have After Binge-Watching Netflix's On My Block
On My Block is a coming-of-age Netflix hit centered around the lives of a small circle of longtime friends starting high school in a gang-ridden, inner-city neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
But the series involves much more than dangerous drive-bys and family drama. Each character is ridiculous yet witty and lovable in their own right; friendship comes before all else; every song that accompanies a scene seems to coincide with that moment perfectly; and one of the show's stars, Diego Tinoco, (see directly below) is gorgeous. Bottom line: The show is totally easy to follow, which is why I binged it in just two days.
Despite the series' solid acting and flow, I'm still left with some burning questions. And while I patiently wait for Season Two to hit our fave streaming service, the curiosities below are all I've got.
*warning: spoilers ahead!
1. Is the Roller World plot truly necessary?
I fell in love at first sight with OMB. While the characters are a bit goofy, and some of the plots are a little (okay, a lot) outrageous (Jamal's football "injuries," anyone?), everything flows seamlessly… everything except the Roller World plot.
Props to Refinery29, who clearly understands my confusion, and was somehow able to break it all down for us. Not only do I find this whole plot much too scattered, I don't find it interesting. While Jamal is certainly lovable, his all-over-the-place personality makes this plot incredibly hard to follow. I thought maybe it would somehow pique my interest later on, but after making it through all of Season One, I really wish I'd fast-forwarded through each of the Roller World scenes.
2. And going off of that, what's with the gnomes?
Just when I thought I couldn't be more confused by the Roller World saga, it officially lost me for good when we were introduced to the talking plastic gnomes (yes, you read that correctly). And how did the demise of one of them lead to a near-death situation, landing that Chivo guy in the hospital?
Okay, I'm going to end this right here because I'm exhausting myself, and I still have other stuff to write about more pressing matters below.
3. Why did Julia Whitman accept a total stranger immediately on FB?
Monse's birth mom, who left her as a toddler, is a published author. Therefore, she probably has a fan page on Facebook in addition to a personal page. So when Monse requested her on the personal account (from a fake name that couldn't even be researched!), why would Julia accept her just like that?
4. More importantly, why did Julia let a total stranger into her home, and allow them to babysit her kids??
This is by far my most burning question from the whole season. While I thought it was plenty eyebrow-raising that the intelligent Ms. Whitman accepts seemingly any ol' person as a FB friend, I was simply stunned when she immediately accepted Monse's offer to babysit her kids (not realizing that is her birth daughter). Julia lives in a wealthy part of town, and is a successful professional. Why would she leave her kids in the care of a stranger? And without questioning her background, her qualifications, anything. And especially in a city like L.A., where you get some pret-ty crazy folks (trust me, I've met some of them!), this one was a head-scratcher for sure.
5. Is Olivia just a one-dimensional character?
It's heartwarming to see how quickly Olivia blends in with the fearsome foursome, and how much she genuinely seems to value each individual group member. But I would really like to see some character development here. An ounce of jealousy? Passion? Any emotion at all?
We do see her tear up over her parents' deportation (makes sense), and we also watch her (very briefly) freak out over Ruby's diva-like behavior regarding her quinceañera—but, watching her short-lived, anticlimactic romance/nonchalant split from Cesar was a complete snooze; seeing her express not an ounce of upset over the obvious chemistry between Cesar and Monse got me frustrated; and the fact that she makes out with Ruby because he's nice is like the lamest thing ever, when it's pretty clear she's not attracted to him.
While I get that this show isn't set up to be a soap opera—but rather, a lighthearted dramedy of sorts—that doesn't mean I want to see flat characters. Even closed-off tomboy Monse, who clearly has a difficult time expressing her feelings, shows us so much more than Olivia. Hopefully more depth will be revealed during Season Two (which is likely, considering the poor girl just underwent some serious trauma during the Season One finale).
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6. What initially led to Cesar and Monse hooking up?
Cesar and Monse's under-the-radar romance is equal parts exciting and aww-worthy. I'm rooting for this pair all the way. That said, because I'm totally invested, I need to know what led to their initial hookup. Clearly there wasn't any overt flirting leading up to the first time they got together, because no one else in the group believed for a moment that it could possibly be true. So, what sealed the deal? Was there an open conversation? Was it something that happened on the fly? Was there long-term crushing just lingering along? I need answers!
7. Will we ever see Ruby's ridiculously hot brother again?
Paging actor Danny Ramirez! I didn't know who you were before, and I only know you from OMB's pilot episode now, but I (and I'm sure many others) would love to see you again. Something tells me you'll make a mid-college cameo during one of your school breaks in Season Two. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed, because your handsome face got far too little screen time in Season One.
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