Review: ‘On My Block’ leaves fans baffled, disappointed

Third season lacks captivating storyline


Courtesy of Netflix.

Critically-acclaimed Netflix series “On My Block” made its long-awaited return on Wednesday, March 11. The show was renewed for a third season following the second season’s cliffhanger finale. The third season, however, has failed to live up to fans’ expectations.

The series, originally aired in 2018, captivated audiences everywhere due to its raw portrayal of adolescents navigating the confusing and troubling waters of high school whilst living in a harsh area. Whereas the vast majority of teenage films and shows are soft and tend to lean on superficial concepts, “On My Block” has fearlessly embraced the imperfection and rough nature of living in close proximity to gang violence and constant trouble.

The new season, just eight episodes long, introduces new characters intended to bring substance and suspense into the show. These efforts, however, cannot distract from the fact that the season is an utter letdown. Though it incorporates familiar and loveable characters from the first two seasons, it lacks the realness and boldness viewers seek.

The season begins with Monse (Sierra Capri), Ruby (Jason Genao), Jamal (Brett Gray) and Cesar’s (Diego Tinoco) quest to find Lil Ricky, a former member of the Santos gang. Stacey (Ada Luz Pla), better known as “Cuchillos” and heiress of the Santos, demands the core four find Lil Ricky, as he is not dead, despite what they’ve been told. If they fail to do so, she will unleash vengeance on them.

While the introduction of this plot showed promise and reeled in viewers, the hope for a satisfying season quickly vanished. Though it demonstrated familiar elements to previous seasons, a large portion of the season is unamusing and flat-out cringy. Other than their quest to find a presumed dead man, there’s no true excitement or thrill while binging the season.

However, despite falling short in multiple areas, the show maintained a sense of consistency with a perfect blend of conflict and comedy. The show’s witty characters and their individual stories make the season worthwhile, encouraging the audience to keep watching. In addition to this, the visual elements of the series make the painful season a tolerable experience, as the directors create an experience in which the audience can clearly understand each character’s troubles and emotions.

The season’s conclusion was arguably the best part. Set two years later, the ending is an accurate portrayal of what happens when friends embark on their own paths. The unchanging variable in all three seasons remains true; anything can change in a given moment. Though bittersweet and upsetting, the ending ties back to why viewers love the series in the first place.

Although there was nothing truly remarkable about the new season, the series continues to triumph in showcasing the importance of family and friendships in times of trouble, and that not every teenager grows up under perfect circumstances. The conclusion of season three leaves fans clinging onto the hope of the series they know and love returning. Overall, the third season of “On My Block” earns 3 out of 5 stars, as it feels incomplete and lacks a captivating plot.