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As On My Block’s Final Season Hits Netflix, The Cast Opens Up About What They’d Like The Show’s Legacy To Be

It’s a bittersweet time for On My Block fans, as the Netflix dramedy released its fourth and final season this week. All in all, these last ten episodes humorously and sentimentally conclude the stories of the Core Four and their friends and family in Freeridge. Viewers honestly may not have known what to make of the quirky show when it debuted. Yet thanks to strong writing and direction and stellar performances from the cast, the series has endeared itself to audiences and is sure to be discussed for years to come. Now, its stars are opening up about what they’d like its legacy to be.

On My Block has a number of key themes, such as friendship, love, and community. Legacies have also been a key part of the show, as many of the characters have specifically had to contend with how different generations affect the other. So what does the cast think about the legacy of their beloved show? Well, when I recently posed the question to them, Brett Gray (whose performance as Jamal Turner will affectionately be remembered for years to come) was the first to share thoughts:

You know, someone said to me the other day that On My Block was sort of, I don't know how true this is but I'm just going to claim it because we're here today, was the first show that started this sort of wave of people seeing lots of lead characters that are diverse, specifically in our [young adult] division. So I would love for the legacy of On My Block to be the pioneer of diverse YA television. And I think it was.

The series certainly featured a wide range of diverse characters, with the main cast being made up of stars that are African American, Latinx or Afro-Latin. And surrounding those characters were people of various racial ethnicities, sexual orientations and socioeconomic classes. One of the best aspects of the show were the romantic relationships that formed over the course of the series, which Jessica Marie Garcia, who effortlessly played breakout character Jasmine Flores, appreciates:

...I think specifically Black and Brown love. I don't think you get to see us on the… together and friends and happy without it being like, ‘This is a black show, or this is a brown show, this is our show.’ And it mirrors a lot of people's lives, I think, more realistically than a lot of other shows.

Diego Tinoco, who’s played out Cesar Diaz’s emotional journey for the past four seasons, agreed with his co-star’s sentiments. He also made note of what the series could mean for the marginalized audiences that discover the show as time goes on:

It definitely inspires, you know, the legacy that I think all of us would want for the show to leave behind is a trail of inspiration for the young up-and-coming artists, the kids who are Black and Brown, who have dreams of an inspiring career in this field. So we're just the example that shows that you can do it with hard work and just a strong work ethic.

In addition to its diverse cast, On My Block also stands out due to its willingness to tell real stories not typically seen on shows aimed towards young audiences. The series does have its share of heightened moments but, at the end of the day, the obstacles of the main cast are all grounded in reality. Jason Genao, the actor behind the anxious and sweet Ruby Martinez spoke more on this point: 

You know what I really love? I think that On My Block really told an amazing story for a young audience as opposed to like... I feel like younger shows are always just so sitcomy and sort of cheesy and just a good time… I feel like On My Block really strived for like, maybe cinematic excellence in its writing and like creating and stuff. And I'm like, it allows people [to] see a younger version of actors and stuff, as you know, as great talent and as great storytellers as opposed to like, I don't know, like the commonness and the cheesiness of like your everyday sitcom.

That relatability is arguably one of the reasons why audiences have been able to connect with the characters in such a deep way. Sierra Capri would know all about this, as viewers have likely been able to connect with the ups and downs that her character, Monsé Finnie, has experienced. During our chat, the actress opened up about how she thinks the show was able to build a sense of unity:

I think our show definitely reminds people that no matter what your background is, we all share the same issues. And we all go through the same things. And we can use each other to help get through tough times. And I definitely think over these past four seasons, we've seen all of our characters go through so much, but at the end of the day, at some point or another, we always need someone else in our friend group to help us with something.

And with such layered stories comes another positive result: the dissolution of stereotypes. Julio Macias, who played gang leader-turned-cook Oscar “Spooky” Diaz, is aware of this very thing. The actor played a character that easily could’ve been a caricature but, thanks to the writing and his performance, he transcended any cliches to craft a multidimensional character. Macias chimed in on how the show has shifted some preconceived notions:

Definitely the legacy of breaking stereotypes and allowing us to tell more in-depth stories of these characters. Trying to explain why they've done the things that they do, being truthful [about] who these people are, you know, related to their heritage, but also breaking those norms.

It goes without saying that the show will truly be missed and that it leaves a serious void. However, it's sure to live on through the viewers who have and will continue to watch it. And thankfully, fans will be able to immerse themselves in this world even more, courtesy of the upcoming spinoff series, Freeridge.

All four seasons of On My Block are now streaming on Netflix, be sure to check out our fall 2021 TV schedule for other series that’ll be headed your way soon.

Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.