‘On My Block:’ What Is Netflix’s Most-Binged Original Show of 2018 About?

Netflix’s original shows and movies keep getting better. The streaming giant has taken to the internet to give us an insider look at the most popular original films, series, and stars that have hit the platform this year.

Romance seemed to be a key factor with The Kissing Booth taking home the crown for the most loved movie, and Lana Condor (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) getting the second highest boost in Instagram followers but the same isn’t true for the most-binged show. The coming-of-age comedy, On My Block, came in first place, knocking out one of Netflix’s other most talked about teen show, 13 Reasons Why.

What is ‘On My Block’ about?

On My Block follows four street-savvy teens, Cesar, Ruby, Monse, and Jamal, as they navigate their everyday lives in South Central LA. Between the drama of being a freshman in high school and the dangerous challenges of living in an inner-city, the quartet has quite a road ahead of them. Every episode gives viewers the opportunity to peer into their lives as they experience the struggles of puberty, the bliss of first love, the trauma of heartbreak, the threat of gang violence and everything in between.

The main cast in ‘On My Block’

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Lauren Iungerich, the mastermind behind Awkward., created On My Block alongside Eddie Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft. The writers put together an amazingly diverse cast for the show.

Cesar Diaz, an intellectual who enters gang life because of his brothers’ bad life choices, is played by Diego Tinoco. Look familiar? The young star made a brief appearance on the popular fantasy-drama Teen Wolf.

Jason Genao plays Ruben “Ruby” Martinez, the groups’ resident know-it-all. He also played Napoleon in The Get Down, one of the most expensive Netflix original shows.

Sierra Capri plays Monse Finnie, a headstrong tomboy who is the “leader” of the group. Her rocky relationship with best friend Cesar makes for some tense scenes in the show.

Brett Gray plays Jamal Turner, the all-around nerd who is knee deep in a conspiracy surrounding RollerWorld.

The hilarious Jessica Marie Garcia, from Shonda Rhimes’ popular drama How to Get Away with Murder, and The Middle plays Jasmine. While she isn’t a core member of the group, she is a classmate who plays an integral role in their daily lives.

The last central cast member is Ronnie Hawk who plays Olivia, a friend of Ruby who joins the family after her own is deported.

Why is ‘On My Block’ the most-binged original series on Netflix?

On My Block premiered back on March 16th. By early April the show climbed to number one in the Netflix original charts, putting it ahead of well-known series like Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Orange is the New Black. The icing on the cake, the show won a Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout TV Show. What makes On My Block so unique that it won not just an award but most-binged original Netflix show of the year?

Netflix has recently been catering to its younger audience, a large viewing demographic. On My Block does just that but accurately portrays high school life while leaving all the artificial melodrama we typically see behind. Its diverse cast, talented actor and actress performances and well-written storylines have received praise from critics and viewers alike.

Rotten Tomatoes gave the Netflix original 95% saying the show is “Charming, realistic, and focused on underrepresented communities, On My Block is the respite from stylized teen dramas you didn’t know you needed.” That sums up the reason the show is so popular. It features people of color tackling real issues that happen every day in their communities, something that is rarely covered in modern TV shows.

As Matt Seitz of New York Magazine said, “One of the many remarkable things about this series is how it folds crime and the awareness of potential violence into everyday life…”

On My Block has thankfully been confirmed for a second season, and it can’t come soon enough.