‘Freeridge’ Flops

Pera Onal, Editor-in-Chief

The number of spinoff shows I saw while perusing Netflix over the weekend caught my attention. “Better Call Saul,” which came out in 2015, is a spinoff of the show “Breaking Bad.” In January, Netflix released “That ‘90s Show,” which is a spinoff of “That ‘70s Show.”

But the spinoff that I’ve been looking forward to the most is “On My Block: Freeridge,” which is an offshoot of a personal favorite show of mine called “On My Block.”

Sadly, it did not live up to the excitement that the Netflix social media posts instilled in me.

“On My Block” follows four friends, Monse, Ruby, Cesar and Jamal, navigating high school in the fictional neighborhood of Freeridge, Los Angeles. Throughout all four seasons, the group spends most of their time trying to find a stash of money that’s supposedly hidden in Freeridge.

The characters in “On My Block” were more enjoyable to watch because not only were they entertaining, but their acting also felt more natural.

Regarding plot, their trying to find the “Rollerworld money” was more intricate and thought out as opposed to the one in “Freeridge.” Therefore, it actually engaged the viewer by making them think with the characters about where the money could be.

“Freeridge” introduces an entirely new set of teen characters. The first season, which came out Feb. 2, focuses on Demi, Ines, Gloria and Cam as they try to balance relationships with their families and each other. In addition to average teenage experiences, they spend the entire season debating whether or not a wooden box they got from a yard sale was cursed.

The boring and cringey plotlines and the subpar acting made “Freeridge” significantly worse than “On My Block.”

While watching the show, I felt like every episode was introducing a new, uninteresting plotline that would be resolved by the end of the episode. The only two plotlines that stayed consistent throughout the season were the cursed box and Gloria and Ines’s relationship as sisters, which went something like this:

Gloria and Ines argue about something. Gloria and Ines say mean things and spread a couple lies about each other. They spend the entire episode either feeling bad or hating each other. By the end, they argue again and eventually make-up.

This happened for all eight episodes. By episode five, I started skipping through any scene that involved just Ines and Gloria.

Because of this constant repetition, the emotional make-up scenes at the end of each episode started to feel forced and unnecessary.

Compared to the main plot of “On My Block,” the whole cursed box thing was boring. It didn’t fit in with the rest of the events in the show. It’s like the scriptwriters tried to make this plot important and relevant, using it to resemble “On My Block,” but it just felt like a random side quest.

Not to mention, it took the characters a full season to consult a local witch who told them yes, they are surrounded by bad energy, but no, it’s not because of the box. From then on, they completely stopped worrying about it. Talk about anti-climactic.

The only thing I actually enjoyed about the show was that some of the characters from “On My Block” made an appearance. Although I was hoping for one of the main teens to make a comeback, it was still nice to see familiar adult characters like Ruby’s parents and Jamal’s dad.

Even though both shows take place in the same neighborhood, having old characters involved in the plot helped establish a connection between “Freeridge” and “On My Block.”

“Freeridge” had potential to be great, especially after the success of “On My Block.” I doubt this show will get renewed for a second season, but if it does, the writers should slow down the pace of the show and take more time to develop both the characters and the plot.