On My Block: Freeridge
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On My Block: Freeridge
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Freeridge is a spin-off of On My Block. Like its predecessor, it follows the adventures of four teenagers growing up in a fictional area of South Central Los Angeles. While navigating the age-old issues of love, sex, and family life, the characters must also solve a mysterious curse. Language includes "bitch," "f--k," and "whore" (also in Spanish). The teens drink at parties, flirt, and kiss (at least once while wearing just underwear). There are conversations about sex, with references to "making out," getting "fingered," and sitting on "someone's face." Violence includes two characters fighting, with hair pulling, biting, kicking, grabbing body parts, and spitting (no one is seriously hurt, and humor comes into play). A shot rings out, but it's not shown whether someone is injured or dead. The characters believe that they've seen their families' ghosts and use crystals, sage, and reading cards, and visit mediums to try to contact them. Mature themes such as death, grief, cancer, and difficult financial situations are handled delicately and offer a balance to some of the wacky situations. Most importantly, the series centers people of color: Black, Latino, and Asian characters aren't stereotyped and have life experiences that transcend race and social status. Character strengths include empathy and teamwork.
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What's the Story?
FREERIDGE, the sequel to On My Block, is a teen comedy that follows the adventures of four teenagers after they accidentally unleash an alleged curse from a box one of them buys at a garage sale. A mysterious woman who claims to be the owner of the box begins following them, appearing almost ghostly and threatening. As the friends seek to reverse the curse, which leads them to reach out to mediums and characters from the original show, they must each deal with their own problems. Gloria and Inés' dad has cancer, the same disease that took their mother from them. At the same time, they need to work on their relationship as sisters. Demi and Cam must resolve their attraction to each other as well as a misunderstanding from the past.
Is It Any Good?
Like its predecessor, this show combines coming-of-age suspenseful comedy-drama with a diverse cast that addresses issues that transcend the boundaries of race and social status. The characters in On My Block: Freeridge are not stereotypical: They use bullet journals and listen to Depeche Mode, but they also eat enchiladas. There's great diversity in racial representation, family units, and sexual orientation. This series deals with the usual high school problems with delicate insight. It covers the betrayal of best friends, first-love relationships, and teenage struggles to accept and be accepted, among others.
Some of the experiences these young people have lived through are intense (illness and death of parents), while others, such as sibling rivalry, seem less so at first glance. But the moments filled with trauma and grief, so well explored in its predecessor, lose intensity in Freeridge. Unlike in On My Block, where the environment had dangers such as gangs, here the surroundings play a minor role (at least in the first season). The new mystery also leads to situations of magical realism. Intergenerational friendships are also formed, but a heavier weight on comedy definitely affects the recipe.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Freeridge represents teens. Are the characters and their decisions realistic? What about the consequences of those decisions? Do these characters resemble people you know? Why, or why not?
What do you think of the way Gloria deals with pain? How is it different from the way her sister experiences loss?
What have these teens been through, and have you had similar experiences in your own life? What did the participants learn about themselves? What lessons did they learn?
How do Gloria, Inés, Demi, and Cam demonstrate empathy and teamwork in their lives? Why are these important character strengths?
- Premiere date: February 2, 2023
- Cast: Keyla Monterroso Mejia, Ciara Riley Wilson, Tenzing Norgay Trainor, Peggy Blow
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Great Girl Role Models, High School
- Character Strengths: Communication, Courage, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-14
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
On My Block
South Central teens come of age in delicate, moving series.
Funny, family-centric drama examines race, class issues.
East Los High
Edgy Latino teen soap raises timely issues in sensitive way.
For kids who love high school stories
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