Entertainment

The ‘On My Block’ Cast Acts Like A Family When They Are Off The Set And It’s Amazing

We all know Netflix has been crushing it with messages of racial injustice, minority perspectives, and casting more diverse actors. The streaming platform has a long line of diverse characters with shows like Dear White People, She’s Gotta Have It, and a slew of Spanish Language Netflix Originals. On My Block (OMB) is one of the shows that Netflix users have not been able to get enough of.

It tells the story of the tightest group of friends coming up into high school on the East Side of Los Angeles and touches on topics of gang violence, gender expectations, and how family ties can make or break you if you let them. More importantly, the cast is non-white and gives us a strong Afro-Latina lead.

On My Block is the most-binged show on Netflix of 2018.

CREDIT: @onmyblocktv / Instagram

According to their own data, it tops the list of Original shows with the highest watch time per sitting. That means when people sit down to watch OMB, they can’t stop for a lot longer than other shows. It was followed up with Season 2 of Making a Murderer and 13 Reasons Why.

Diego Tinoco is probably the biggest break out star of the whole show.

CREDIT: @diegotinoco / Instagram

While others have had other gigs before, playing Cesar Diaz, the little bro of a major gang leader, is Tinoco’s first starring role. Though you might recognize him from one episode of Teen Wolf.

Tinoco would have wanted to be a writer if he wasn’t an actor.

CREDIT: @diegotinoco / Instagram

He says he’s a lot like his character, Cesar, in that they’re both hopeless romantics and in love with the idea of love. Though he would not have wanted to become an architect.

He set off to chase his dream right after high school.

CREDIT: @diegotinoco / Instagram

In an emotional post, Tinoco revealed a bit about his past:

“Risked everything, for the chance of nothing. Left my life back home to try and start a new one someplace else. Straight out of high school, with nothing but a dream and a passion for it. I’ve lost a lot of great people, but have also met a whole ton of incredible souls. I feel so incredibly blessed, & this feeling is still so surreal and bewildering. Honored and proud to have accomplished all this my first year out in LA. Only want to continue to strive and grow as an artist, and contribute good things as a human being. Love this cast with all my heart.”

Sierra Capri dreamed of working in forensics before she took a stab at Hollywood.

CREDIT: @sierracapri / Instagram

It wasn’t until her junior year at Armstrong State University that she decided to audition for some gigs. She has zero acting lessons under her belt and is just pure raw talent.

Capri is a mega activist for immigrants.

CREDIT: @sierracapri / Instagram

She volunteers with the Refugee Assistance Project and CHLA. In the show, her character Monsé is a headstrong young woman who has been fighting to keep her relationship with Cesar a secret to maintain the ‘family’ and her image.

Capri can take a nap anywhere.

CREDIT: @onmyblocktv / Instagram

In an interview with Celebrity Haute Spot, Tinoco shares a behind-the-scenes secret. “Hmm. Sierra Capri can take a nap anywhere at any time. I admire it. It’s like a superpower haha.”

Her and actor Brett Gray sing Demi Lovato songs at 4 a.m.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

The two seem *especially* close and while many speculated they were dating, his most recent post calls her “the most beautiful sis.” Ok. Fine then. I ship it though.

Brett Gray worked as a clerk at ACME market before being cast on OMB.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

We know him as Jamal, the nerd of the group obsessed with finding hidden treasure from a lost business endeavor “RollerWorld.” Actor Brett Gray had a few spots with Law and Order: Special Victims Unit before he was perfectly cast as Jamal.

Gray is obsessed with Selena.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

He posted this stunning photo of Selena on the anniversary of her death with this caption:

“Anyone who knows me knows this woman is my first inspiration. The person I want to be and performer I want to be has been shaped by her career and music and daring to do what others thought she couldn’t. Rest in power.

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez ????

April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995”

He turns 22 on January 13, 2019.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

Yup, the whole cast is barely drinking age, and are slaying the high school looks. Diego (Cesar) is 21 years old, Jason (Ruby) is 22 years old, and Ronni Hawk is just 19 years old.

Gray just dropped a single.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

Caption: “Wow wow wow wow wow…. So much love. I’m so grateful.

This EP was my first musical endeavor and there were so many ups and downs. Between me pushing myself too hard, not pushing enough, being insecure, or feeling unworthy of new things. This year was one of tremendous gain, some loss, some love, some love misplaced, heartache, and back to strength again. All themes of this project. A sonic remembrance of an easier time in life. It’s yours now. ”

Jason Genao is Dominican-American and from Jersey.

CREDIT: @ronnihawk / Instagram

Genao plays Ruby, the most ambitious and persuasive member of their friend family, and Genao has a lot in common with his character. He’s always known he wanted to be an actor and has had the most experience out of anyone in the core cast. He has been cast in star roles in Netflix Original series The Get Down and in the superhero drama show Logan.

Genao is an activist támbien, the latest face of the NOH8 campaign for LGBTQ rights.

CREDIT: @jason.genao / Instagram

He says that if he didn’t become an actor, he would have wanted to be a chef or a medical examiner. Regardless, he would stand up for equality. We’re glad he has this platform to do that.

Jasmine just got bumped to the main cast.

CREDIT: @jess_m_garcia / Instagram

Let’s be honest. While Jessica Marie Garcia’s character is in the peripheral for most of Season 1, she brings us the most jajas. We’re so happy we can expect to see a lot more of her.

The actress may play kind of a slob on OMB but she’s a total Queen IRL.

CREDIT: @jess_m_garcia / Instagram

Also, you can probably tell that she just got married. But not to the cast. To another very tall man.

You might recognize her from How to Get Away With Murder.

CREDIT: @jess_m_garcia / Instagram

In the show, she plays Rhonda Navarro, a member of Annalise Keating’s Legal clinic and has been in four episodes so far. Check her out being serious and all.

Ronni Hawk started out as a ballerina.

CREDIT: @ronnihawk / Instagram

Hailing from Boca Raton, Florida, she trained at the Boca Ballet Theatre until she started modeling in commercial and print campaigns at the age of 12. You might recognize her as Rachel Diaz from Stuck in the Middle, or from one of her many national commercials with Bank of America, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Target, and Kohls.

The show won the Teen Choice Award for Breakout TV Show.

CREDIT: @jason.genao / Instagram

There’s no wonder why. The show has incredible actors that bring to life the real stories of what it’s like to grow up brown and black in America.

You better believe it’s renewed for a second season.

CREDIT: @jason.genao / Instagram

It was never really a question, with reviews like Matt Seitz from New York Magazine:

“One of the many remarkable things about this series is how it folds crime and the awareness of potential violence into everyday life, which is something white sitcoms never do unless it’s a Very Special Episode.”


READ: These 11 Moments From ‘On My Block’ Are Some Of The Realest Latino Moments Captured On Film

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People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Culture

People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images

Netflix has a new food show out and it has everyone buzzing. “Street Food: Latin America” is bringing everyone the sabor of Latin America to their living room. However, reviews are mixed because of Argentina and the lack of Central American representation.

Netflix has a new show and it is all about Latin American street food.

Some of the best food in the world comes from Latin America. That is just a fact and it isn’t because our families and community come for Latin America. Okay, maybe just a little. The food of Latin America comes with history and stories that have shaped our childhood. For many of us, it is the only thing we have that connects us to the lands our families have left.

The show is highlighting the contributions of women to street food.

“Street Food: Latin America” focuses mainly on the women that are leading the street food cultures in different countries in Latin America. For some of them, it was a chance to bring themselves out of poverty and care for their children. For others, it was a rebellion against the male-dominated culture of cooking in Latin America.

However, some people have some strong opinions about the show and they aren’t good.

There is a lot of attention to native communities in the Latino community culturally right now. The Argentina episode where someone claims that Argentina is more European is rubbing people the wrong way right now. While the native population of Argentina is small, it is still important to highlight and honor native communities who are indigenous to the lands.

The disregard for the indigenous community is upsetting because indigenous Argentinians are fighting for their lives and land.

An A Jazeera report focused on an indigenous community in northern Argentina who were fighting to protect their land. After decades of discrimination and humiliation, members of the Wichi community fought to protect their land from the Argentinian government grabbing it in 2017. Early this year, before Covid, children of the tribe started to die at alarming rates of malnutrition.

Another pain point in the Latino community is the complete disregard of Central America.

Central America includes Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Belize, and Panama. Central America’s exclusion is not sitting right with Netflix users with Central American heritage. Like, how can five whole countries be looked over during a Netflix show about street food in Latin America?

Seems like there is a chance for Netflix to revisit Latin America for more food content.

There are so many countries in Latin America that offer delicious foods to the world. There is more to Latin America than Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and Bolivia.

READ: This Iconic Mexican Food Won The Twitter Battle To Be Named Latin America’s Best Street Food

This Iconic Mexican Food Won The Twitter Battle To Be Named Latin America’s Best Street Food

Culture

This Iconic Mexican Food Won The Twitter Battle To Be Named Latin America’s Best Street Food

Omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Let’s face it: our community knows how to do street food like no other place on Earth. From the humble Mexican taco to Argentina’s choripan and Peru’s world-famous ceviche, Latin America is a street food lover’s paradise.

So it’s no surprise that Netflix launched an entire show about our comida callejera called Street Food: LatinoAmerica. The series focuses on street food staples from around Latin America and in order to find out which street food reigns supreme, Netflix launched an online campaign to declare a winner.

In an online tournament organized by Netflix to decide the best street food in Latin America, thousands of users voted for Oaxaca’s tlayuda.

If you had to pick your favorite street food, what would it be? Could you even pick just one? Well, that’s exactly what Netflix forced people to do with a new poll to determine the best street food in Latin America, and the competition was tough. But in the end, with 46.6% of the votes, the tlayuda, that giant tortilla served with a seat of beans, tasajo (beef jerky), chorizo, chapulines, and quesillo, won the Street Food Latin America championship.

The contest was part of a promotional campaign coinciding with the July 21 launch of the Netflix series Street Food: Latin America, which takes viewers on a gastronomical tour of six countries, exploring their cultures through traditional dishes.

The tlayuda went up against choripán (Buenos Aires, Argentina), acarajé (Salvador, Brazil), ajiaco (Bogotá, Colombia), ceviche (Lima, Peru), and rellenas de papa (La Paz, Bolivia). Conspicuously missing from the list were tacos, elote, quesadillas, plátanos fritos, pupusas, and so much more.

Several major figures joined in on the campaign to ensure Mexico’s win with the tlayuda.

The competition was heated and not one country was taking any chances. In fact, the Mexican government’s official Twitter weighed in on the contest, urging its citizens to vote in the poll. Also, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico took to Twitter urging his followers to vote for the tlayuda.

Mexico is known to celebrate big wins with big parties, and some nearly expected a crowd of revelers to form at Mexico City’s famed El Angel statue, where many big celebrations are held. Though thanks to social distancing, that didn’t happen this time.

Not everyone was happy with tlayuda taking the top spot – including some very angry Peruvians.

Mexico’s tlayuda beat Peru’s ceviche fair and square: with 46.6% of the vote vs. Peru’s 45.8%. It was a close race to be sure, but the tlayuda won. And it deserved it if you ask me. However, many took to social media to express their outrage at the results.

In fact, Peruvians helped get Amazon Prime to trend on Peruvian Twitter when they decried their followers to cancel their Netflix subscription and instead sign up for Amazon Prime, as a sort of revenge against the network.

For those of you not familiar, what exactly is a tlayuda?

Credit: thatgaygringo / Instagram

Mexico’s famed tlayuda is most popular in the state of Oaxaca, where it’s said to have originated. But you can find it on the streets in any major Mexican city (as well as cities in the U.S. with large Mexican communities) as well as in upscale restaurants giving the dish a twist.

But what makes the tlayuda so special? Chef and culinary historian Rodrigo Llanes told the newspaper El País that the tlayuda is a bridge between pre-Hispanic and European culture, calling it a “magical” culinary creation.

“I do not disqualify the other candidates, but I maintain my preference for the Oaxacan entry for its historical tradition that does justice to native peoples, for its flavor that is emblematic of mestizo cooking, and for its size, which makes it a dish to share,” he said.