Exclusive: ‘On My Block’ Co-Creator Eddie Gonzalez Discusses How His Childhood Came To Life On The Show
Netflix’s original series ‘On My Block’ has won praise from both audiences and critics for striking a balance between portraying the grit of the inner city, as well as the fierce friendships and happy moments that come during the teen years.
The show’s second season premiered on March 29 and from the beginning, one of its first scenes showed the gut-wrenching reality of gun and gang violence many face in the inner city.
The authenticity and creative vision of the show is thanks in part to co-creator Eddie Gonzalez.
The spirit of inclusivity Gonzalez and his team cultivate in the writers’ room allows ideas to flourish. Associate producer Alexi Gonzalez says she hasn’t felt that kind of support and understanding at her previous job. She added that executive producer Lauren Iungerich is receptive to the ideas she has to give and always gives her credit for ideas. which helps foster a positive creative work environment.
“From the first day in the writer’s room, that environment was set and it remained. That was the rule of the land that everyone gets to speak here and everything is taken into consideration,” Alexi Gonzalez says.
The genesis for the show came from Eddie Gonzalez’s own upbringing living in a neighborhood where gangs resided, and he wanted to show those experiences in all of its authenticity for On My Block.
Gonzalez, alongside associate producer Alexi Gonzalez, story consultant Walter Finnie, post-production producer Arlyn Richardson, and production designer Kay Lee, revealed what it’s like working behind-the-scenes in the writers’ room in this Netflix ‘Make a Scene’ roundtable to bring those childhood experiences come alive from production design details to getting the script right when dealing with sensitive topics.
In the video, he shares he brought pictures of his mom’s kitchen to inspire Lee, and that he wanted the design to remind him of what he remembers his mom’s house smelling like—love.
That nostalgia of Gonzalez’s kitchen that was achieved through placement of El Pato cans and tostadas is something Lee nailed. She said she deeply understands the immigrant experience and having that smell in the house due to her Korean heritage.
Mentoring and being an example for people of color who come after him is a big deal to Gonzalez.
“For me, every day I go to work and whatever I create down the line, I think there is a kid who was born in Compton like me or who grew up in Lynwood, who is thinking, ‘I can do that same thing,’” he said.