Let’s get this out of the way first: the entire cast of Netflix’s On My Block is crazy talented and sexy af. That’s not even a debate. Each one seems in their element, with each character played to utter perfection. I have no doubt that following the final season of the series, none of them will have any trouble finding work. Now that that’s out of the way, it must be said that Jasmine Flores is one of the best characters currently on Netflix. Period.
Played by the charismatic Jessica Marie Garcia, Jasmine was largely used for (some much needed) comedic relief during On My Block‘s first season. She was the outsider of the group, always wanting to belong, always looking for a way to contribute. Hilarious and straight-forward, she was a breath of fresh air among the tense drama the Freeridge gang faced on a daily basis. Then, during season two, something wonderful happened. She became the light of the group.
I myself am “dark and twisty,” as Grey’s Anatomy once classified Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith. I’m absolutely a pessimist. My favorite television characters are almost always “glass half-empty” characters, because that’s how I’ve come to see the world. I don’t know what it’s like to grow up in a gang-infested inner city or be judged just by the color of my skin. However, I do know what it’s like to grow up as a queer youth living in a trailer park on the poorer side of town in the South. Not exactly a trip to the Bahamas. But somehow, some way, Jasmine won my heart.
After Ruby got shot, Jasmine was the one who knew how to help him with his PTSD. Everyone knew she was in love with him, but she never pressed him about it while he was grieving. She was patient, and understanding, and, most of all, she was able to make him laugh. She was able to take him out of his panic attack and snap him back to life.
We also got to see a lot of Jasmine’s backstory in season two, mainly centered around her relationship with her combat veteran father, who is now a catatonic state following his time serving in the military. After everything she’s been through, she still had the ability to sing and laugh and be happy. That’s resilience, and it’s not something that everyone can maintain while experiencing hardship.
As the gang devised their money-washing scheme, Jasmine was the brains of the operation. Probably a little too much, she enjoyed making up fake names and stories for everyone to pass off to the tellers. Jasmine had grown beyond being just the comic relief, she became an essential part of the group.
In season 3, she was eventually able to bond with Monse, who was nursing something of a broken heart herself. Between Cesar and her trifling mom, Monse had been through it. And Jasmine was there for her.
The success of the character comes down to two important things: the remarkable writing that has kept the show going for four seasons, and the immense power that Jessica Marie Garcia exudes simply by existing. She is a woman of many talents. Not only can she act, she’s a humanitarian, she’s an advocate for mental health, a Savage X Fenty ambassador, and she co-hosts her own digital series. The girl knows how to hustle.
Hopefully, Hollywood knows a good thing when they see it, and she will be heading her own series sooner rather than later (looking at you, MCU).
The fourth and final season of Netflix’s On My Block premieres Monday, October 4th, 2021.