Freeridge Season 1 Review – an awful and mean-spirited comedy

By Marc Miller
Published: February 2, 2023 (Last updated: February 20, 2023)
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Freeridge borders on awful and is an overtly mean-spirited comedy that tries to beard itself in the name of progressiveness.

We review the Netflix series Freeridge Season 1, which does not contain spoilers.

I’m not sure I’ve ever watched a comedy as awful with its mean-spiritedness as Freeridge. The Netflix comedy’s characters are so cruel to each other that I cannot believe a social worker wasn’t called in by the end of each episode. The worst part is that On My Block co-creators Lauren Iungerich, Eddie Gonzalez, and Jeremy Haft attempt to beard this type of unpleasantness with a kind of progressiveness embraced by audiences today that should be celebrated. Instead, we are saddled with a coming-of-age comedy with irredeemable characters.

Freeridge Season 1 Review and Plot Summary

Freeridge follows two young sisters, Gloria (Abbott Elementary’s Keyla Mejia) and Ines (Team Kaylies Bryana Salaz), who live in an inner-city neighborhood of Los Angeles. That town is Freeridge — the same setting as On My Block — a rough area with tough students. Don’t believe me? Don’t take my word for it; the sisters begin the show fighting in school, which includes closed-fist punches, low blows, and spitting in each other’s faces. We aren’t aware of why they come to such blows, but it happens often, so much so they pay their uncle Tio (J.R. Villarreal) $100 a pop to pretend to be their father and intercept the school’s calls.

Gloria and Ines are raised by their single father, Javier (Jean Paul San Pedro). The family lost their mother to cancer, developing it while pregnant with Ines. They have a solid group of friends, including Cameron (Boo Bitchs Tenzing Norgay Trainor), who feels suffocated by his boyfriend, Andrew (Zaire Adams). He is also fighting feelings for his best friend, Demi (L.A.’s Finest Ciara Riley Wilson), and the feeling is mutual. However, the group cannot stand Ines because of her self-centered nature. Demi and Cameron encourage Gloria to tell Ines they can no longer be friends with her, but that’s when Javier introduces them to his new girlfriend, uniting the sisters.

This being a spinoff of On My Block, they tie in a supernatural component. Gloria tries to earn extra cash by drafting off the neighbor’s garage sale. For a cut, she helps them sell some items, including a handcrafted jewelry box Cameron buys for a couple of bucks. It used to be owned by their deceased relative, and the older woman shows up trying to give Gloria hundreds of dollars for the box back. Soon after, they find their father has been diagnosed with cancer, thinking the package must be bringing a curse on their family.

This is a coming-of-age comedy from the makers of On My Block, and the curse is a cultural component, as the show does tap into community traditions and Day of the Dead celebrations, showing reverence, love, and respect for the deceased. This is the show’s theme, but not as much as you would think based on the trailer. More of a superstition, honestly, and very few horror-like escapades as you would think. So, there are few Netflix “tudums” as the kids find themselves more in comedic conundrums.

While the show has some solid laughs, mostly coming from Tio always trying to make a buck off his family’s misfortune and Gloria’s biting sarcasm, the characters have very little respect for each other, which is strange. Why? Because the series has themes dedicated to respecting others. For one, Mejia’s Gloria is such a toxic character that it’s hard to watch. She is so incredibly mean that you cannot relate to or even feel for the character. At one point, she even tells her sister that she is responsible for her mother getting cancer.

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Worse, the show makes no excuse for her behavior, as if it was caused by something relatable but never redeemable. And the series is filled with these moments. Ines is selfish and mean to everyone. The storytelling can become uneven, worried about their father’s cancer, but at other times they couldn’t care less. When he is nauseous and sick, they treat him more like he has the flu than he is suffering from chemo. Then, the plot reveals something deplorable and unfunny in a stunningly bad scene.

Is Freeridge on Netflix worth watching?

Freeridge can be mildly funny. However, the show is so overtly mean-spirited you cannot care about any of the characters. This is a comedy that cannot get out of its own way.

What did you think of the Netflix series Freeridge season 1? Comment below.

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