South Side is a community television experience filled with fun, joy, laughter, and truth - a nod to a city that often deserves more than what the media portrays.
What makes this show funny has to be a result of the chemistry that exists underneath the comedy. With the exception of a handful, the cast and crew are all from Chicago which means the writers room is full of Chicagoans agreeing and arguing on a molecular level about which high school was better and who actually has the best pizza in the city.
In this 2019 Chicago Tribune article, the connections are broken down: Simon is played by Sultan Salahuddin, who is the older brother of the show’s co-creator Bashir Salahuddin. They’ve known the twins, played by Kareme and Quincy Young, since high school. Bashir also co-stars on the show along with his wife, fellow South Side native Chandra Russell (Officer Turner).
During our watch party, show co-creator & showrunner Diallo pointed out that the lovely teacher in The Life of The Ottoman Episode (season 2, episode 5) is the mother of the Salahuddin clan – Officer Goodnight, Simon’s and Stacy’s mom. On top of the cameos (Deon Cole, Vic Mensa, LisaRaye to name a few) the show also features people from the community who have never actually acted.
Phonte and The Foreign Exchange cleared their song Daykeeper for the museum scene in Turner’s and Brenda’s Day Off (s2, ep4). tweet source. This episode pays homage to the John Hughes infamous comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off which was based in Chicago. The sprinkle of references throughout nod to the movie like The “SoSi House” which was a made up name because the real-life SoHo house wouldn’t let the show shoot in their space. tweet source.
Diallo’s favorite single scene of season 2 is below, in episode 5.
Whether you’re starting on South Side for the first time or catching up on season 2, this HBO Max Original is guaranteed to become a go-to that is entertaining as well as empowering, thanks to the multitude of stories and experience we see on screen. It’s great to see a cast, crew, and body of comedic work that we can respect, as an audience member and as creatives who are also inspired by our roots. You can even play it in the background while you work.