South Side is everything we love: comedy, creativity, and community

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.

It’s great to see a story outside of LA and NY, it’s told with so much authenticity to the community, and there’s something for everyone to relate to, especially creatives. We all know what it’s like to have to literally work our way up, through, around, and underneath crazy jobs in pursuit of our dreams and this comedy makes it easier to laugh at our pain instead of crying about it (or you can also do both!).

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. 

Here what else we learned from Diallo during our Twitter Watch Party, giving us a little insight into their creative world:

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.

South Side #blkcreatives Twitter Watch Party Ferris Bueller reference

According to Diallo, you get to see almost every character in the show on the ottoman episode, which is episode five in season 2. Sherman’s Showcase fans get a sighting of Jazz Crofton, who plays Turner’s little sister. tweet source.

Jazz Crofton South Side HBO Max #blkcreatives watch party Sherman's Showcase
photo courtesy of HBO Max
South Side HBO Max #blkcreatives Twitter Watch Party
photo courtesy of HBO Max

The photographer at the mall with The Goodnights is the director of the show in real life Diallo shared. The voices outside of the yoga studio aren’t random at all – they belong to TV writers Robert Haze and Mitch Marchand III. 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

Just starting the show for the first time? Please tweet us (@blkcreatives) when you get to the Civil Rights legend episode - you’ll know what we’re talking about when you get to it.