Parents' Guide to

South Side

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Sharp social commentary, language in hilarious series.

South Side Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Sharply observed and absolutely hysterical, this brilliant show is destined to be Chicago's finest export since deep-dish. Co-creators Bashir and Sultan Salahuddin are brothers and native Chicagoans, and it shows -- South Side's fast-paced comedy is packed with insider jokes that will send most viewers scrambling to look up detailed references to Kanye West, Coretta Scott King, and Carl Winslow (we'll save you the search: he was the bumbling cop dad on Family Matters). What fun, to have your intelligence trusted by writers who understand that those who want to will educate themselves on just what's being ably mocked, while some are content to just go with the flow and wait for the next joke. It won't be long, because South Side's the type of series where you're laughing so uproariously at one line that you miss two others.

Police corruption, cycles of poverty, and the desperate tactics the downtrodden sometimes resort to while staying afloat aren't common topics for comedy, and in less sure hands, South Side could be a great big bummer of a drama. But the show's empathy and feel for its characters doesn't stand in the way of the comedy. When officers Turner and Goodnight show up to Rent-T-Own to talk to its employees about local crime, Turner assures the crowd "We are not here to beat anyone today," and leaves discreetly before Quincy collects an "honorarium" of $10 from each employee to bribe them into actually doing their jobs. After getting hired and fired for his first white-collar job, Simon rhapsodizes to K about the experience: "The microwave worked! The plants were alive, so alive! They had doughnuts! I had my own email address!" Englewood may be known as tough neighborhood, but with the Salahuddins as ambassadors, it feels like home.

TV Details

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