The creators of Comedy Central’s South Side want you to see the side of their hometown that doesn’t make national news headlines.
“We’re letting the South Side tell its own story,” says writer, star and executive producer Bashir Salahuddin. “What you’ve seen about Chicago, and specifically about the South Side, it’s only one small piece of the pie. And we’re going to give you the whole pie. We’re going to show you the love, the joy, the laughter, the diversity of people.”
— South Side (@southsidechi) July 15, 2019
The scripted series is set in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood and follows two friends who just graduated from community college. They’ve got big plans for the future, but until that future arrives, they’ve got jobs at Rent-T-own. Working for a furniture rental store puts them in contact with every colorful character in the neighborhood, many of whom are based on real people the South Side writers knew.
“When you work for a rental furniture store, half your job is delivering furniture and the other half is repossessing it from people who haven’t made their payments,” says writer, director and executive producer Michael Blieden, who heard a story about repossessing an old man’s La-Z-Boy. “He was sitting in it, and they had to break into his house and kick him out of his own chair because he hadn’t made his payments,” Blieden says. “This is super dark, but it’s also what the basis of the show is. It seemed instantly really unforgiving and really funny.”