By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, MSJ
There’s a new show out about the South Side that will have you in stitches. It is appropriately called “South Side,” and it airs on cable station Comedy Central on Wednesday nights at 9:30 p.m. Central.
The show is a few episodes in, and in the first one titled “XBOX,” this e show’s two main characters Simon, played by Sultan Salahuddin, and Kareme, played by Kareme Young, have just graduated from Kennedy-King College located in Englewood. Simon wants to go into business, and Kareme figures he can be an astronaut with an Associate’s Degree.
But they have to settle for working in a rental company called Rent-T-Own, whose boss Q can be seen explaining rental terms for a bedroom set at $39.99 for 160 weeks to a couple who seems just as eager to rent as the boss is to seal the usurious rental agreement.
The neighborhood cops, Chandra Russell as Sgt. Turner and Bashir Salahuddin as Officer Goodnight, are on the take—as could be normal in the “city of big shoulders.”
“This is a savage community. Your Buffalo Grove mentality is going to get you murdered,” Turner tells Goodnight.
The second episode was called “Sell Yourself,” and the two main characters end up selling Viagra to nursing home residents. Simon misses out on his daughter’s Spelling Bee competition, and an employee at the furniture rental places fakes her mother’s stroke so she can help manage her young son’s basketball practice, while she ignores the other son’s science project.
The third episode titled “Turner Buys a Building” had the female cop purchasing a building—sight unseen—and running into problems with the current tenants.
There’s a ride on the 63rd Street bus, where Simon and Kareme try to wrestle a microwave from a guy who is delinquent on his rental payments. I enjoyed this episode, too, but frowned on the unflattering comments about the late Coretta Scott King. I similarly frowned upon the desecration of a bucket of Garrett’s mixed corn—what a travesty.
The upcoming episode set to air on August 14 is titled “The Day The New Jordans Drop.” The police department roll call makes note of an upcoming event that is poised to “tear the fabric of the city apart.” The occasion? The latest high-priced sneaker named after the GOAT, former Chicago Bulls’ player Michael Jordan, goes on sale.
The “sneaker heads” show up en masse in assorted foot gear to spend their hard earned money on shoes. A scene that resembles one from “Night of the Living Dead” unfolds as the last pair of Air Jordans is sold.
Many shows and films have cropped up lately about Chicago. This one caught my interest, because so far there’s not all the doom and gloom, i.e., drivebys and shootings. It seems that the creators have brought something to bear that is just “Comedy Central” funny.
“South Side” is topical and hilarious, where folks brag about being on Section 8, talk about “doing a bid,” speak about the “wild 100s” and old timers drive around in vintage caddies sporting huge Afros—all in the name of good, old fashioned fun. And all that I imagine goes on daily in the Windy City.
“South Side” is created by Jimmy Fallon alums Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, and also stars LaRoyce Hawkins of “Chicago P.D.” fame and West Side native, comedian and actor Lil Rel Howery. Music featured throughout the ten episodes in Season 1 is from various artists, including my daughter, Psalm One.
For more information, visit http://www.cc.com/video-clips/yeg08p/south-side-meet-chicago-s-newest-side-hustlers.