Southside tells the story of what life can be like for different families and individuals living in South London. The available episode looks past the stereotypes around gang violence and crime in London and shows the true meaning of loyalty from both friends and family members.
Unlike other productions set in South London, Southside reminds us that everyone has their own personal struggles and advantages. We witness a variety of situations, some positive and romantic, and others showing the things we often miss such as abuse and neglect.
Southside was both written and produced by an up-and-coming producer from London, Hadassah Reine. The episode was directed by Jamal Walker.
Seeing as this is Hadassah’s first production, I am extremely impressed with the outcome, she did an excellent job with the script as every piece of dialogue was written as it would be said in reality. Being from South London myself, I felt as though I was in the scenes with the characters as the interactions were honest and authentic.
Being the first episode, the storyline does switch between the different sets of characters quite frequently, so it does take a bit of focus to understand who is who. However, it is very impressive to see just how the characters lives can all potentially be connected.
Being an independent production, the Southside cast consisted of a lot of first-time actors/actresses and I honestly could not tell as each actor really got into and explored their role, showing both strengths and vulnerabilities. Whilst watching I found myself hoping that certain characters met or knew each other, as I wanted to see how they would interact.
An actor that stood out the most for me was a man named Michael who played Terrol. Terrol has a troubling relationship with his daughter who is impressively played by Hadassah herself. His daughter does not fit in with her stepfamily; to make matters worse she is always clashing with stepmother Mercedes who her father adores.
In Southsides climatic concluding scene we see Terrol at his worse. This is where Michaels acting abilities are truly shown as he is able to show true anger and pain. For me, this is the most memorable scene in the episode as both Hadassah and Michaels vulnerabilities are on display; we learn a lot about their relationship and how they got to where they are now.
I am excited for the future of this series, as although we have only had one episode, the way that the characters have been developed so far allows us to relate to them and pick our favourites in just half an hour!
I was lucky enough to attend the premiere screening for Southside, but don’t worry Southside will be out soon. For now you can enjoy the trailer.