A family's move to Los Angeles from Ohio compels each of them confront various issues. SON poignantly captures the harsh realities of sexuality and race, but does so in a way that is sensitive and offers a wonderful sense of hope to its viewers.
South of Nowhere is unique. I've never seen anything else on tv before that paints such an honeset and genuine portrait of sexuality and the adolescent experience. The issues south of nowhere deals with are so important and universal, yet rarely touched upon in other shows. And these matters do not solely deal with sexuality. The feeling of not really knowing exactly who you are during high school, the desire to forge an identity of which people will be accepting of, the sense of loneliness even experienced sometimes by those who are popular, and the heartache of abandonment. Also, South of Nowhere's tendency to reverse both racial and sexual steroetypes if refreshig and should be rewarded. South of Nowhere's character development and character complexity is also excellent. Spencer, who is initially rather insescure about her sexuality truly grows to accept it, as well as be proud and open. Ashley, despite her mistakes and shortcomings, and sometimes ill-tempered nature is still caring and sensitive at heart and comes to realize that Spencer is who she truly wants. Over time, Madison becomes more accepting as well and we come to realize that's there may be more to her than meets the eye. As a bisexual male, who is now more comfortable with his sexuality (in part due to south of nowhere) I will say that I felt rather trapped in high school in the sense that I felt I really couldn't reveal my sexuality to anyone. But then, all of a sudden, south of nowhere came along and just seemed so unconditionally supportive. I realized that there are other people who truly realize (ie- the writers, etc) how nervewracking it can be to acknowledge that one is gay or bi and how scary it can be to come out to one's family and friends. Not only has this show helped me feel better about myself, but it has also altered the opinions of various parents and people who initially harbered homophobic sentiments.
As much as I love south of nowhere, I sometimes wonder if I should actually like the show as much as I do conidering that I'm male. I then think, however, that so many of the issues that Spencer and Ashley deal with apply to anyone who is gay or bisexual- male or female. While not all gay or bisexual males may hold this view, I personally have derived immense satisfaction from this show. I am so grateful that the creators of south of nowhwere were corageous enough to tackle such an edgy topic and of the-n to air this. Overall, they have created a show in which it is evident that being gay or bisexual is not a choice and it does happen to good people. I do wish more people, especially those who are gay bi, or questioning knew about the show. I'll always cherish south of nowhere and if I'm ever have some self-doubts about my sexuality, I like to think I've found a sort of retreat in south of nowhere to return to :)
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