South of Nowhere may have been short lived but at least some of the cast and crew have clearly remained close. The Unwritten Rules is a web series created by South of Nowhere’s former Post Production Supervisor Kim Williams. Based on a novel she wrote called 40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule:[Complete Title TW]The diary of a Nigger, Negro, Colored, Black, African-American Woman, the series stars Aasha Davis as a young woman navigating racial politics in a predominantly white workplace. South of Nowhere fans will recognize Davis as Chelsea Lewis, Clay (and later Glen) Carlin’s girlfriend.
In The Unwritten rules, Davis, who apparently stopped aging at 25, imbues life and spirit into the character Raceyneisha Jones. Racey is the heart and soul of the series and spends a significant portion of the show especially in the first season working out her feelings and mulling over events in direct-to-camera diary sessions. Davis is engaging and versatile enough so that even if we don’t always agree with Racey, we feel her anger, empathize with her frustration, laugh with her, and root for her.
Gabrielle Christian, who played Spencer on South of Nowhere, portrays Lauren on The Unwritten Rules. Lauren is Racey’s “colorblind” and comically ignorant coworker whose sister Lizzie is a trans-racial adoptee. Christian plays Lauren with the same sort of wide-eyed sweetness she brought to Spencer Carlin and much like in life, you get the sense that she means well but nevertheless her ignorance can still sting.
Probably the most controversial cast member from South of Nowhere ironically, is Danso Gordon. Gordon played Spencer’s emotionally conflicted adoptive brother Clay Carlin, whose untimely demise was allegedly prompted by the actor’s religious beliefs and objections to the show’s portrayal of homosexuality. His character Travis in The Unwritten Rules is a member of a black employee organization that meets after work to air their grievances, which often has comedic results.
In season 3 Maeve Quinlan also known as the Carlin family matriarch Paula, guest stars as one of Racey’s favorite clients. Racey has handled her account over the phone for years but when they finally get a chance to meet, things quickly derail. Quinlan is not afraid to be a villain and pulls no punches in her portrayal of an unabashed bigot.
At times over-the-top and even surreal, The Unwritten Rules provides levity along with depth in its examination of how racial prejudices manifest in corporate environments. The cast does a great job of bringing Kim Williams’ words to life and it’s obvious they care about portraying their characters honestly. Besides the South of Nowhere veterans, there are a lot of standouts among the regular cast as well including: Racey’s hapless co-worker with a crush Peter, played by David Lowe, Racey’s prejudiced supervisor Kathy, played by Sara Finley and the mysterious CEO replacement Kaneisha, played by Lyn Ross.
The Unwritten Rules is currently finishing up its third season on Youtube.
Bonus: Gabrielle Christian’s hilarious paean to Mandy Musgrave.
Will and Racey thank you for your time.
Sources: Me,Youtube,inkSpot Entertainment