In case you missed it, there’s a new Showtime series called SMILF – about a lovable yet completely fucked up single mother from Southie. Yes, Southie – one of the most popular backdrops for Hollywood. Good Will Hunting, The Departed, even Ray Donovan is from Southie. The New Yorker recently did a review of SMILF and evidently used a time machine to travel back to our beloved neighborhood. “But the show’s setting, in the part of Boston known as Southie—a tough, lower-middle-class Irish-American neighborhood that borders the yuppified South End, to the north, and the working-class and predominately African-American Dorchester, to the south…”
Have they been to Southie lately? The grit and allure of yesteryear- the days of working class families, neighbors on stoops, corner stores and notorious mobsters – have been replaced with million dollar condos, Starbucks and long lines for brunch filled with fresh faced young professionals. Better or worse, it’s a different neighborhood with a different energy and vibe.
In SMILF’s defense, there are old school Southie people still residing in the neighborhood (take me and my husband). Although with every year that passes, every new development that gets built, more and more are cashing in and moving out. Or in some cases, a younger generation of lifelong residents can’t afford to buy in the neighborhood. Rosie O’Donnell’s character in the opening episode actually addresses gentrification in one scene.
Maybe The New Yorker should have done a little research and realized that just like our neighbors in the South End – we too have been “yuppified.” It’s sort of just lazy to describe us as “a tough, lower-middle-class Irish-American neighborhood.” Maybe “used to be” should have been added to the description.
On a side note: Don’t get us started on SMILF’s social media and their non-stop use of the term “Southies”or “a Southie” to refer to someone as a person from South Boston. Just stop.