When the Carlin family moves from a small town in Ohio to Los Angeles because of mom Paula getting a new job, it takes them a while to adjust to the lifestyle shift. Complicating the adjustment for teenage daughter Spencer is her struggle with her sexual orientation. Her older brother, Glen, was once a budding basketball star, but an injury derails his hoops dreams and leads to erratic behavior. Dad Arthur also has difficulty adapting to big-city life after being a "hero" social worker in Ohio. As with many teen-oriented shows, "South of Nowhere" deals with real-world issues, including racism, drugs, underage drinking, teen pregnancy and domestic violence.