Snowfall On FX – A tale of the rise of crack on the streets of South Central L.A. in the 1980’s. At first it got off to a slow start. But now in its fourth season, it’s one of the most underrated shows on television.
The harsh reality of Snowfall plays out in each episode. The aerial shot of South Central Los Angeles grows darker and more chaotic. Snowfall was originally billed as the story of “how crack began”— the connections between the CIA and the drug explosion on the streets of South Central during the 1980s. But there’s always been something deeper at its core. What the FX drama; which returned for its fourth season recently, is truly focused on is the transformation of a community. The ways the crack epidemic ravaged neighborhoods and the lives of the people who resided in them.
Its lead, Franklin Saint (Damson Idris), has since made the one-eighty from former prom king to kingpin. “As moral as he is at the beginning. That strong sense of morality starts to get whittled away,” co-creator John Singleton, (who passed away in March 2019). Spoke on it ahead of the show’s premiere in 2017. Now, by the beginning of Season 4, Franklin’s killed a friend and a father figure, and survived a shooting that left him walking with a cane. A reminder of the results of his actions. “He understands that he can’t make mistakes because the whole organization’s going to have to deal with the consequences,” Idris says. “His family’s going to have to deal with the consequences.”
Snowfall On FX Is A Show You'll Wanna Binge Watch
The bulk of the new season is set in 1985 following President Ronald Reagan’s re-election. The Reagan administration’s “War on Drugs” is escalating, as is the sweeping corruption within the LAPD and the gang wars in South Central. All of the above are bad for business, which Franklin is eager to return to post-recovery. But he soon discovers the division that’s arisen within his organization.
Franklin foolishly intervenes in the violent conflict between Skully (De’aundre Bonds), an erratic Blood, and Manboy (Melvin Gregg), an untrustworthy Crip. His ability to compartmentalize has propelled his operation, but he realizes that he can’t rationalize his actions if a situation he facilitated spirals out of control. Franklin’s character however, has control issues. We see this more vividly as the season progresses. Despite this, Franklin dreams of laundering the money into legitimate businesses and stepping away without doing further damage.
The slow start with a largely unknown cast may have hindered Snowfall’s potential to reach a larger audience. But now that cast has grown into their roles—and after Andron (co-creator) made the wise decision to spend most of their time in South Central. The show has matured into something with the potential to have a greater impact in the long run. “I remember when we were filming The Wire, there was this feeling that it wasn’t getting the attention that it should have in the moment,” says Hyatt, who played Brianna Barksdale. “And once people caught up with it, they were so enamored. But it took a while and I think this is the same thing.”
You Gotta Get Into Snowfall On FX
Despite the narrative growth of Snowfall. It still seems to receive under the radar status. At least where the critical acclaims and commercial audiences are concerned; some may argue it deserves. But rather than chasing ratings or acclaim. Snowfall has found a niche within a crowded TV landscape and developed a loyal following. Highlighting the collateral damage of something that’s shaped modern society so deeply. A narrowed focus, increased drama, and quicker pace have quietly made it one of the best shows on TV. But if this shows first three seasons weren’t argument enough that Snowfall deserves a wider audience. Then season 4 demands your attention.
Andron is grateful that the network didn’t rush Snowfall’s creators to introduce crack sooner. Granting them the latitude to tell the story as they saw fit. The result is what Singleton would have wanted. He dedicated his life to telling stories about Black people, particularly those of South Central , and Snowfall’s account of what crack did to the area adds to that legacy.
Part of the reason Snowfall has improved each season—aside from moving faster—is because the narrative has been refined. The writers initially burned ample screen time trying to weave between Franklin’s drug-dealer 101 adventures in South Central. Teddy’s funneling weapons and drug money into the Contra affair in Nicaragua, and a Mexican crime family’s tension in East L.A.
For years, Snowfall has been the best show you aren’t watching—now it’s blossoming into something you can’t miss.