Snowfall takes you headfirst into the indomitable 1980s’ Los Angeles scene of high speed… High speed music, fashion, lifestyle, attitude and like a locomotive without breaks, soon-to-be crack cocaine aka crack rock aka ready rock aka the mind altering affordable substance that would forever change, construct and destroy lives and empires.
From the mind of the visionary and raconteur of such tales as Boyz N The Hood (1991), Poetic Justice (1993), Baby Boy (2000) and more – John Singleton, delivers a highly anticipated hard-hitting drama for FX (home to other no-fail high drama California crime series like The Shield and Sons of Anarchy) that depicts the arrival and transformation of cocaine in South Central Los Angeles through the eyes of the series’ star, Franklin or Frankie Saint (played by Damson Idris), a teenage boy with a conscience in a culturally rich yet impoverished community unknowingly about to go comatose. He is aided with additional vision of life through his experience being bussed (likely in San Fernando Valley) to school in a more affluent and ‘more diverse’ area. His sophistication and connections will aid him as he stumbles upon an opportunity he was not looking for, but has been waiting for.
Additionally, multiple intersections are presented with Snowfall, from multiple Mexican and Central American networks, to high society’s role and infatuation with the white powder and most mysterious and sinister, the role of the federal government (Central Intelligence Agency) and its role in procuring the pathways for cocaine and crack to be distributed in the most poverty-stricken and ‘Blackest’ cities in the country – as later revealed in real life by reporter Gary Webb (“The Dark Alliance” article) that took place in 1996, 13 years after the setting of Snowfall.
For those infatuated by and fascinated with the game that cocaine presented from the 1980s through the next letter of this review you read, Snowfall is another perspective and angle (from Scarface to The Cocaine Cowboys Trilogy, Blow and Kill The Messenger) on the powder that changed the game and from one of the best and most authentic minds and eyes behind the camera. By the way, if the visuals and storyline don’t capture your attention, then the classic-never-to-return-again hit-laden soundtrack (Zapp, Gary Numan, Newcleus, Hall & Oates and more) will – and if not even that? Check your pulse.
Snowfall airs Wednesdays at 10pm on FX.
Jose S. Gutierrez Jr.