By Ebrima Nije, contributing writer
Photos from Google
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
With the pandemic having kept most people inside for much of the day, many of us have turned to streaming and binge-watching Netflix and Hulu. If you like crime and drama shows, then your next binge may be here. Snowfall, created by John Singleton, broadcasts on FX network and also streams on Hulu. Set in the 1980s in South Central, Los Angeles, and focused on the rise of a young kingpin, the show intersects the drug trade with politics and culture to create an exceptional watch for the viewer.
Simply saying Snowfall is just a show about dealing drugs would be a severe understatement. The show follows a 20-year-old black male who dropped out of college due to a mistake made by the financial aid office, causing him to lose his scholarship. Franklin Saint (Damson Idris) is forced back home and into an environment filled with poverty. Franklin is introduced into the drug trade when he becomes a street-level drug dealer for his Uncle Jerome (Amin Joseph). Having been raised in a single-parent household, Franklin’s mother barely makes ends meet. The director makes this clear to the viewer and uses that to set up the bigger theme of family conflict between the two of them.
Through Franklin’s rise in the drug world, he ends up meeting undercover CIA agent Teddy McDonald, or “Reed Thompson” as he is known to Franklin. Teddy is running a secretive CIA operation that is aimed at overthrowing a communist government in Nicaragua. He funnels cocaine into the US to help fund this operation. As far-fetched as this may sound, this is a real part of American history that makes the show stand out. If you would like to know more about that, just google “Contras 1984.”
In addition to the interesting historical and political context, Snowfall meets all the criteria of a top television show. With excellent acting by Damson Idris and a solid, interesting plot, Snowfall gives viewers the suspense of a crime that is backed up by something new and noticeable in each episode, but also engages the viewers’ emotions with relatable trauma like a drama show. With season four released on Feb. 24, now is a great time to start the series.