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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Series Review: Singleton’s pet project carries on despite his passing

Photo+courtesy+of+Disney+%0AAfter+a+falling+out%2C+best+friends+Franklin+Saint+and+Leon+Simmons+must+come+together+to+survive+a+coup+by+Los+Angeles+gangs+for+drug+turf.
Photo courtesy of Disney After a falling out, best friends Franklin Saint and Leon Simmons must come together to survive a coup by Los Angeles gangs for drug turf.

Michael Foster-Sanders
editor-in-chief

The coca leaf — a plant  used to make cocaine and crack — has influenced international commerce, destroyed communities and ruined lives. FX’s “Snowfall” gives the viewer a time machine to see this unfold uncut and raw.

Franklin Saint, played by Damson Idris, is a teenager in 1980s South Central Los Angeles who watches his mother struggle to make ends meet. To help out, he deals weed for his uncle and works at a store so he doesn’t tip off his mother to his illegal activities.

His life changes by being at the right place at the wrong time and he becomes a cocaine kingpin — not by choice. But once the money starts rolling in, it’s hard for him to renounce the kingpin life.

 Now on its fourth season, “Snowfall” shows what “heavy is the head that wears the crown” means.

Franklin is caught between a gang war, police surveillance, family drama and a journalist looking to uncover a government conspiracy while the Central Intelligence Agency floods inner cities with drugs to fund a coup in Nicaragua. Franklin is going to have to make some tough decisions that are going to change his life and the lives around him. If he survives, that is.


“Snowfall” is the brainchild of late director John Singleton of “Boyz in Da Hood” fame, who passed during the third season of the show.

photo courtesy of Disney

Singleton wanted to tell a fictionalized account about how crack cocaine affected not just Black communities, but Latino and White communities, just in different forms. Singleton also wanted to show no one should blindly trust their government just because they tell you to.

Any show worth its weight in gold is due to its actors, and “Snowfall” has a solid cast that pushes this show to primetime television.

Franklin’s best friend is a street-tough kid named Leon Simmons, played by Isaiah John. Leon goes from being Franklin’s right-hand man to his boss as the series progresses. The writing captures the realistic ups and downs of friendships as people grow.

The matriarch of the Saint family is Franklin’s mother Cissy, who knows what her son is doing is wrong, but is determined to get him out unscathed by any means necessary — even if that means laundering money to make him a legit businessman. Cissy is played by veteran TV actress Michael Hyatt of HBOs’ “The Wire” fame, who brings an authentic motherly protection to the role.

The only bad thing about the show is that the episodes are 45 minutes long, because it keeps the viewer wanting more of the good stuff it delivers. Other than that, make sure to check out this excellent show that has been renewed for a fifth season.

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