Snowfall – John Singleton’s cocaine drama in a series check
John Singleton’s Snowfall makes no detours.The pilot throws us directly into a network of cocaine trafficking,drug addiction,violence – there is no lack of ambition.
Update,25.01.2018: We already wrote our series check for Snowfall on the occasion of the US premiere last year.Now the cocaine drama has made its way to Germany and can be seen on the pay-TV channel FOX from today.
25 years have passed since John Singleton was nominated for Boyz n the Hood not only as the youngest candidate of all time for the Oscar for Best Director,but also as the first African-American. The issues that concerned him at the time – (state) violence,drugs and the resulting problems within families in predominantly Afro-American ghettos – never quite let him go,but he has never again approached them as much as he would like to do as co-creator with Snowfall. Ambitions have grown exponentially since 1991:While Boyz n the Hood,in dissecting the almost systematic disruption of neighborhoods through drug addiction and arms trafficking,primarily in intimate circles of friends and family,Snowfall turns the clock back a few more years and takes on the origin of the devastating crack/cocaine epidemic.The place remains the same,because hardly any other region in the USA suffered as much from the drug flood as South Central,Los Angeles.
Now the topic is not exactly unexplored area.In a world where The Wire exists, television series in particular find it difficult to gain new facets from the panorama of drug trafficking.The comparison is of course unfair,but it can hardly be avoided,especially since the pilot tries to work through a similarly broad spectrum.And that’s where Snowfall’s problems start:Three strands of action are to be combined here to form a large whole.At the center is Franklin (Damson Idris),an educated young African-American who smells the big chance in cocaine to no longer have to depend on his grass-tickling uncle.Two so far secondary plots are about the former wrestler and prospective cartel member Gustavo Zapata (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) and the undignified CIA agent Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson), who is on the trail of a cocaine plot supported by the CIA.