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“Snowfall” Review: John Singleton’s Brillant Tale of the Crack-Cocaine Epidemia

This past Saturday I got a chance to attend a private screening of the new FX series Snowfall, created and executively produced by John Singleton. The show chronicles the life of character Franklin Saint, a naïve yet street smart African-American teen that finds himself wrapped up in the violent world of cocaine dealing.

I have to admit I went to the screening having a few reservations. I was worried the show would not tell an authentic truth of how the crack cocaine epidemic began or the severity of it. An epidemic that to this day has detrimental effects on the black community.

As I watched the series, I realized Snowfall was not just another show about impoverished black people and their stories. Rather it tells a relatable tale of people’s lives we think we know all about, but we rarely get to ever see.

*John Singleton discussing the show and it’s events. 

As viewers we often go into watching something with an already construed idea of what the series will be. So when I heard the ingredients for this show: black boy, crack cocaine, and Compton,  I had already made an assumption that this would be just another show that depicts us in a negative light. Oh how I was wrong.

In this show the protagonist Franklin, a young black teen that has all of the attributes to fall within a black show’s character stereotype is everything but that. There is a sense of innocence that the character possesses. He is intelligent enough to know this world is flawed, but still not wise enough to comprehend what he is truly getting himself into. Yes, he may be smart enough to grasp that this country is disproportionately structured for black teens like himself to fail, he still doesn’t understand the magnitude of what being a crack cocaine dealer will entail. I found that I once took away all the stigmas about young black teens, I was left with the idea that they are still teenagers. Teenagers make mistakes, and find themselves in faulty situations all of the time. Franklin is just that, a flawed teenager with hero syndrome who just happens to find himself in a highly faulty situation.

I left the screening with a new insight on how I viewed “stereotypical black shows.” Maybe if we stopped viewing them all as that and began to see them as great stories about individuals with flaws that happened to be one particular race, we would gain more of an appreciation for shows like Snowfall.

John Singleton did an excellent job of showcasing the characters as humans first, then expanding them and the many intersections of their lives second. I was able to empathize with a lot of the characters, being that a lot of them displayed characteristics of someone I’ve crossed paths with. I’m excited to see the direction in which he takes the show. I can promise you this, if the rest of the season is anything like the first episode then Singleton has perfected the recipe for the makings of a remarkable show.

*Snowfall premieres tonight for 10PM/9c on the FX Network.


5 Shows You Should Be Watching This Fall!

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If you’re a fan of my website then you are most likely familiar with my “5 Artist You Should Know” post. Well, because I am just as obsessed with good TV as I am with good music, I’ve decided to add a new section to my website called “Watch.” I’ll be discussing must-see movies and TV shows. I’ve listed some of my must-watch Fall shows, check out the list below!

1. Empire

If you haven’t heard about Empire, then it’s safe to say you’ve probably been living under a rock. When this show premiered last year it instantly became a fan favorite! The show is centered around a dysfunctional family that is hip-hop royalty, and their constant competition for who will control their multi-million dollar company. Empire keeps you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. I love that you can see a part of yourself in every character on the show. Tune in Wednesdays for 8pm CT on Fox.

2. Once Upon A Time

I’ve been obsessed with Once Upon A Time since it first premiered Fall 2011. OUAT takes place in a fictional town called Storybrooke, which is ruled by an evil queen.  Viewers watch the show over a series of flashbacks showing you life before Storybrooke, and life for the characters now. Once Upon A Time gives you a chance to relive all of your favorite fairy tale memories, all while giving them an adult real life twist. Tune in Sundays for 7pm CT on ABC.

3. Scream Queens

I must say Scream Queens may be my new favorite show! The show revolves around the sorority girls of Kappa Kappa Tau, a conservative and prestigious sorority, that is forced to accept anyone that wants to join once murders begin to mysteriously take place at their sorority house. This show will make you want to hid your face under a pillow, all while giving you a gut-wrenching laugh. Tune in Tuesdays for 8pm CT on Fox.

4. The Real

I’ve never been one to watch talk shows, but once The Real premiered that quickly changed. The Real is not your typical talk show, when you watch the show you honestly feel like you’re hanging with some of your favorite girlfriends. They cover every possible topic on the show, play fun and fabulous games, and interview some of your fave celebs. Tune in Monday -Friday for noon CT on Fox, and a re-air at midnight CT on BET.

5. American Horror Story: Hotel

AHS: Hotel hasn’t aired just yet, but based on every season of this beloved show I know this season will be just as epic. The thing I love about the AHS franchise is that every season feels like a brand new show. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk do an amazing job of taking the horror genre to the next level, and pushing gore to its’ limits. The storylines and acting is always brilliant and I’m sure this season won’t be any different. Tune in Wednesdays for 9pm CT on FX.

I hope my list introduced you to some of your new fave shows! What will you be watching this Fall?! I would love to read about them in the comments!

Until Next Time,
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*All of the photos were provided by Bing Images