Everyone from the hood or hood adjacent knows a dude who is out there wandering the streets looking crazy and lost. When we see him, we say, “You know who that is?”
For us right now in this moment, that dude is Franklin Saint.
Franklin is the thing street legends are made of. His ending may not rest well with everyone who loved “Snowfall,” but believe me when I tell you, it is the only ending that made sense.
Having Franklin die or go to jail would have been too easy. John Singleton would have never done easy.
Cheo Hodari Coker told me that when John created “Snowfall,” he wanted a real depiction of what crack did to *everyone* in the Black community. The dealers, the addicts, and everyone in between.
Crack didn’t just impact the people selling it and the people sucking on those glass dicks. The fallout touched *everyone* around.
“Snowfall” showed us all of that. It was perfect in every way.
The writers and producers and directors and actors used an hour every week for six straight seasons to give us one of the most epic renditions of “street lit” we have ever gotten.
Me and Britni Danielle were talking about this yesterday. “Snowfall” is our dream of “The Coldest Winter Ever” coming to life on screen. It was a saga. It didn’t rush to get to the end. It took its sweet time.
Walter Mosley told me that John was so clear in his vision for the show that even after he died in 2019, the writers still had a blueprint for where they needed to go to carry “Snowfall to completion.”
As a Los Angeles native who lived my teenage years during the era of gang bangin’ and crack slangin’, this show was very close to my heart. I was ecstatic when Britni said I could write about it.
It’s always important to me that depictions of Los Angeles be accurate. No one was better suited for giving us snowfall than
As I said in the piece, John was from the hood. He understood what life was like for people who lived south of the 10 freeway and east of Crenshaw Blvd. He was able to translate that to the screen in a way not many have been able to do.
I’d put the Hughes Brothers up there too, especially with “Menace II Society,” another of the all-time greats.
There is, however, something exquisitely special about the way “Snowfall” was done.
I expressed to Walter Mosley how I felt like “Snowfall” was a novel in tv serial form, and he told he that a lot of the people involved in the writing and creation of the show were novelists. It makes sense.
I put my whole heart in this piece, and I am mentally exhausted from the process it took to pull it together.
I thank everyone who spoke with me for it, including John’s son Maasai, and most especially Cheo Hodari Coker, who spent a lot of time talking with me about it.
Please read and share if you believe it’s worth it.