Throughout his remarkable life that was cut short, revered director John Singleton was a savant at capturing and illuminating both the beauty and barbarity of his Los Angeles hometown and interweaving those opposing themes into a suspenseful storyline.
This formula worked to Oscar-nomination glory in Boyz N the Hood and again in such classics as Baby Boy and Hustle & Flow. If anything, the emotional charge has been ratcheted up several notches when Singleton changed mediums for his latest, and sadly, last seminal offering via the hit TV drama “Snowfall.”
One of the enduring storylines as season four cranks up is that of charismatic drug kingpin Franklin Saint, played by Damson Idris, and his father Alton Saint, played by Kevin Carroll, who also operates as the show’s moral compass.
During the first two seasons, Franklin and Alton Saint first appeared as polar opposites. But the paradigm of their loving but frequently contentious relationship has shifted as they and the audience realize the two have more in common than they originally discerned. Alton joined the Black Panther Party for some of the same reasons that Franklin entered the illicit drug trade: he was angry, he felt marginalized, and he wanted to rise above the suffocating and systemic oppression.
The fourth season starts out at 60 mph as Idris’ character tries to get reacclimated to his profitable drug business. He was forced to step back after being shot by Melody and strategize on moves that will further consolidate his growing power. Meanwhile, Franklin’s father maintains his position as a portal of reason for his son.
Carroll said there are times when real life spills in from the streets and bleeds right onto the script, and vice versa, that makes the show fascinating and addictive.
“This show is more than a show for most of us, and there are moments in the show where our lives intersect with the notion of the writing. And it’s no longer a show, it’s a slice of life, and that can happen at any moment or time,” Carroll told rolling out during a press conference.
“I feel like there are times when we slip seamlessly from the script into a personal sense of responsibility in this show, and that is partly due to the writing and partly due to the quality of people that we’re working with as human beings,” Carroll added.
Idris added Singleton specialized in realism throughout his illustrious career and wanted to show good and evil, right and wrong, even as it is sometimes embodied in the same person.
“With regard to good and evil, I think it’s just basically John Singleton loved showing particularly African Americans in their truth, no one’s perfect,” Idris told rolling out.
“Snowfall” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST.
Flip the page to view the season four trailer of “Snowfall.”