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'Snowfall' Is Guaranteed To Draw Fans In

by Zakiya Jamal

FX's new series, Snowfall, focuses on the crack cocaine epidemic that arose during the 1980s, specifically in Los Angeles. The first season premieres on Wednesday, July 5 and many may be wondering how many episodes is Snowfall exactly? Let's just say, it'll be over before you know it.

The first season is 10 one-hour long episodes. The show, which was co-created by Boyz n the Hood writer and director John Singleton, follows four main characters who are directly connected to the epidemic. There's protagonist Franklin Saint (Damson Idris), who gets into dealing crack in order to make money for himself and those he cares about. Then there's Gustavo "El Oso" Zapata (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), a Mexican wrestler caught up in a power struggle within a crime family.

Luica Villanueva (Emily Rios) is also connected to crime as the daughter of a Mexican crime lord who imports and sells marijuana, though for Luisa, she's ready to forge her own path and plans on using cocaine to do so. Finally, there's Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson), a CIA operative who's running from a dark past and begins an off-the-books operation to fund the Nicaraguan Contras.

Though these characters are all fictional, it's important to note that this show is based off of real events that took place during the crack epidemic, which led to major social and economic changes in Los Angeles and other large cities across the U.S.

The crack epidemic resulted in the tough-on-crime policy that led to those who possessed crack cocaine (mainly African-Americans) being sentenced more harshly than those who possessed powder cocaine (mainly whites and Hispanics). This way of sentencing wasn't ended until the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 was passed by Congress. It's clear this aspect will be portrayed through Franklin, Luisa, and Gustavo.

While the show is mainly about the epidemic, some reviewers believe it's about much more than that. Collider noted that the show looks at the entrepreneurship many minorities took up during the Ronald Reagan years and how capitalism and the government had an impact on the spread of drug addiction. The Los Angels Times said the show is really all about "community" and the impact the epidemic took on cities like Los Angeles.

Whether or not you know a lot about the history surrounding the show, it's clear many people will be talking about it.

Snowfall premieres on FX at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 5.