FX’s crack-cocaine drama Snowfall wraps up its second season on Thursday, Sept. 20, with Damson Idris’ Franklin Saint and his family, rivals and pursuers trying to make their way in 1984's Los Angeles. With the lead-up to the finale, creators John Singleton, Eric Amadio and Dave Andron have been diving into one of the most riveting scandals in American history: the Iran-Contra affair.
The story is incredibly complex, especially considering, as Andron points out, that no one in the CIA has ever gone on official record to substantiate the agency’s involvement in Iran-Contra. Andron believes the show has a responsibility to offer a factual representation of the events, while still telling a story that services Snowfall’s thoughtfully crafted characters.
Andron previously worked as a writer and producer on all six seasons of FX’s Justified, and for both series, the network has taken a supportive view of that balance between entertaining and educating. “With Justified, on the one hand, I think people tuned in and loved it because it was this great cops-and-robbers gunslinger story," he says. "But that was kind of the sugar that made the medicine go down, because we got to tell the story of Harlan County and what’s happened to these coal mining towns in the grip of opioid addiction. FX really embraces that. They embrace the idea that we’re going to have enough fun, sex and violence that people are excited to watch, but then [we don’t have to be] afraid to go at things politically, afraid to elevate the story.”
To go at moments in history when our government has been far less than transparent is always timely, and maybe never more so than now.
"We're really excited about season three and getting into the Olympics, which Los Angeles hosted in the summer of '84," Andron offers. "It obviously changed the landscape of this city, and that is kind of the moment that everybody agrees crack really exploded." Andron points out the compelling irony of this timing: "On the one hand, all the resources from the city and the country [are] going into, 'Hey, look at us, look how wonderful we are,’ and yet there was this segment of the population that was starting to be decimated, and nobody was paying attention. Nobody cared."