Since its first season in 2017, the American crime TV show Snowfall has quietly gotten better and better. Now that the sixth and final season is almost over, the show is getting a lot of attention again. People who haven’t seen it are eager to find out what all the fuss was about. Since Hulu still has a deal with FX, it has all of the Snowfall episodes and is the best way to catch up.
The show is great and doesn’t try to hide the fact that it deals with some hard topics. Critics and viewers alike have given it a lot of praise. The show takes place in 1980s Los Angeles and is about the first, violent crack cocaine epidemic and its far-reaching effects on the city and the black community as a whole.
Even though the show is not true to history, it is based on real events and claims. Using this as a starting point, the show weaves together story lines about everything from the CIA’s alleged role in the epidemic to the part that Mexican cartels played in it. The show shows the dramatic rise and fall of a made-up young crack dealer and how his hustle brings him into contact with a lot of interesting people.
If you’re thinking about watching the show (which you should, by the way), here’s a cast and character guide to help you learn more about some of the show’s most important characters and the great actors who play them.
Table Of Content
- 1 Alejandro Edda as Rubén
- 2 Alon Abutbul as Avi Drexler
- 3 Amin Joseph as Jerome Saint
- 4 Angela Lewis as Louise Saint
- 5 Brandon Jay McLaren as Buckley
- 6 Carter Hudson as Theodore “Teddy” McDonald
- 7 Damson Idris as Franklin Saint
- 8 DeRay Davis as Peaches
- 9 DeVaughn Nixon as Kane Hamilton
- 10 Devyn A. Tyler as Veronique
- 11 Emily Rios as Lucia Villanueva
- 12 Filipe Valle Costa as Pedro Nava
- 13 Gail Bean as Wanda Simmons
- 14 Isaiah John as Leon Simmons
- 15 Juan Javier Cardenas as Alejandro Usteves
- 16 Kevin Carroll as Alton Williams
- 17 Marcus Henderson as Andre Wright
- 18 Michael Hyatt as Cissy Saint
- 19 Reign Edwards as Melody Wright
- 20 Sergio Peres-Mencheta as Gustavo “El Oso” Zapata
- 21 Tiffany Lonsdale as Parissa
Alejandro Edda as Rubén
Rubén, played by Alejandro Edda, is a Cuban spy with ties to the Russian KGB who joins the show in the last few seasons. His character was another one with many different parts that sometimes showed how deep and complicated the show was. He works for the Saint family and is later asked to kill one of the show’s most important characters.
So, now you know. Snowfall is one of those shows that you definitely shouldn’t miss. The show deserves all the praise and awards it has gotten over the years. It has a brilliantly complex and twisty plot, and the characters are very colourful and have many different sides to them. Even though it will end later this year, it’s not too late to catch up and see it through. Even though the show is made up, it is still culturally important because it is based on real historical events that have had an effect on people all over the world.
Alon Abutbul as Avi Drexler
Avi Drexler, who is an Israeli drug lord, is probably the main reason Franklin has been able to rise so high in the drug trade. Drexler was a character that people loved so much that he kept coming back season after season, and it was always great to see Alon Abutbul play him.
Like the stories of all the other characters on the show, his grows and changes as the seasons go on. By the end of the series, his loyalties have changed, but he always finds a way to stay important to the story.
Amin Joseph as Jerome Saint
Amin Joseph plays Franklin’s uncle and drug dealer mentor, so it stays in the family. At first, he does everything he can to stop his young nephew from living the life he wants, but he soon realises that there’s something special about him.
She and Jerome work with Franklin’s wife Louise to help him build and protect his empire. In season four, there are still strong family ties, but there are also a lot of complications that lead to some dramatic turns.
Angela Lewis as Louise Saint
Louise Saint is the wife of Jerome Saint and the aunt of Franklin. She is a strong and fearsome woman who shows she can do well in a tough world. Louise is often a business negotiator, and she shows that she is just as good as any man in the trade by using her feminine charm.
She runs her own nightclub, which is used as a front and also shows how good she is at business. But as a woman who has her own goals, she doesn’t always like playing second fiddle. Angela Lewis is very cold and scary in the role.
Brandon Jay McLaren as Buckley
Buckley is another new character in season 5, and he adds more depth to the show. He is a detective with the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (C.R.A.S.H.) Unit, and he also deals with a lot of personal issues.
Buckley does his best to put on a strong and confident front, but in his personal life, his relationships are falling apart and he has problems with drugs. As Buckley, Brandon Jay McLaren is quiet and heartbreaking.
Carter Hudson as Theodore “Teddy” McDonald
Carter Hudson plays “Teddy” McDonald, who is also known as Reed Thompson. In real life, Hudson works for the CIA. His role in the show is very important because it shows how the government was involved in the epidemic. This is a well-known claim that has even led the government to look into such claims.
Even though the CIA was cleared by the investigations, many people still think that they were behind the crack epidemic because they sold crack to pay for government efforts to fight communism. If this claim were true, it would be too horrible to think about what would happen, since crack cocaine has crippled the black community since it was introduced to black neighbourhoods in the 1980s.
Damson Idris as Franklin Saint
The show’s main character, Franklin Saint, was a great fit for the young, talented British-Nigerian actor Damson Idris. Franklin became a stylish drug kingpin at a young age and runs a family business in South Central, LA, that makes and sells crack cocaine.
The show tells the story of Franklin’s huge rise and fall as he faces many dangers from the police and other people involved in the illegal drug trade. Damson Idris is great in the show, and his role as Franklin Saint in Snowfall has won him a lot of awards.
DeRay Davis as Peaches
Even though “Peaches” is quiet, he is a dangerous enforcer, so he is not someone to mess with. He often protects Franklin and drives him around, but he can also help him out of tight spots.
Davis, who is known for his stand-up comedy, is also an experienced actor who has been in dozens of movies and TV shows. This made him a great choice for the show.
DeVaughn Nixon as Kane Hamilton
Kane Hamilton is a memorable character, even though he didn’t join the show until after the first four seasons. As a former criminal, Hamilton has street smarts and a protective nature that make him seem like an older brother to both Franklin and Leon.
The veteran actor DeVaughan Nixon plays the character. He brings all of his experience to the show and gives it a real pedigree, since he has been in famous movies and TV shows like Terminator 2: Judgment Day and The Bodyguard.
Devyn A. Tyler as Veronique
Veronique, played by Devyn A. Tyler, was the first major new character in Season 5. She was one of the people Franklin liked. They have chemistry that can’t be denied, and she ends up being an important part of his personal life.
As the season goes on, the plot makes their relationship grow and get deeper. She used to be a lawyer, and now she works as a real estate manager for Franklin. She brings all of her smarts and a lot of intelligence to the job.
Emily Rios as Lucia Villanueva
Lucia Villanueva is the daughter and heiress of the Villanueva Mexican drug cartel, and she plays a big role in the first two seasons of the show. She is also one of the most important parts of the Mexican cartel storyline.
Emily Rios, who plays the character, is beautiful and moody. At the end of Season 2, the character’s fate takes a strange turn, but not before she has many memorable scenes on the show.
Pedro Nava is a bit of a side character. He is Lucia’s cousin and a member of the Villanueva cartel. This is his main connection to the show. Filipe Valle Costa only shows up in the first and second seasons, but he has some memorable scenes even though he doesn’t play a bigger role in the show as it goes on.
Gail Bean as Wanda Simmons
Gail Bean plays one of Franklin’s girlfriends, and she shows up in every season from the second to the sixth. She eventually marries Franklin. Even though she knows him very well, Wanda ends up becoming addicted to crack herself.
Isaiah John as Leon Simmons
Leon Simmons is his most trusted partner because he is Franklin Saint’s best friend and the head of his business. Simmons is like a family member to Saint because he always looks out for the young kingpin when he is in danger. Even though they don’t always agree, they have a strong bond and love for each other.
As the seasons go on, threats get bigger and bigger, so the two best friends stick together and do everything they can to help and protect each other. Simmons is a complicated character because he is also a member of the notorious Crips street gang. He is played by the very skilled Isaiah John.
Juan Javier Cardenas as Alejandro Usteves
Alejandro is a main character in the first season. He is a pilot and a contra soldier for the Nicaraguans. His job makes him an asset of the CIA and lets him smuggle drugs without getting caught. He does this to raise money for the fight against communism.
This part of the show is one of the most controversial because it supports the idea that the CIA really did help spread crack cocaine into black neighbourhoods. In this small role, Juan Javier Cardenas is tough and works well.
Kevin Carroll as Alton Williams
Alton Williams is Franklin’s mysterious father. He used to be a member of the Black Panthers. His often crazy behaviour eventually drives his family away, and a police crackdown puts him in the hospital. Even though he gets back together with them later, his strong feelings against the government put him at odds with the CIA’s role in the business.
This last change causes a lot of trouble because Alton puts a target on his back when he speaks out against it. Alton is, to say the least, a troubled person, and Kevin Carroll adds a deep psychological layer to the show that sometimes makes it even better.
Marcus Henderson as Andre Wright
Andre Wright is the police officer father of Melody and the Saints’ next-door neighbour. He has been in the show since the first season. Even though he knew what Alton did with the Panthers, he has always had respect for the Saint family.
Franklin’s drug use, on the other hand, puts a clear barrier between them and makes him less tolerant of them. Because of this, he is against Melody and Franklin dating, and Marcus Henderson plays the inner conflict of the role well.
Michael Hyatt as Cissy Saint
The American actress Charlene “Michael” Hyatt, who was born in Britain and became famous for her role in “The Wire,” plays Franklin’s mother, Cissy Saint. Her character is a shining example of good behaviour in a show that is mostly about bad people.
No matter how successful Franklin gets, she doesn’t like what he does. She also won’t take any of his drug money, even though her own finances are getting worse and worse. Her story also takes some dramatic turns, and she stays one of the most likeable characters throughout the show.
Reign Edwards as Melody Wright
Melody Wright, one of Franklin’s old loves from when he was younger, is played by the beautiful and very talented Reign Edwards. Since she was the daughter of a policeman, she was always going to make things more exciting.
These become more important in season four, when her role in the show takes on a very important role. As a former star of The Bold and the Beautiful for which she was nominated for an Emmy, Edwards did a great job in the dramatic role she was given in Snowfall.
Sergio Peres-Mencheta as Gustavo “El Oso” Zapata
Sergio Peres-Mencheta did a great job giving his character, a Mexican wrestler, a lot of depth. The Mexican cartel is also connected to Gustavo. As the cartel’s enforcer, the former “luchador” is a great choice because of how strong he is.
Gustavo starts out as a lowly enforcer, and his rise is amazing. He earns respect and power the hard way. His quiet nature hides a more dangerous side that comes out when it’s needed. He doesn’t like to draw attention to himself when it’s not necessary.
Tiffany Lonsdale as Parissa
Tiffany Lonsdale is best known for her role in the movie Siren. In this movie, she plays Parissa, a doctor who helps Teddy McDonald when he gets hurt.
She also has a past that has something to do with Teddy’s, and this is something that is talked about more in later seasons of the show. As a great addition to the show, Parissa shows how the real world and the world of illegal activities are often mixed up in surprising ways.
Since crack cocaine came out, it has caused a lot of financial and social problems in the black community. This is a plague that is still destroying families and lives to this day. Still up for debate is whether or not the CIA actually helped bring the deadly drug into the US to raise money for the fight against communism.
No matter what, this epidemic had a huge impact on whole communities and generations of families. This was a very bad thing. If what they say is true, it’s possible that the CIA was directly and indirectly responsible for one of the worst violations of human rights in history. Since crack cocaine has destroyed many lives and communities around the world, the idea that it may have started the way it’s shown in Snowfall is unimaginably disturbing. People could read the book Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion by journalist Gary Webb to learn more about the issue. Webb was later found dead.
Snowfall will have a third season on FXFX.
No matter what you think about the issue, Snowfall is still a great show that will probably lead to more like it. Here’s what Mike Hale, a critic for The New York Times who writes about movies and TV, had to say about it:
“It’s one of the most nostalgic shows on TV, but in a mean way. It’s like “The Wonder Years” for the drug trade.” Its picture of Los Angeles in the mid-1980s isn’t exactly realistic, but it’s true to a myth about the city at that time that was spread by John Singleton, one of the show’s creators, and the show cleverly ties itself to that myth. In the new season, when the family at the centre of the story goes crazy because a local rapper rhymes about their business, one of the crew members has an epiphany: it’s 1986, and he sees gangsta rap coming.
Singleton, who died in 2019, was in Los Angeles working on the script for “Boyz N the Hood,” his first and best-known movie, when the new season of “Snowfall” takes place. When he was nominated for an Oscar for directing the movie, he was 24 years old, which is the same age that the show’s main character, the young drug dealer Franklin Saint (Damson Idris), reaches in Season 5 of the show. “Snowfall” takes some of “Boyz’s” tragic young-men archetypes, and their melodramatic pull is another reason why people like the show.
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