Created by John Singleton, Eric Amadio, and Dave Andron, FX’s ‘Snowfall’ is a crime drama series set in Los Angeles in the 1980s. It follows Franklin Saint, a young South Central Los Angeles drug dealer. As he works to operate his drug empire, he comes into a conflict with a Mexican wrestler, a CIA agent, and a Mexican mob boss’ niece.
The show is known for its hard-boiled drama and a fascinating inside look at the functioning of a drug cartel and the diverse characters involved in it. If you enjoyed watching it and are looking for more such streaming options, we’ve got you covered. Here is a list of similar recommendations we have compiled for you. You can watch most of these shows like ‘Snowfall’ on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu!
10. ZeroZeroZero (2020)
‘ZeroZeroZero‘ is an Italian crime drama television series created by Stefano Sollima, Leonardo Fasoli, and Mauricio Katz. It is based on author Roberto Saviano’s book of the same name about the international cocaine trade. The series stars Andrea Riseborough, Dane DeHaan, and Gabriel Byrne as Emma, Chris, and Edward, members of the Lynwood family.
The family controls an international shipping company acting as a cocaine broker between Mexican and Italian organized crime. Like ‘Snowfall,’ the series focuses on drug trafficking and has a complex and layered narrative exploring the lives of several factions involved in the business, making ‘ZeroZeroZero’ worth your time.
9. All American (2018- )
‘All American‘ is a sports drama television series created by April Blair and loosely inspired by the life of former NFL football player Spencer Paysinger. It follows Spencer James, a football prodigy from Crenshaw High School who transfers to Beverly Hills High to achieve his dream of becoming a professional footballer. Although the show’s narrative focuses on his goal to play in the NFL, it explores the drug cartels and criminal activities in Spencer’s neighborhood that shape his and his friends’ lives. Moreover, the series takes place in South Los Angeles, making it culturally similar to ‘Snowfall.’
8. Narco-Saints (2022- )
‘Narco-Saints‘ (also known as ‘Suriname’) is a South Korean thriller series directed and co-written by Yoon Jong-bin. Inspired by actual events, it follows the story of Kang In-gu, a small-time businessman who arrives in Suriname to operate a skate business. However, he is soon drawn into the National Intelligence Service’s operation to catch a notorious drug kingpin. The enthralling series takes viewers into the relatively unknown world of the Surinamese drug trade and blends reality with fiction to significant effect. As a result, it is thematically similar to ‘Snowfall’ but provides a fresh cultural context.
7. Dom (2021- )
Created by Breno Silveira, ‘Dom’ is a Brazilian crime drama series set in Rio de Janeiro. It revolves around Pedro, a teenager from a middle-class family who is introduced to drugs and trafficking at a young age. As he aspires to become the leader of a local drug cartel, his father, Victor Dantas, is determined to fight the narcotraffic war.
The opposing lifestyles of the father and son craft some high-octane drama and action, setting the series apart from other shows about drug cartels. Albeit, it explores the profound impact of drugs on the minds of teenagers, and Pedro’s journey from a drug addict to a drug lord will remind viewers of Franklin from ‘Snowfall,’ albeit in a Brazilian cultural context.
6. Queen Sugar (2016–2022)
Based on Natalie Baszile’s novel of the same name, ‘Queen Sugar’ is a drama series created by Ava DuVernay. It follows the lives of the Bordelon siblings living in rural Louisiana. Following the death of their father, the trio is forced to face the challenges of running an 800-acre sugarcane farm left behind in their name, divided into three equal portions.
While the series does not have the drug trafficking aspect of ‘Snowfall,’ it is not afraid to tackle several problems the African-American community faces, such as racial profiling, inequities in the criminal justice system, and the effects of slavery, among others. If the communal spirit of the characters in ‘Snowfall’ appeals to you, you will enjoy ‘Queen Sugar.’
5. Love/Hate (2010-2014)
Created by Stuart Carolan, ‘Love/Hate’ is an Irish crime drama series. Set in the criminal underworld of Dublin, it revolves around Darren Treacy, a former drug kingpin who moves away from a life of crime. However, after his brother’s death, Darren must return to criminal life to avenge his brother. Like ‘Snowfall,’ the series explores the complex battle for power and dominance in the drug trafficking landscape of the Irish underworld scene with a tightly written revenge story, giving ‘Love/Hate’ a fresh touch. Furthermore, it neatly highlights the effect of the war between drug cartels on the local community.
4. Ganglands (2021- )
‘Ganglands‘ (also known as ‘Braqueurs’) is a French crime series created by Hamid Hlioua and Julien Leclercq. It follows Mehdi, a skilled thief who is drawn into a turf war between drug lords in Belgium after his niece becomes involved in stealing cocaine. As he walks deeper into organized crime, he faces increasingly dangerous situations while trying to protect his family. As with ‘Snowfall,’ the series explores the world of drug trafficking but from an outsider’s perspective. Nevertheless, characters in both shows are driven by their desire to protect loved ones, giving them layers of moral complexity.
3. BMF (2021- )
‘BMF’ (also known as ‘Black Mafia Family’) is a crime drama television series created by Randy Huggins. It follows brothers Demetrius “Meech” Flenory and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory as they enter the criminal underworld of Detroit. The series is inspired by actual events and tells the story of one of America’s most influential criminal families. The show’s depiction of the Flenory brothers’ involvement in drug trafficking and money laundering will remind viewers of ‘Snowfall.’ Besides, both shows are set in the 80s and focus on diverse characters facing complex moral and social conflicts. If you enjoy crime shows with a grain of reality, ‘BMF’ will be your cup of tea.
2. Top Boy (2011- )
Created by Ronan Bennett, ‘Top Boy‘ is a crime drama series set in the fictional Summerhouse estate in London. It revolves around Ra’Nell, the titular “Top Boy,” who is forced to fend for himself after his mother is admitted to a mental institution. Living on the streets dominated by drug gangs, the vulnerable teenager slowly finds himself slipping into the world of organized crime. Akin to ‘Snowfall,’ the show explores the duality of life on the streets where crime co-exists with people trying to make an honest living. As a result, ‘Top Boy’ makes some poignant social commentary with wry humor making it tonally similar to ‘Snowfall.’
1. Power (2014-2020)
‘Power‘ is a crime drama television series created by Courtney A. Kemp. It tells the story of James St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), an intelligent but ruthless drug dealer. He aspires to become a legitimate businessman by starting his own nightclub. However, the wealth and power of the criminal underworld often prove too lucrative to let go of quickly.
The series is filled with morally grey characters and dives into their humanities like a few other crime dramas. Viewers might find similarities between St. Patrick from ‘Power’ and Franklin Saint from ‘Snowfall.’ Also, with three spin-offs, there is plenty of content for viewers to explore the complex layers of the show’s universe and its approach to crime, making it the top pick for this list!
Read More: Is Snowfall Based on a True Story?