John Singleton was once the buzz king of Hollywood. At 24, he was the youngest nominee ever for a best directing Oscar for Boyz n the Hood, which he wrote while a film student at the University of Southern California. His film launched a whole generation of stars. (Cuba Gooding, Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long, Regina King, and Angela Bassett all got their first major exposure in Boyz.)
These days, however, the biggest buzz around Singleton is about films from which he's been bounced. He mostly works on remakes and sequels with lots of flying lead and crashing cars; he hasn't written or directed a movie or, apparently, had a thought of any importance this century.
Nothing in the hackneyed and ahistorical Snowfall is likely to change that. Billing itself as the story of "how crack began," Snowfall is really just a collection of clichés and set pieces you've already seen in other, much better narcodramas. Television critic Glenn Garvin explains further.