FX's Snowfall is all about the crack cocaine epidemic that plagued South Central Los Angeles in the 1980s, so it's not surprising that machismo is at the forefront of a lot of the action.

However, what really gives the new series depth are the female characters, led by actresses Emily Rios, Michael Hyatt and Angela Lewis. And that's no accident.

"In a world that you typically associate with men, it was really important to me to make sure that we were platforming these really strong women around them and working kind of side-by-side and even controlling some things behind the scenes," creator Dave Andron told TV Guide at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. "It was something where we were doing research and we kept finding that women were often calling more shots than people realized."

Snowfall Is Going to Move Faster in Season 2

Hyatt, who plays the strong mother of Franklin, a young man who gets into the drug trade, sees a common thread through all the female characters, whether they're the manipulative Lucia (Rios) or the entrepreneurial Aunt Louie (Lewis).

"In Snowfall you get an opportunity to see a variety of different women at different stages in their lives," Hyatt told us. "But what is the underbelly of it all, is their earthiness, their connection, their strength. I love it."

Snowfall airs Wednesday nights at 10/9c on FX.