Saturday, February 7, 2015

FX's Fargo Finally Reviewed

 Jesus, people, the ‪#‎Fargo‬ TV series is AWESOME. If you missed it (as I did), check it out. Like the Coen Bros.' 1996 film, it straddles the line between thriller & dark comedy.
Billy Bob Thornton deserves every award he wins for this (Is Malvo in fact the Devil incarnate or just the most diabolic man alive?), and the all-star ensemble as a whole was excellent:

Martin Freeman (also doing amazing work), Colin Hanks (once more playing a nice-guy cop), Oliver Platt, Bob Odenkirk, Glenn Howerton, Key & Peele (you read that right), Adam Goldberg, Keith Carradine, Joey King, Rachel Blanchard, Stephen Root, and last but certainly not least Allison Tolman in a star-making role as the Marge Gunderson-ish small town cop.

Neither a remake, reboot, nor spinoff, the new FX series takes place in the WORLD of the Coen Bros' film FARGO (set some years later), with none of the same characters, but all of the same tropes. As in the film, the actual Fargo, North Dakota, appears but briefly in mostly peripheral scenes, and the rest of the action hovers around Bemidji and Duluth (one small city and one medium/large-sized one in the frozen northern third of Minnesota.

Rather than a slow startup to let us familiarize with the town & the characters, the premiere episode is a doozy and features several horrible crimes (to say more would spoil). Once hooked, you're all but obligated to watch Devilish B.B. Thornton and the Faustian Freeman wrangle over the wrongdoings they've become complicit in.

Although throughout, I always knew I was watching FARGO, the series seems to owe just as much of a debt to NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, since Thornton's villain immediately reminds one of Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh (even down to the page-boy bowlcut, though less severe here) – a primary difference being Thornton's loquacity and ability to "blend", while Bardem remained taciturn and stoic. A bit of style seems also borrowed from David Lynch's TWIN PEAKS days, although FARGO's dark humor is in far greater supply than Lynch's projects ever were.

Looks like the series has been renewed for a 2nd season, you betcha! With mostly a cast of brand new gals and fellas. Seriously, check it out.

Grade :A.