I discovered Fargo through Martin Freeman’s involvement. The actor that became a star with Sherlock, and a superstar through The Hobbit is joined by a supercast like Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks and an almost unrecognisable Bob Odenkirk.
The Fargo-TV show is set in the same universe as the 1996 Coen brother film. Fans will recognise a lot of easter eggs and stories connecting with previously told stories by Ethan and Joel. An upcoming season 2 will be told from an anthology-format, with almost no connection points.
There are minor story spoilers in this review.
Just like the movie, most of the series a lot of references are made to the city of Fargo, but with most of the series taking place in a neighbouring state. The first season of Fargo follows the story of loser-insurance salesman Lester Nygaard who encounters contract-killer Lorne Malvo in the sleepy town of Bemidji, Minnesota. Bemidji Deputy Molly Solverson and Duluth police officer Gus Grimly are both characters trying to find their way as things dissolve and resolve around them. When Officer Bill Oswalt becomes Police Chief, it’s obvious that not everyone is up for the task of protecting and serving, let alone leading.
In between blood and human horror, there is room for love and life.
The cold and snow are a perfect setting for the chilling things these flawed characters are capable of. Fargo’s DP Dana Gonzales chose to shoot on more wider lenses, giving space to the environments and characters to breath and interact
Top class acting is combined by the strong writing of show creator Noah Hawley. Jeff Russo is a relative newcomer in the scoring world, but his Fargo Main Theme and the rest of the score is amazing and can be considered a true classic from the moment it aired.
If the events of the show aren’t interesting enough, the character progression is done with such subtlety and mastery storytelling that it’s just plain fun to watch.
Fargo is one of those series that grabs your attention from the first minutes of the series, all the way until you pop in the final disk and watch the chilling conclusion to this epic tale.
Fargo Season 1 is available in Belgium April 29th 2015 on a gorgeous DVD and Blu-ray filled with extra’s like audio commentaries, deleted scenes and making-of features. It’s also streaming on Netflix.
With Fargo being the ‘center of a crime-syndicate’, and Bemidji being Siberia with family restaurants it’s easy to forget that North Dakota is an actually nice location with friendly people and a lot of heritage close to the Canadian border.
No, it’s not where Mount Rushmore is, that’s South Dakota. Instead, it has the gorgeous Theodore Roosevelt National Park with the Maah Daah Hey Trail. And of course, Fargo is one of the nicest fast-growing small towns in the USA. A town-feeling in a 100k city, with heritage places like the famous Fargo Theatre. Just seeing the pictures makes me nostalgic for the time I saw Sin City in Indianapolis back in 2005. For those who have never visited the States, walking around there really feels like walking in a movie.
Minnesota, by the way, is hipster capital, home of Walmart and the original Zombie Pub Crawl. Quite contradictory. I love it!
Hmm, perhaps it is time to take another visit to the States.