2014, TV

Fargo – Season 1 (2014)

I normally review a TV series after I’ve watched all the seasons. However, given that the second season of Fargo will consist of an entirely new cast and plot, I am reviewing them separately. Needless to say, SPOILERS!!!

I was really, really skeptical of this idea, not only because I was once a gigantic Coen brothers fan and Fargo remains among their very best films. Making a film into a show is a dangerous proposition. Making a film into a show nearly two decades after that film was released seems insane, to put it mildly. Doomed to failure. When I heard the positive reviews, I wondered what the critics were smoking. (This wouldn’t be the first time the critics were wrong about a TV show.)

But they were right. It’s an incredible thing, but this show has the tone and aura of the movie down in a way I couldn’t have possibly imagined. Remember M*A*S*H? The show had to go a completely different direction from the film in order to become a success. (Well a commercial one, anyway.) But this show conjures up the film without feeling like they are repeating anything. It helps that the plots are just barely linked.

The show goes off the rails a bit near the end of this season, in part because it gets ridiculously, cartoonishly violent. But, less we forget. This is sort of a comedy, albeit a very, very, very dark one. So I guess that’s excusable.

The cast is fantastic, the characters are all memorable, the laughs never really stop and if the ending is little odd – not to mention, shot in a totally incorrect part of the world – given how the show started, we don’t care that much, just because everything else about this is so damn good.

8/10

Note: I have since watched all remaining seasons. It is one of the best things on TV currently.

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