Fargo

Fargo Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, Martin Freeman, Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine, Russell Harvard, Adam Goldberg, Rachel Blanchard, Oliver Platt

Fargo (Season 1): when a contract killer ends up in their small town he changes the lives of an insurance salesman, police woman, and grocery tycoon forever. This does well to instantly match up with the mood of the Coen Brother’s Fargo movie – there’s lots of crossover details that are familiar but not directly copied: pregnancy, outlandish hitmen, ice scrapers, car accident, salesman, the Mike Yanagita scene… It feels properly connected, instead of a forced spin-off.  It looks and feels very cinematic, even more so than the movie, and the score gives it even more heft – allowing this play more like a 10-hour movie than an episodic crime show. Although with this format it’s probably better to binge this as there’s a lot of nice and subtle callbacks to earlier episodes throughout the season. Given the screen time involved this is an actor’s dream; we spend lots of time seeing the main characters established and developed. Martin Freeman is great as the timid but very watchable asshole, but Billy Bob Thornton makes this show for me with a majestic performance as a creepy, dangerous and almost admirably smart hitman. Fargo’s lead and ensemble casting is stellar, and paired with the well-penned characters, really makes the show a joy to watch. The humour is also bang on; leveraging silly accents (a gift that just keeps on giving), and making the most of the trademarked ‘awkward, absurd, nihilistic, crimson coloured’ Coen style. This is the backbone of most episodes, however episodes 7, 8, and 9 feel a bit stretched and empty compared to the rest. Overall Fargo is one of the most promising new shows on TV, and I can’t wait for Season 2.

Score: 8/10

What if YOU’RE right, and they’re wrong?

Fargo Police Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, Martin Freeman, Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine, Russell Harvard, Adam Goldberg, Rachel Blanchard, Oliver Platt

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3 comments
  1. Dan O. said:

    A great season. Let’s hope that this second one lives up to all the promise. Nice review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this season too. I am constantly amazed at how good Martin Freeman actually is. I agree about the later episodes, I think it actually was going to end, at the car crash/raining frogs episode; maybe it should habe. Currently series linked season 2, but have haven’t started watching yet.

    Like

    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      This is the first thing I’ve seen where Freeman absolutely nails it. Such an up-and-down character, but he and BBT were superb to watch. Also got S2 recording off of Channel 4, but trying to keep them til they’re all there so we can storm through it again as S1 had a LOT of callbacks and nods to previous episodes – some pretty trivial, but still elbow and wink stuff for those paying attention.

      Like

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