Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

..and why not?
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PENK
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Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby PENK » 08 May 2018, 21:01

OK, then.

Making a TV series "inspired by" a classic but fairly recent film by still active and popular directors might not seem that interesting an idea, but hell if Noah Hawley and his team didn't turn it into one of the sharpest, warmest, funniest and smartest TV series around.

The beginning of the first series felt a little too close to the film - small-town Minnesota loser gets tangled up with organised crime and is investigated by a cheery female cop, and things spiral out of control with disastrous consequences for near enough everyone - but the intelligence, the three-dimensionality of the characters and the great dialogue and acting - some of the best acting on TV, just great ensemble casts having a fantastic time - all make it work.

Series two takes it to a whole new level. Series three is the weakest, with overfamiliarity setting in and the characters lacking depth, but it's still very good and might just have the best acting of the lot.

Is anybody else a fan? Which series/season do you rate highest?

Favourite scenes, characters?
GoogaMooga wrote:
Minnie Cheddars wrote:Baron got into a fight with some Satan’s Slaves over some culinary issue

Awful thing when that happens. I had a similar experience at a Tom Jones concert.

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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby pcqgod » 08 May 2018, 21:45

Season 2 is the first I watched, in one marathon on FX. I love everything about it, particularly the characters of The Blumquists and Mike Milligan. Season 3 had a lot of enjoyable elements and interesting characters but perhaps came off as too random at times. Haven't watched season 1 yet.
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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 08 May 2018, 22:12

I thought Billy Bob Thornton played one of the most entertainingly malicious characters I've ever seen on ANY screen in that first season. Loved it.

And the young girl cop - Alison someone? she was fantastic.
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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby Goat Boy » 08 May 2018, 22:32

I didn't see the first season but thought the 2nd was excellent (what was all that UFO stuff about though?).

Wasn't keen on the 3rd and bailed out.
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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby Nuts » 09 May 2018, 10:10

Loved all of them - glad to hear a 4th series is planned
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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby PENK » 09 May 2018, 10:27

Hodgson's Tears wrote:I thought Billy Bob Thornton played one of the most entertainingly malicious characters I've ever seen on ANY screen in that first season. Loved it.


Yeah absolutely. And it's interesting that he was so hollow and amoral yet still so compelling, in a show that works because everybody else is so fully-rounded and realistic. He was a cartoon villain but a brilliant, unpredictable one.

David Thewlis in series three is similar: he doesn't so much chew the scenery as suck its blood, just working his evil by obfuscating and creating chaos - any time someone might be on to him or stands up to him, he distracts them with sinister whataboutery. The series isn't as strong because the other characters are either overfamiliar or just a little cardboard, although as I said it's made by possibly the most enjoyable acting ensemble of all three series.

Actually - Bokeem Woodbine's Mike Milligan in series two might just be my favourite baddie of the lot, although he's not as clearly a baddie, given that there are in that series several different factions of baddies at odds with each other.
GoogaMooga wrote:
Minnie Cheddars wrote:Baron got into a fight with some Satan’s Slaves over some culinary issue

Awful thing when that happens. I had a similar experience at a Tom Jones concert.

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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 09 May 2018, 11:11

oh! if Thewlis is in the third season then that's a must-watch!



I'm struggling to find another contemporary 'real-life' kind of US drama right now - it's all zombies or ancient kingdoms. But anyway...
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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby PENK » 09 May 2018, 11:24

Hodgson's Tears wrote:oh! if Thewlis is in the third season then that's a must-watch!


His character is very much a Trump analogue - this gross, slimy amoral money-grubber spouting "post-truth" and trampling over anyone he needs.

The plot and setting aren't as good as in the other series and the characters are less interesting but it is still really good. McGregor, Winstead, Thewlis, Stuhlbaug and the dudes playing Thewlis' sidekicks are all delightful. Carrie Coon is great too and although her character might initially seem a rehash of Alison Tolman from series one, there is a lot more to her than that - she's the most well-developed character in the series.
GoogaMooga wrote:
Minnie Cheddars wrote:Baron got into a fight with some Satan’s Slaves over some culinary issue

Awful thing when that happens. I had a similar experience at a Tom Jones concert.

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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby Snarfyguy » 09 May 2018, 18:40

Midway through season 1 and enjoying it immensely.

*spoilers*

Lester's descent from nebbish to murderer to criminally insane mastermind is a great arc and the scene where he has Bob Odenkirk's character practically in tears while he sets up his brother for the murders is brilliantly played.

The scenes with the deaf/mute mob guy and his partner were just great.
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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 09 May 2018, 19:14

Snarfyguy wrote:
The scenes with the deaf/mute mob guy and his partner were just great.


I love it when you get imaginative ideas like that - someone with a sense of humour adding some fun to proceedings. So often with these modern multi-season dramas they're aiming for 'authenticity' or 'consistency' - and these things aren't necessarily conducive to an entertaining show.
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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby PENK » 09 May 2018, 19:31

Absolutely: there are a lot of hidden depths and smart references and cute observations in Fargo, but there's also a lot of stuff that's just plain funny. These odd little conversations that are kind of realistic, shooting-the-shit-in-the-bar kind of talks, but also surreal and strangely out of place on a TV drama. Again - inspired by the Coens, but given new life by Hawley.

And there are a lot of little details you probably don't even notice. I was reading how the offices in the Stussy Parking Lots building in series three all had double yellow lines outside them as if to say nobody else could park there.

And on the topic of the hitmen - you can see their scenes with sign language subtitles on Youtube:

Last edited by PENK on 09 May 2018, 19:39, edited 1 time in total.
GoogaMooga wrote:
Minnie Cheddars wrote:Baron got into a fight with some Satan’s Slaves over some culinary issue

Awful thing when that happens. I had a similar experience at a Tom Jones concert.

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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby PENK » 09 May 2018, 19:34

Also, the music is great. I love the theme tune - which appears in slight variations all the way through - and other incidental music. The clattering drum groove that accompanies the sign-language hitmen, for example.
GoogaMooga wrote:
Minnie Cheddars wrote:Baron got into a fight with some Satan’s Slaves over some culinary issue

Awful thing when that happens. I had a similar experience at a Tom Jones concert.

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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby Dor-Relip Hotels and Bathings » 25 Sep 2018, 18:31

Just seen this:

PENK wrote:Actually - Bokeem Woodbine's Mike Milligan in series two might just be my favourite baddie of the lot, although he's not as clearly a baddie, given that there are in that series several different factions of baddies at odds with each other.


that man deserves all kinds of awards - he was spectacular!
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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby Snarfyguy » 25 Sep 2018, 19:35

The sequence in Season One where all the action was converging on Keith Carradine's coffee shop. The dramatic tension was electrifying!

The story arc of Ed and Peggy in Season Two.

I didn't buy Ewan McGregor's accent in Season Three. He always seems a little off to me when does accents.
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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby driftin » 26 Sep 2018, 09:07

All three seasons are pretty terrific but Season 2 is up there with some of the greatest shows ever. Every character is unique and memorable, every plot turn is exciting and unpredictable, all of the dialogue is sharp, and its audio-visual storytelling is full of energy and style.

I'm very fond of Hanzee Dent and Mike Milligan especially.

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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby Neige » 27 Sep 2018, 09:14

Eddie Shah environment wrote:I thought Billy Bob Thornton played one of the most entertainingly malicious characters I've ever seen on ANY screen in that first season. Loved it.

And the young girl cop - Alison someone? she was fantastic.


Thought so too - have only seen Season 1 which I've enjoyed immensely and am looking forward to Seasons 2 and 3.

Maniac is first on my to-see-list at the moment, though.
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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby yomptepi » 27 Sep 2018, 10:38

I loved all three seasons , but season 2 was brilliant. It has Kirsten Dunst for a start. All three seaons are beautifully made, with fantastic attention to detail. And there is something very soothing about that Minneapolis accent. I think it is the pace of the proceedings which make it so addictive to watch. Cannot wait for the new one.
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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby caramba » 27 Sep 2018, 17:04

yomptepi wrote:I loved all three seasons , but season 2 was brilliant. It has Kirsten Dunst for a start. All three seaons are beautifully made, with fantastic attention to detail. And there is something very soothing about that Minneapolis accent. I think it is the pace of the proceedings which make it so addictive to watch. Cannot wait for the new one.


It's going to be about the mafia in the 1950s, but you'll have to wait until 2020 to see it.

In the meantime, I suggest you check out Ozark if you've not already seen it

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Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby slightbreeze » 30 Sep 2018, 23:58

caramba wrote:
yomptepi wrote:I loved all three seasons , but season 2 was brilliant. It has Kirsten Dunst for a start. All three seaons are beautifully made, with fantastic attention to detail. And there is something very soothing about that Minneapolis accent. I think it is the pace of the proceedings which make it so addictive to watch. Cannot wait for the new one.


It's going to be about the mafia in the 1950s, but you'll have to wait until 2020 to see it.

In the meantime, I suggest you check out Ozark if you've not already seen it

Ozark season one was great, season two phenomenal. Regarding Fargo, first two seasons were pretty much as good as it gets for pure entertainment, season three was a curates egg