Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

..and why not?
User avatar
PENK
Midnight to Six Man
Posts: 34248
Joined: 07 Aug 2004, 20:12
Location: Stockholm

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?
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

User avatar
pcqgod
Posts: 16653
Joined: 11 Apr 2010, 07:23
Location: Texas

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.
Where would rock 'n' roll be without feedback?

User avatar
ORORORO
hounds people off the board
Posts: 17131
Joined: 24 Apr 2007, 23:21
Location: pursued by the enraged queen

Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby ORORORO » 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.
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Okay...this feels a bit unsavory to say but...let’s start off with the uncomfortable semi-truth that sometimes white voices and black voices sound different.

User avatar
Goat Boy
Bogarting the joint
Posts: 31819
Joined: 20 Mar 2007, 12:11
Location: In the perfumed garden

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.
Diamond Dog wrote:Everyone else hates us.

Fuck you all.

We won.


The Modernist wrote:Griff writes the best political posts.

User avatar
Nuts
Posts: 520
Joined: 15 Jan 2013, 15:31

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
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best…

User avatar
PENK
Midnight to Six Man
Posts: 34248
Joined: 07 Aug 2004, 20:12
Location: Stockholm

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.
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

User avatar
ORORORO
hounds people off the board
Posts: 17131
Joined: 24 Apr 2007, 23:21
Location: pursued by the enraged queen

Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby ORORORO » 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...
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Okay...this feels a bit unsavory to say but...let’s start off with the uncomfortable semi-truth that sometimes white voices and black voices sound different.

User avatar
PENK
Midnight to Six Man
Posts: 34248
Joined: 07 Aug 2004, 20:12
Location: Stockholm

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.
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

User avatar
Snarfyguy
Dominated by the Obscure
Posts: 52608
Joined: 21 Jul 2003, 19:04
Location: New York

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.
Jimbo wrote:Look, all I know is pretty much what I get from Robert Parry over at Consortium News.

User avatar
ORORORO
hounds people off the board
Posts: 17131
Joined: 24 Apr 2007, 23:21
Location: pursued by the enraged queen

Re: Let's talk about FARGO on the TV

Postby ORORORO » 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.
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Okay...this feels a bit unsavory to say but...let’s start off with the uncomfortable semi-truth that sometimes white voices and black voices sound different.

User avatar
PENK
Midnight to Six Man
Posts: 34248
Joined: 07 Aug 2004, 20:12
Location: Stockholm

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.
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

User avatar
PENK
Midnight to Six Man
Posts: 34248
Joined: 07 Aug 2004, 20:12
Location: Stockholm

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.
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.