So many shows, so much little time. Listen, I know the stress of making these difficult decisions when it comes to your TV schedule. You hear about a show from your friends and you think ok, I trust them – I’ll check it out as soon as I’m done with Walking Dead, then I can handle getting acquainted with a hot, new show. But then you see an ad for some other new show coming out and you think – oh wait, that’s right up my alley too. And now you’re reading this and you think I’m further screwing with your life. Or maybe I am here to help you make these tough life decisions, in which case, this is where I give you my lame sales pitch: If you like good TV shows that are smart, well-written, and suspenseful, then Fargo just may be the show for you. No but really, you need to get on this show ASAP if we are to remain friends.
Fargo Season 1 was one of the best surprise shows to hit TV in recent years, though the surprise seems to be that many people still haven’t seen it. I myself didn’t know what to expect from a Fargo show that is an extension of the critically-acclaimed Coen Brothers film of the same name from 1996. But creator/writer, Noah Hawley, did a phenomenal job of creating a fresh new story line with a whole new cast of characters, most notably, the creepy menace played by Billy Bob Thornton. The whole season was amazing from start to finish and I encourage you to get after it come winter if you still haven’t seen it. Plus, the winter in Fargo might also make you feel better about your own winter situation. For now, good news is that you need not see Season 1 to be able to dive into Season 2 for the fall. Fargo, like True Detective, is one of the latest anthology shows to come out, which means that each season is a new story with a new cast of characters.
In Season 2 the clock gets turned back to 1979 as we see how a small Minnesota town gets disrupted after events unfold at a local diner. We are already three episodes into the season as of last night, but don’t freak – they are available OnDemand or on the FX website. The show airs on Monday nights on FX at 9pm in case you want to record it on VHS. Ok, without giving too much away I’ll tell you that we have already met a town sheriff (Ted Danson) and his state trooper son-in-law (Patrick Wilson). We have a local butcher (Jesse Plemons) and his wife (Kirsten Dunst), who seems to be up to no good in more ways than one. Jesse Plemons (who Lauren lovingly refers to as Fatt Damon on the show) may not be a household name, but he was the quietly evil and slimmer sociopath who really made his presence felt in the last season of Breaking Bad. Anyway, no small town would be complete without the local organized crime family, and in this case it’s the Gerhardt Family, which is now headed by the mother hen (Jean Smart) following her husband’s stroke. She also has her sons in tow; the oldest (Jeffrey Donovan) is a mean-tempered fella who really would like to run things himself and the youngest (Kieran Culkin) seems to always be getting the short end of the stick and wants to prove his criminal chops. Another side note here is that Culkin seems to be an homage to the Steve Buscemi character from the movie, and I will say I think he does a good job of it. Finally, we have a sinister outside force – a crime syndicate out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota that is looking to expand their horizons, which of course means taking over the Gerhardt’s operation. Leading the charge so far is sharp-minded underboss (Brad Garrett) and his smooth but seemingly very dangerous man on the ground (Bokeem Woodbine). The cast already is proving to be better than the first season, and not only that – they are proving to be cast perfectly.
Stars are aligned for this to be a great second season for Fargo. The plot will definitely thicken and expand in some unseen directions, as was the case with Season 1. There is an overarching plot that is almost science fiction this time around, but I won’t say anymore right now. One other thing I will say is that the style of the show is very underrated. It is actually very well directed and the scenes are always expertly done, with incredible music and score to go along with them. This was a pleasant surprise right from the get go with the first season. Nothing is ever boring in these rural parts and you will not be disappointed. Alright, I’m tired now. I need a nap and I need to prepare myself for catching up on last night’s episode, as should you. I will continue coverage on this show for the season and hope to bring as many of you with me for the ride as I can. Please feel free to comment as I would be very interested in some more viewer’s input.
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