Pin It

TV | Fargo 

click to enlarge Martin Freeman kills (literally) in FX's Fargo.
  • Martin Freeman kills (literally) in FX's Fargo.

Of all the miracles the TV series Fargo (FX, Tuesdays at 10 pm) brings us — and this is a series where water turns to blood — the most truly miraculous is this: Fargo is a TV show that not only lives up to the Coen brothers' movie of the same name, but rapidly renders competitive comparisons inconsequential.

The movie and TV series sing separate songs, but in harmony, each one making the other more interesting, more profound.

Like the movie, Fargo is set in small-town Minnesota. Like the movie, the TV series has its in-over-his-head emasculated sap (Martin Freeman) and its kind-but- brilliant female cop (Molly Solverson). But only the TV show has someone like the smirking Lorne Malvo, played with a sinister charisma by Billy Bob Thornton.

Malvo's a trickster demon: Mephistopheles come to Minnesota. He could kill directly, by shooting or stabbing. More often, he just spots a man's weakness — his insecurity, his guilt, his greed, his cowardice or jealousy. He grabs ahold of those flaws, and begins cranking them up like a wind-up toy. Then he lets them go and watches from a distance as they destroy themselves and everything around them.

Across the snowy roads and small-town diners, a cosmic struggle unfolds. Evil sets events into motion, good tries to stop it. That's an old tale, but Fargo tells it with a fascinating vibrancy, nailing the Coen brothers' tone without ever feeling like plagiarism or imitation.

This is a world where tragedy and comedy swap masks. Dark moments are coated in light absurdity; lighter moments are drenched in dark dread. Fargo's camera captures that gorgeous paradox: It gives us the claustrophobic openness of those icy Midwest expanses, the terror of a whiteout blizzard, the violent beauty of gunfire blasting through drywall, sunshine streaming through the bullet holes.

The best part? Fargo is a limited series, telling a complete story in 10 episodes. Which means this tale has a chance to truly end with a bang. Or perhaps a wood chipper. ♦

  • Pin It

Speaking of TV

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • Ascending Artist: Frank Knapp
  • Ascending Artist: Frank Knapp

    A midlife crisis and tragic loss fueled a new passion for photography
    • Apr 1, 2015
  • Gimme Shelter
  • Gimme Shelter

    The Cold War is long gone, but we can't get over our obsession with the end of the world
    • Apr 1, 2015
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    A winning sports app, killer Twitter add-on and epic reads
    • Apr 1, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Attention to Detail

Attention to Detail @ Prichard Art Gallery

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through April 4

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Daniel Walters

Most Commented On

  • The Java Experience

    Caffé Affogato brings Italian-style coffees to Saranac Commons
    • Mar 11, 2015
  • Spirit Matters

    A new type of yoga (featuring Downward Drunken Dog!)
    • Mar 11, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation