About two years ago I was told to watch Fargo season 1 and I immediately negated that person, telling there is no way it could reach the status the original Fargo was at, but I was really curious and thus I saw the amazing cast it had attached to it, so while browsing at Best Buy and seeing the first season of Fargo was accompanied by a pretty cool beanie I was like “I need to get that beanie.” So, I used that beanie many times and season 1 of Fargo just kind of laid there with other seasons of other shows I’d purchased before, until last Monday when I finally decided to pop in Fargo into my blu-ray player and I couldn’t stop watching.
I had been told Fargo (series) was great, but I never thought it would be able to level with the Coen’s cultural milestone that was Fargo. What Noah Hawley was able to do with Fargo is unheard of, adding to the lore of the original film, introducing even more memorable characters, and managing to weave every thing together in such a seamless manner is astounding. What Fargo does is build upon what made the movie so great, exploring the underlying nastiness beneath the quiet town in the middle of nowhere much like what Twin Peaks did back in the 90’s, Fargo even feels very Altmanesque at times, as it maneuvers so many characters and connects all of their stories in a way that seems natural and helps move the story along to its fantastic finale. I really couldn’t believe how good this series was, in the beginning it lays the same foundation the original Fargo was built upon and then it takes so many more twists that lead you to a whole different place from where you started, amplifying the magnitude of the story, expanding the lore of Fargo, and giving us one of the best t.v. villains in a long time. Billy Bob Thornton’s Lorne Malvo is one of the most malevolent characters put on screen, he’s basically McTiernan’s Predator as a human with the sickest most vile idea of what fun means. Talking about sick ideas of fun, the comedy, much like the Coen’s Fargo fits so naturally into this horrifying story, twisted, dark, perfectly handled, the comedy never messes with the series’s tone and instead complements it, adding levity to the awful situations depicted.
Fargo season 1 is a true work of genius, I would even compare to Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the way it manages to pay reverence to the original material, moving the story forward, and introducing a plethora of amazing new characters. Where Martin Freeman’s Lester Nygaard and Tolman’s Deputy Solverson are clearly homages to the original McDormand’s Marge Gunderson and William H. Macy’s Jery Lundergaard, the rest of the original set of characters are awesome additions that add to the world of Fargo, like Odenkirk’s Bill Oswalt, Keith Carradine’s seasoned-vet Lou Solverson, Lorne Malvo whom I mentioned earlier, Mr. Wrench & Mr. Numbers, Don Chumph who is nothing but a chump, Stavros Milos, an awesome cameo from two very famous comedians, and Colin Hanks as Gus Grimly all work in unison to make this series great, a colossal triumph of intelligently interweaving story-lines that only a writer as intelligent as Noah Hawley could pull off. And though it seems like a just listed a bunch of characters that appear more nothing but a mere moment in season 1, each of these characters is memorable in their own unique way, the all complete a singular character-arc designed for them, and they each have journey to follow.Which is why you could actually split this season into separate stories that are tied together by Lester Nygaard and Lorne Malvo who constantly spin everything out of control. Every episode plays out like a movie, the pilot on its own could’ve been its own t.v. movie, and then episode like Buridian’s Ass which I know put up there with some of the best t.v. episodes of recent years, add to the greatness, and the cinematic appeal this series has onto its own. You could fifteen or twenty minutes into a regular episode of Fargo and events happen that would normally happen in the finale of another t.v. series, and yet it builds upon those moments to bring to even greater climax you didn’t believe they could achieve by the end of the episode. As I mentioned before, since you could technically split the season into separate story-lines tied together by things Malvo and Nygaard do, there are some episodes that feel that epilogue episodes, but then they carefully construct another piece of the puzzle that drives you full-force into the nest story. Fargo Season 1 is an incredible piece of t.v. art, its a twisted series that so perfectly builds upon itself with the addition of more and more characters that all seem beneficiary to the natural progression of the narrative, reaching a 92 out of 100 from my part.