TV Review: Fargo

A small town in Minnesota, 1979: the Vietnam War is over. Ronald Reagan is yet to take office.

Season two of Fargo revolves around three parallel stories. Lou Solverson, played by Patrick Wilson, is a state trooper and Vietnam War vet who investigates murders early on in the episode and has a wife with mental health problems. A Mafia family patriarch dies, leaving a brewing feud amongst the sons. Threat looms from Kansas City.

If you haven’t seen Fargo (1996) the movie, fear not. If you haven’t watched season one of Fargo, fear not! This anthology style series has avoided the slump other series like “True Detective” experienced in their second seasons, with the stunning visuals, distinct characters and some classic black comedy humour.

This season premiere, titled “Waiting for Dutch”, opens with striking shots of the Minnesota winter. Hold your breath as this iconic statement flashes on the screen: “This is a true story.” Season two (or at least the first episode of this season) holds true to the signature style of the Coen brothers, yet promises a unique plot line of its own. The cinematography is as beautiful as it was in the previous season. Utilizing Minnesota’s famous winters and the seemingly endless landscape of white snow, the first episode itself features a stunning contrast between the red of the blood with the white of the snow. Needless to say, this show is not for the faint of heart. The violence in this black comedy is balanced, however, with humour and comic deaths, and maintains its intensity.

The characters are as distinct and unique as in the last season, revealing little about their fates or violent killings. A single antagonist cannot be pinpointed, as was obvious in the last season from the first episode. Many characters display sociopathic tendencies, indicating a more complex plot and more glorious interactions between the characters. The actors playing these roles are world-class, as the anthology style of the series and critical acclaim of the first season would have attracted star actors like Patrick Wilson, Jean Smart and Nick Offerman.

With nothing negative readily noticeable, the season premier exceeded my expectations thoroughly. If you have the appetite for some comic violence, suspense, witty one-liners, general attitude and swagger, I will highly recommend season two of Fargo, and season one if you have the time.

Fargo is broadacast 9:00 p.m. CST on Fox.