From Fargo (courtesy FX)

When I heard the Coen Brothers’ 1996 film Fargo was being turned into a television series, I was skeptical. But since the show premiered in 2014, it’s continually won me (and many other viewers) over with a sharp sense of dark humor, creative violent situations, and offbeat character work. It definitely isn’t what Joel and Ethan Coen would make, but the show has channeled the film’s spirit to do its own thing.

The new season is set in Kansas City in 1950 and follows a war between Black and Italian crime families. As per usual, a terrific cast plays a lineup of characters with delightfully ridiculous names — Chris Rock as Loy Cannon, Jason Schwartzman as Josto Fadda, Glynn Turman as Doctor Senator, etc. The show is a slow burn and this season has only aired two episodes so far, but already we’ve seen several generations of gangsters take each other out, a Mafia don accidentally assassinated by kids with BB guns, and a serial killer nurse bake a poisoned pie for her nemesis (who is a teenage girl). There’s no show like it on TV, and no better time than now to catch up.

Fargo is currently airing Sundays on FX.

Dan Schindel is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Brooklyn, and a former associate editor at Hyperallergic. His portfolio and links are here.

2 replies on “Fargo’s TV Adaptation Is a Folksy, Homespun Tale of Murder and Mayhem”

  1. Do not miss streaming the earlier seasons on Hulu that set the stage for how weirdly wonderful and well-crafted this series is. Not for the faint-hearted or weak-of-stomach, though.

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