Wednesday, November 11, 2015

FX Series - FARGO

If you haven't discovered the FX series FARGO, you should try it.  I'd suggest going to your cable carrier to watch the first episode of the season on demand, or go to Hulu, Netflix, whatever you have.

This series, created by the Coen brothers, who gave us the original film with Frances McDormand and an unknown at the time, Steve Buscemi, is just as quirky, funny, and outrageous (and not always in a good way) as the film.

Season 2 follows a slightly different storyline than the first season. In the first episode, the leader of the local crime family has a stroke, leaving the leadership position open.  Each of his three sons want to take it, including the most sinister, played by Jeffrey Donovan, late the star of Burn Notice. The youngest son decides to confront a federal judge in a Waffle House late one night.  In a monumental screw-up, he ends up killing her, the waitress, and the cook before he steals the money and runs out into the snow.  (This takes place in Minnesota and South Dakota, always filmed in the winter.) He sees a UFO in the sky and stupidly stands gawking at it, only to be run down by a hairdresser on her way home.  Kirsten Dunst (Peggy Blumquist) plays the ditzy woman.  The man is halfway through her windshield, but she drives home and leaves him in her garage still stuck.  When her husband Ed Blumquist (played by Jesse Plemons), a butcher, comes home, they panic as they try to figure out what to do. You won't believe what their resolution of the situation is...but that's FARGO for you.

The cast includes Ted Danson, as a Minnesota Sheriff, Patrick Wilson as his son-in-law (a state trooper still suffering from combat experiences in Vietnam in 1979 when the action takes place), and Jean Smart as the matriarch of the crime family, determined to take over for her ailing husband, no matter what her sons want.  She is different than you've ever seen her in this one.

There are a slew of guest favorite is Bruce Campbell (he's everywhere!) who plays Ronald Reagan on the campaign stump across the country in search of the Presidential nomination. You will not forget his Reagan portrayal, complete with memory lapses.  Painful foreshadowing for the real man, but that's FARGO for you, nothing is off limits.

When FX originally announced the first season of FARGO, I shook my head, wondering how they could replicate the ironic humor/tragedy of the film.  But they have.  The first season was excellent.  The second season promises to be even better.

I love FARGO, even the very broad Minnesota/Dakota accent which all the characters have down.

My favorite moment in the film? Pregnant Sheriff Frances McDormand inspecting an accident scene off a snow covered highway, leaning down to inspect something she doesn't get back up.  Her deputy asks her if everything was okay.

Her reply? In a wearily cheery voice,  "Nope, I'm ganna baaaaaaaaarrf." A star was born.

And I got the means to torment one of my coworkers...he couldn't stand the accent.

Check out FARGO.  It will leave you shaking your head in wonder.

Until next time...

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