InQuire Recommends: Fargo

Photo by Telegraph Online

Photo by Telegraph Online

Inspired by the Coen Brothers’ critically acclaimed 1996 film of the same name, TV series Fargo is expected to be announcing the premiere date for its second season very soon. Mainly set in the snowy northern town of Bemidji, Minnesota, the series is primarily based around Lester Nygaard (played by Martin Freeman in a very convincing Minnesotan accent), and how his life is turned upside down after he bumps into a mischievous, conniving assassin who happens to be passing through the area.

Alongside Walter White of Breaking Bad, the assassin, named Lorne Malvo and played by Billy Bob Thornton, may be my favourite ever character on television. Extremely witty dialogue, an addictive radiance of self-assured confidence and a lack of care for rules spell out that this man can and will do whatever he wants. However, two small-time police officers (Molly Solverson depicted by up-and-coming actress Allison Tolman and Gus Grimly portrayed by Tom Hanks’ son Colin Hanks) are aware of his recent clandestine activities and are fighting against their skeptic local police force to close him down. As for Lester, his unfortunate circumstances keep building up, resulting in a major yet gradual change in character over the 10-episode season. Lorne Malvo’s character might be the only one that doesn’t go through a lot of changes, but it doesn’t matter since his character is so perfectly developed already.

Defined as a black comedy/drama, Fargo is filled with both hilarious quips and hard-hitting disastrous moments, sometimes at exactly the same time. Writer Noah Hawley provides some of the best ever dialogue in television, but this doesn’t mean that you’ll be dying for some high-octane action, because there is definitely enough of that too. You’ll end up falling in love with the characters, many of whom sport the stuttering, awkward but adorable and sympathetic Minnesotan accent and characteristics. You’ll end up changing your opinion on some of the characters too, as their choices become increasingly cold-heartedas the series goes on.

All the passion I’ve displayed here has emerged from a mere ten hours of television, which I find pretty astonishing. Two things have caused this, I think: the impeccable, engaging, epigrammatic writing on behalf of Noah Hawley, and the incredible skill of the actors to create such empathetic, developed and bold characters. The first season is already available to stream on Netflix UK, and Channel Four is expected to broadcast the second when its release date is announced. I’d advise everyone to check it out.


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