Monday, 7 December 2015


I believe I'm on record as being squeamish.

This is why I can never quite figure out why I like Fargo, a movie that I've watched several times. I used to think it was mainly because of the performance of Frances McDormand, who is married to one of the Coen brothers who directed this film. However, the film also stars William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi and a host of wonderful character actors. The dialogue is quirky and clever; the characters are also quirky and often not so clever. And despite the body count, there is a great deal of humour, dark and otherwise.

Maybe that's why I watched the first television series of Fargo. Produced by the Coen brothers, it's a different story than the movie, but has similar characters: an innocent but skilled cop who is way smarter than she sounds, a sad sack loser who blunders into a life of crime and murder, a cold-blooded killer, a whole raft of people who, for the most part, don't deserve to die the way they do. Like the movie, the writing is superb, the camera work is spell-binding, and the acting is fabulous.

So when the Resident Fan Boy sat down with me as I was watching the penultimate episode of the second TV series, he was mystified.

"If I were watching something like this," he declared, "You'd be telling me this was soul-destroying."

I'm pretty mystified myself. It's very well done, though. As with the previous two incarnations of Fargo, it has many of the same elements, but is set in 1979 -- and gives Lifespring the respect it deserves.

Oh, and as far as I can tell, very little of the action in the three stories actually takes place in Fargo. They're set in Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota, where it's always mid-to-late winter.

Chilling, but oddly fresh.

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