I have not watched Fargo, the 1996 Academy Award-winning film, but I had some inkling into its narrative and theme. My interest in dark-crime murder-mystery shows interested me enough to give the television series a try.
Fargo the TV series premiered on FX in April 2014. Season one starred Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo, a gun-for-hire to is forced to visit the hospital in Bemidji Minnesota after hurting himself in a car accident. There, he meets insurance salesman Lester Nygaard, played by Martin Freeman, who was injured during an encounter with a childhood bully.
Malvo manipulates Nygaard into commissioning Malvo to murder this bully. So begins a series of murders in the small town of Bemidji.
Hot on the case are young police officers Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) and Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks). As Solverson and Grimly pursue their separate investigations into the murders, the more Malvo and Nygaard are implicated in them.
I love season one of Fargo so much, it’s among the top five TV shows I watched in 2016. The show was really intense. The odds were stacked so high against Solverson and Grimly it seemed there was no way they could beat Malvo and Nygaard. It often felt like the conflict between Malvo and Nygaard took center stage, and the cops were just flies for the swatting.
There’s also the story of supermarket king Starvos Milos, who hires Malvo to track down who’s blackmailing him. Then, there’s Chaz Nygaard, Lester’s brother. And also Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench, whom I thought could take Malvo down.
There are so many pieces moving in this crime-drama. That all the characters were essential to the story and all the stories were told in just ten episodes shows how Fargo season one is a narrative masterpiece. It also helped that all the actors were marvelous.
The first season of Fargo is an intelligent TV show filled rich in story and dark-humor. I am overwhelmingly looking forward to watching season two.