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Review

‘Fargo’ TV series storyline makes spinoff worth the watch

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October 23, 2015

As the winter season rolls in, so rolls in a new season of the critically acclaimed TV series “Fargo,” which enters a different era of crime in the Midwest but still retains the look and feel of the season and film before it.

It is a first for me, reviewing a TV series rather than a film, but with the quality that television is going for now in its programming it’s no wonder why anyone would become more engrossed in it. Writing and direction is going up, standards are higher for acting and actors; it can seem like we are in a golden age right now.

This follows in every kind of way with “Fargo” so far. The other reason I review this series is because it has no continuity between seasons, taking an anthology approach and doing a different story in a different time each season, or so creator Noah Hawley has stated.

That being said, I am glad that a series like this has reached the level of film quality that allows me to do a review of it like this. And I am ever thankful that it has lived up to my every expectation.

“Fargo’s” first season saw a wimpy insurance salesman be influenced by a vile and violent criminal to kill his wife and set off a chain of events that brought out the worst in everyone in his town. Many of the themes explored in the first season appear in the TV series.

The film “Fargo” itself is a great film, due in part to how it contrasted the amorality of the criminals in it with the niceness of the people surrounding the events in its setting of Minnesota.

Season 1 retained that element of the original film and gave us a plot that was chock full of violent shoot outs, dirty dealings, and plenty of black comedy. Watching villain of the season Lorne Malvo play everyone against each other made him incredibly memorable and intimidating.

Season 2 of “Fargo” takes us into the late ’70s, when Nixon has resigned, notorious killers and tragedies are occurring across the country, and a powder keg is about to explode in a corner of Minnesota.

The youngest son of a crime family has died, all for trying to make a name for himself. Now he is dead and in the hands of a couple looking to clean themselves of getting involved. Meanwhile, a state trooper in Luverne, Minnesota is investigating the dead son, all while another crime syndicate is looking to take control of the territory.

The first episode of the season packs a lot in, but it’s all told entertainingly well. Characters bumble through moments where they should be smart, wry reactions from the police follow the deaths that take place, and suspense is garnered from watching how all these characters lives will intersect.

Watching “Fargo’s” new season is like watching a plane, a train, a bus, and a tank all converging onto one spot and you just can’t wait to see what happens when they crash; but it isn’t all just wanting to see several bad people collide.

“Fargo” shows that there is much more to tell beyond one single film, and that there are different elements and motivations to crime that scare us and frighten us to explore. “Fargo” is a series that everyone should try at least once, and with a new season around that is off to a good start, now is the best time to experience the dark heart of the Midwest.

Ryan Funes is a lover of all things movie, TV, video games and stories and wants to become a television writer someday. In his spare time he enjoys hanging with friends, tapping into his imagination, and watching cartoons of all kinds.