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Author Topic: Fargo  (Read 4925 times)
Ironwood
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on: May 07, 2014, 07:25:02 AM

Again, something I thought was being talked about seems absent or my search sucks.

So we're about 3 or four episodes into the Fargo TV series here in the UK and, frankly, it's the best TV since True Detective.  Dark, funny and brilliantly put together, it's a sheer delight to watch.  For those used to regular bouts of the 'Ironwoods Shite Show Criticism Hour', you'll be surprised to know that I can't really fault this show very much at all.  It even manages to have me wincing like I'm watching Hannibal and giggling like I'm watching Archer within the same scenes.

The cast are all superb and despite the utter lunacy of the actual story (Cohen to the last second), they also manage to Convince.  Which is really impressive.

If you're not watching it, give it a try.  If you are, let me know if I'm wrong, hopefully without spoiling the rest for me if the US is that far advanced.


I know eagerly await Trippy merging this with the actual thread that's probably all done and dusted for weeks now...

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eldaec
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Reply #1 on: May 07, 2014, 07:38:55 AM

I've only watched the first one, and my only critism was that it resembled the film *too* much.

Wasn't so much the same type of characters doing stuff, as the same characters doing the same actual stuff.

But still enjoyed it, hoping the tv format helps them turn it into a properly overengineered wodehousian farce.

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Ironwood
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Reply #2 on: May 07, 2014, 07:58:32 AM

It diverges.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
HaemishM
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Reply #3 on: May 07, 2014, 10:44:17 AM

I've been watching this, and once I found out WHY it got made, I enjoyed it more. It's not the Coen Bros., it's a young director/producer/writer aping the Coen Bros. using the Fargo true crime setting/style as a starting point. The Coen Bros. did endorse it but they don't really have anything to do with it.

That said, it's really good. Billy Bob Thornton is the real star of the show. He is both brutally scary and funny, often at the same time. If you liked the style of the movie, watch this show. Once it gets past the first episode and starts to diverge, it gets better.

Ironwood
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Reply #4 on: May 07, 2014, 11:03:16 AM

I think the lead female cop is just awesome.  Some really stunningly understated acting going on there.  The diner scene with Colin Hanks and the daughter was just so perfect.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Surlyboi
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Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 10:55:25 PM

We're not that far ahead in the States, and yes, Billy Bob owns this.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
apocrypha
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Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 12:18:58 AM

This is great. I normally don't like Martin Freeman but he's actually really good in this, as are all the main cast.

It's tense & funny, has great dialogue and is beautifully filmed. I love it.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
eldaec
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Reply #7 on: June 11, 2014, 07:52:12 AM

This is now definitely a good show.

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Ironwood
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Reply #8 on: June 11, 2014, 08:03:45 AM

It always was.  Excellent in almost every regard.

Molly ought to win that damn award.

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Johny Cee
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Reply #9 on: June 23, 2014, 01:48:31 PM

Fargo was all around excellent.  A couple of times, it teetered on the edge of being a bit too folksy odd, but was dragged back by Lester, Malvo, and Molly.

Things I liked:
- The tension!  The last two episodes it felt like anyone could be killed, especially since it's a miniseries, and I was sure a couple of characters who survived the whole ordeal were going to be casualities.
- The supporting cast.  You say "hey, it's that guy!" over and over in this show, with fairly well-known actors in even bit parts.
- Performances were all around excellent.
- Lester's moral journey, and how they could almost make you feel sorry for him at various points before having him do something despicable.
- Malvo was almost supernaturally scary without being unbelievable. 
- The last scene was pretty much perfect and was a great callback to the film.

Supposedly the network and the creator are trying to figure out if they want to do a second season.  The creator was floating the idea of going to an anthology format, where they ditch the characters who have earned their endings, and do a new season based on a new crime with the possibility of some actors returning to do new roles.  It was originally supposed to be a one and done miniseries.
HaemishM
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Reply #10 on: June 23, 2014, 01:58:14 PM

I would really love to see them do a show centered around Molly and Gus, though I think it might stretch credulity if we had another season of blood like this one. That character and actress really carried the show, and that's saying a lot considering Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman were so strong in this. You hit it spot on with the tension aspect - I was sure that Gus was going to get it and really didn't want that to happen. The supporting cast was fun too - I loved seeing Key and Peele and Dennis from Always Sunny in this.

Even if they don't do another season, this was absolutely fantastic.

jgsugden
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Reply #11 on: June 23, 2014, 02:17:32 PM

I'd be on board for the anthology approach.  I'd love to see them take an AHS approach - perhaps even one that looked to other unique crime / detective stories for inspiration.  LA Confidential,  Untouchables, Pulp Piction, Godfather, Reservoir Dogs... using the anthology approach to revisit movie concepts with deeper stories seems like a great idea to me.  Of course, I'd love them to continue with their strength, too, and do Fargo 2, Fargo 3, etc...

As for this Fargo: It started a bit slow, but then really got going... to the point where it ended too suddenly for me.  I'd have liked to see a bit more of the time between Lester's last 2 scenes.  However, all in all, I think it was amazing and I'm constantly recommending it to others.

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
apocrypha
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Reply #12 on: July 22, 2014, 06:35:59 AM

Renewed for 2nd season. Airing autumn 2015 at the earliest.

 Yahoo!

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
HaemishM
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Reply #13 on: July 22, 2014, 09:54:09 AM

Awesome. I hate that we won't see some of the same characters, but I look forward to where they are going to go with it.

Ozzu
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Reply #14 on: July 22, 2014, 10:20:12 AM

Awesome. I hate that we won't see some of the same characters, but I look forward to where they are going to go with it.

What I'm hoping for is a focus on that incident they kept referring to in 1979. They never really gave any details, but it was referenced a few times.
Signe
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Reply #15 on: July 22, 2014, 10:26:07 AM

Nice.  I really enjoyed this show.  I hope the new season is just as good. 

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Rendakor
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Reply #16 on: July 22, 2014, 07:31:12 PM

Awesome. I hate that we won't see some of the same characters, but I look forward to where they are going to go with it.

What I'm hoping for is a focus on that incident they kept referring to in 1979. They never really gave any details, but it was referenced a few times.
I thought that was referring to the original movie; is that not the case? I've never actually seen it (because I don't care for the Coen Bros) and I'm only halfway through season 1.

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HaemishM
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Reply #17 on: July 22, 2014, 07:42:48 PM

No, the movie took place in the 1990's.

Goldenmean
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Reply #18 on: July 22, 2014, 07:50:19 PM

1987 actually, but yeah, the only real plot tie to the original film was:

 
Though there were all sorts of nice nods to the movie cinematically. I liked the lingering focus on the dealer plates in the last episode.

BTW, looks like we are going to see Sioux Falls 1979 in next season: http://www.argusleader.com/story/entertainment/television/2014/07/21/fargo-moving-to-sioux-falls/12974775/
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Reply #19 on: July 22, 2014, 08:41:31 PM

Ahh, thanks. Might watch the film once I finish the show.

Episode 6 spoilers/question:

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Signe
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Reply #20 on: July 23, 2014, 10:33:07 AM


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Rendakor
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Reply #21 on: July 23, 2014, 08:59:55 PM

Fair enough. Google seems to agree with you, and at least they touched on it in the next episode.

Just finished it. Wow, what a ride.

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KallDrexx
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Reply #22 on: October 16, 2015, 07:53:03 PM

Apparently this is back, and I've heard good things about the first episode. 
HaemishM
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Reply #23 on: October 16, 2015, 10:52:33 PM

Shit. How did I miss that this started again?

apocrypha
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Reply #24 on: October 17, 2015, 02:08:15 AM

It was awesome. I love the start of the autumn TV season.

Edit: Also, if you don't want to miss shows checkout TV Calender. It'll even do a .iCal export so you can have it showing on your mobile device etc.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 02:10:01 AM by apocrypha »

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
HaemishM
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Reply #25 on: October 18, 2015, 02:18:26 AM

Watched the first episode on demand. Holy shit, so good. Lots of actors that I've seen other places both big and small doing some really good work on this thing.

DevilsAdvocate25
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Reply #26 on: October 20, 2015, 07:24:12 PM

Second episode was on last night. It was pretty good. A lot of tense moments and some trouble brewing with the crime family.

Actors in it so far that I have seen somewhere else:

Michael Hogan (Col Tigh from BSG) as crime boss dad
Brad Garrett (brother from Everybody Loves Raymond) as up and comer in the new crime syndicate
Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane from the older Spiderman movies) as hairstylist wife
Ted Danson (from Cheers!) as old cop dad
Nick Offerman (you know who he is) as foul mouthed bingo player

I loved the first season and have it on bluray with the little beanie that came with the special packaging. This season is turning out to be pretty good so far, although no one has quite measured up to the sinister Lorne Malvo played by Billy Bob, yet.
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Reply #27 on: October 20, 2015, 08:43:48 PM

Don't forget Jesse Plemons (Todd from Breaking Bad) as hairstylist's butcher husband.

Over and out.
HaemishM
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Reply #28 on: October 21, 2015, 09:44:02 AM

Other notables:

Jeffrey Donovan as Dodd (the wanna be crime boss who thinks he should lead because of being the oldest son)
Kieran Culkin as Rye (the idiot son who ended up in the windshield)
Jean Smart as Crime Boss Mom (from Designing Women)
Bokeem Woodbine as Mike Milligan (I still remember him as Crunch from that Wahlberg movie The Big Hit)

I am loving this season as well. I think Milligan is going to be the breakout character from this season. He won't be as good as Thornton from season 1 but will have a similar style.

Hayduke
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Reply #29 on: October 21, 2015, 10:45:28 AM

I'm enjoying it, but I don't understand all this aliens stuff.
Johny Cee
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Reply #30 on: October 21, 2015, 11:26:05 AM

I'm enjoying it, but I don't understand all this aliens stuff.

Callback to The Man Who Wasn't There, along with the investment in a great new technology (electronic typewriter, versus drycleaning in the film).  I'm not sure it serves any more of a purpose than that...  In the film, it illustrated Billy Bob Thornton's disconnection/alienation from life.

Maybe aliens/conspiracy will be an underlying theme second season like biblical themes were in the first season?
apocrypha
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Reply #31 on: October 21, 2015, 11:47:44 AM

Yeah, I don't think the aliens stuff is actually supposed to be... really happening... dunno. Hoping this doesn't turn into American Horror Story The Coens version.

Also, is every season going to have someone feeding an arm or a leg into a grinding machine of some kind? Because that'd be awesome  awesome, for real

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
Johny Cee
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Reply #32 on: October 21, 2015, 07:55:13 PM

Yeah, I don't think the aliens stuff is actually supposed to be... really happening... dunno. Hoping this doesn't turn into American Horror Story The Coens version.

Also, is every season going to have someone feeding an arm or a leg into a grinding machine of some kind? Because that'd be awesome  awesome, for real

There are a shitload of references to Coen movies so far this season.  Tigh's rant before the stroke definitely clicked as a homage to one of the films, though don't remember which (Hudsucker Proxy maybe?  Miller's Crossing?).  Ending of episode one was the lullabye from O Brother.  Conversation about death/the war between Sheriff and Trooper mirrors some of the themes/monologues in No Country (at least the novel.... haven't watched the film).

It definitely isn't aliens.


The tension and menace the show is able to maintain is amazing.  I half expect any of these quirky run-ins to end in a blood-bath.  Pretty much the only safe characters are the Trooper and young Molly.

HaemishM
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Reply #33 on: October 22, 2015, 09:25:34 AM

The tension and menace the show is able to maintain is amazing.  I half expect any of these quirky run-ins to end in a blood-bath.  Pretty much the only safe characters are the Trooper and young Molly.

That's one of the reasons I think this show has been so creatively successful. There is real tension for all the characters and it doesn't fell in the slightest contrived despite the surreal nature of some of the characters quirks and their monologues. The fact that a character you really like could just eat it midway through the season makes you really want to binge watch. Hell, the 2nd episode was almost 90 minutes long and I wanted more when the credits rolled. That's good TV.

apocrypha
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Reply #34 on: October 22, 2015, 09:30:55 AM

This is how good True Detective wishes it was.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
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