Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Fargo" on FX: seems familiar; it wasn't like that when I lived in Minnesota

The pilot episode, 97 minutes, in the FX series “Fargo”, called “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” (directed by Adam Bernstein) did seem to follow the 1996 Miramax film from the Coen Brothers, as I recall it.  Critics say otherwise; it’s not a remake, and not a sequel.  But it seems similar.

Billy Bob Thornton plays Lorne Malvo, a drifter who seems to have stolen a car and kidnapped a man in the trunk, who runs out into the frozen wasteland when Malvo hits a deer.

Soon Malvo is in town (Bemidji) looking for weaklings to recruit, and finds a henpecked 40-year old insurance salesman Lester Nygard (Martin Freeman) to drag into his scams.  Toward the end of the episode the violence gets gratuitous, and seems actually funny.  Bob Odenkirk plays Deputy Grimsley, who lets the drifter manipulate him. Molly (Allison Tolman) is the bossy female cop.

I must say the early scenes with Nygard makes me glad I turned down overtures a few years ago to train to become a life insurance agent.

The opening says that this is a “true story”. I guess so.  I lived in Minneapolis from 1997-2003 and it wasn’t quite like this.

The official site is here.

It takes a commitment to watch a long series like this. 

Picture: Near Brainerd, MN, June, 2011 (mine).  

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