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John Drew

Fargo

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Hmmm. I'm almost certain we've talked about this before, because I remember when the news about this project first broke (a long time ago, IIRC), but I'm not finding a thread.

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I thought so too, but couldn't find anything. Perhaps it's in one of the two Fargo threads?

edit: Nope... nothing there...

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

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FX Greenlights ‘Fargo’ Limited Series, Lines Up Slew Of Event Series In Development

UPDATED: FX has given the green light to the first limited series under the cable network’s push in that programming area — an adaptation of Joel and Ethan Coen‘s 1996 comedic crime drama Fargo.

Additionally, FX president John Landgraf announced several high-profile limited/miniseries projects in development as the genre will become a cornerstone for FX’s sibling FXM (Fox Movie Channel):Grand Hotel from Sam Mendes, about a fictional terrorist plot in Paris; Sutton, from Alexander Payne, about the infamous band robber and Michael De Luca; Mad Dogs from The Shield‘s Shawn Ryan, based on the British black comedy/psychological thriller miniseries; and The Story Of Mayflower, from producers Paul Giamatti and Gil Netter (Life Of Pi).

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Thornton's still in it, according to that story. He's playing Lorne Malvo and Freeman is Lester Nygaard.

 

Ah, sorry. Missed that. Weird. 

 

I'm having a hard time imagining Freeman in this role. Which makes me that much more eager to see it.

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Did anyone catch the premiere?  I worked late, so I didn't see the first broadcast.  Got home in time to see the second broadcast, but I was pretty much wiped out, and since I wanted to be fresh when I finally see the entire episode I decided to turn it off.  What I did see I enjoyed.  They've certainly captured the flavor of the film.

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I recently watched this series and enjoyed each of the first few episodes more than the one before, until I was ready to binge on the final five if circumstances allowed.  (I had to space them over a week due to work and travel).

 

Though Coen Easter eggs big and small abound, as a whole I enjoyed the series the more it either deviated from the source material or actively tinkered with expectations drawn from the source material.

 

It is also worth noting that the series is influenced by A Serious Man and No Country for Old Men almost as much as its namesake. 

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NBooth   

That reminds me: I should really get to the first season.

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I guess I'm the main one carrying the torch for this TV series on A&F.  It would make me happy to hear if anyone else enjoyed it, particularly some of our Coen film experts. It is remarkable to me how the first season managed to live in that while being its own thing as well.

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M. Leary   

Season 1 was excellent. I wrote elsewhere (can't recall which outlet) about how the action sequence during the blizzard in ep. 6 was probably the best thing on TV last year. 

 

Very apprehensive about Season 2, however. They are far afield of the Coen script-world, and the regionalisms that made Fargo tick. I can imagine the characters of this season quickly becoming caricatures of Coen bros characters... One of the more cogent criticisms of early Coen Bros work (prevalent in Fargo criticism) noted an inherent cynicism in their reliance on reproducing these hyper-local period accents and behaviors. This is how the Coens got that early upstart hipster label that has since evaporated with the grandness of their later work.  

 

The trailer makes me think Season 2 is a real paint-by-numbers affair, thereby susceptible to becoming just early Coen bros shtick.

Edited by M. Leary

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Hi, M. Leary.  Of course, I hope you are mistaken, but nothing you said seems impossibly wrong.

I am inclined to trust Noah Hawley, because a lifetime of watching television had convinced me that season one would be a disaster and I was wrong.

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Last nights episode nearly revealed what a Coen Bros. script in the hands of director David Lynch might produce.  I say nearly because, of course, they didn't write it, and he didn't direct.  But, the Waffle Hut sequence rivals this sequence from  Mulholland Dr., in its incredibly botched nature.  I'm hooked.

NSFW
 

 

Edited by John Drew

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I missed Season One, so I don't have a point of comparison, but Season Two is fantastic so far. 

The tension built up in "The Gifts of the Magi" achieved via flirting in the butcher shop (over Camus, no less), sums up the season thus far perfectly. The tight direction, dreamlike pauses, sophomoric philosophizing that resonates through its sincerity, levity that accidentally-on-purpose ratchets up the tension, characters flitting between a nostalgic wide-eyed innocence and a desperate attempt to regain the innocence of the past. 

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Began watching season 2. Brilliant so far. Wasn't sure about one plot element but as the writer Scott Meslow for The Week pointed out it's a strong reflection and heartening back to one of the better Coen Bros. films, The Man Who Wasn't There. I won't say what plot element cause the truth of it is rather out there and needs to be seen

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NBooth   

I haven't gotten to season 2 yet, but Philip Sandifer has:

In one sense, of course, this is also how it distinguishes itself from Hannibal; it does not engage in any Miltonian romanticization of murder. It comes close in the form of Bokeem Woodbine’s Kansas City heavy Mike Milligan, who deploys a practicedly folksy conversational style in the pursuit of intimidation and violence, but he’s carefully and deliberately undercut in this regard, most obviously by his ultimate fate as a middle manager in the generic office headquarters of the vast Kansas City criminal empire. But it is more complicated than that. Fargo’s response to True Detective is an outright negation of the premise. Its response to Hannibal - which seems equally self-conscious - is something else. Not anti-, but post. (And it’s notable that the first season does have exactly the sort of romanticized Miltonian villain that the second avoids in the form of Billy Bob Thornton’s Lorne Malvo, so it’s clear that this is not something Fargo rejects as such.)

It is worth making explicit that although Fargo does not romanticize or mythologize detection or murder, it is nevertheless a profoundly romantic and mythic show. On its most basic level, it appears to mythologize the sort of decency that Jack talks about in his essay. Men like Lou Solverson and Hank Larsson are the most capable figures in its world; the sole things that can keep the awful violence of it at bay. And this is true. Indeed, it’s baked into the premise of Fargo, which is at this point a sort of anthology series about the Eternal Champion of good, decent police officers who pragmatically and sensibly face down the tenebrous void of crime’s absurdity in the northern midwest.

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