Review: Fargo

Jack Whitehead 4 February 2016

If you’ve not seen the first season of Fargo yet, the time has now almost certainly come (and gone) to take a long hard look at yourself and the TV you’ve been watching for the past couple of years and ask yourself: What have I been watching?

If this is you, please now allow me to pretentiously pontificate about why you most certainly should – as soon as possible – be watching it. I can pretty much guarantee that whatever shows you’ve been watching, they will not have been as good as Fargo, in all its neo-noir, North American crime drama glory. A veritable swoon-fest for all dark comedy fanatics and a snowy, sensory feast for any fan of cool-toned, silver-tongued moodiness, it’s easy to see why this FX original series has racked up so many dozens of awards and nominations since its initial release in April of 2014.

Whilst Fargo’s recently concluded second season misses out on the stellar performances of Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton and Allison Tolman, in no way does Noah Hawley, the show’s creator and writer, skimp on his now characteristic edge-of-your-seat plot development and unrelenting finesse and style. Whilst the first series, based on the Coen brothers 1996 film of the same name, focuses on police deputy Molly Solverson and a series of mysterious, murderous events taking place in and around Fargo, North Dakota, the second skips back a generation and follows her father, state trooper Lou Solverson, and his quest to quell the sinister rampage of crime family, the Gerhardts. Flawlessly threading together these two time frames, as well as multiple compelling subplots, Fargo’s second season never ceases to thrill. Sashaying into Tarantino-esque 1970s-style flare with glorious ease, series two is almost more stylish than the first; with each scene so rich in muted colour and so meticulously composed, every episode feels like a piece of cinematic art in its own right.

In short – and in case I haven’t made it clear enough already – Fargo is an excellent show, one that is brilliantly acted and beautifully constructed. I implore you, if you find yourself despairing about the looming term ahead and in need of some serious essay denial and TV show binging, to give Fargo a go. You will not be disappointed.