The Coen Brothers are masters of quirk, and their much lauded 1996 dark comedy “Fargo” proved no exception. Continuing the trend set by shows such as “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” FX recently debuted “Fargo,” the series. Considering the original flick’s undeniable classic status, the conversion to television seemed questionable. If episode one offers insight into the remainder of the season, the lofty standard set by the Coen Bros. should be met with ease.
“Fargo” the series benefits greatly from acting, and the casting crew deserves some credit. And a raise. The impressive cast list could easily be mistaken for a box-office release, with seasoned veterans such as Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Bob Odenkirk. While talented actors don’t necessarily make a production great, FX’s “Fargo” features the repertoire working in unison, and to perfection.
Martin Freeman, who has exhibited his worth on the telly and big-screen alike in BBC’s heralded “Sherlock” series as well as the “Hobbit” films delivered an astonishing performance. Not only did Freeman capture the bumbling awkwardness of William H. Macy, but he nailed the Midwestern U.S. accent. Kudos, Mr. Freeman. Thornton lent his experience to craft a menacing villain determined to incite pandemonium and conflict.
But more than acting, the atmosphere of “Fargo” made the inaugural episode wonderful. Brimming with stereotypical “aw jeezes” and phrases such as “she’s a peach,” the uber-lumbering diction and eccentric characters prompted countless, genuine laughs. Additionally, the show featured tributes to its theatrical inspiration. Close watchers should have noticed a Norm’s Pizza sign, Lou’s Coffee shop, and a special on White Russians. While the latter isn’t exactly “Fargo” related, it does call to mind a certain cardigan-wearing, doobie smoking hero.
True to the spirit of the Coen Bros. production, FX’s “Fargo” began with a blood-soaked, hilarious frolic through the snow. Was this the bee’s knees, or did you turn off the boob tube? Leave a comment below folks!