One of a host of FX shows to take the world by storm, Fargo enjoyed a hugely successful first series when it burst on to our computer screens in 2014. One year on, it is back, it is brash, and it succeeds in surpassing any expectations.
The entire original cast has now left the show, and the malice and deception of Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) has given way to a new cast of characters with their own Machiavellian schemes. Gone are Deputy Solverson and Gus Grimly the police officer. Instead, the audience is confronted with new characters in a new temporal location. The one constant that remains the same is that the drama takes place in the sometimes bleak, sometimes dangerous, always elusive town of Fargo.
Series Two boasts an outstanding cast, headed by the ever-watchable Kirsten Dunst as Peggy Blumquist, who leads the cast opposite Jesse Plemons as her butcher husband Ed. The series opens with a hit-and-run gone wrong, a cover-up, and a dodgy crime family based in – you guessed it – Fargo, North Dakota. The year is 1979. The Vietnam War has just ended, and the Midwest is devastated by the exhaustion and disillusionment that plagued the US at the end of the ‘70s. This exhaustion, as well as the schizophrenia felt by individuals and the whole nation en masse, is captured with nuance and style in Patrick Wilson’s excellent casting as Lou Solverson, a recently returned Vietnam veteran.
Fargo retains the quirky flavour and spooky atmosphere that made it such a hit with critics and viewers alike in its first series. Dark humour underlines a storyline that is gripping and intelligently constructed. Tune in for a heady mix of psychologically fascinating characters, absurd and at times grotesque imagery, and acerbic, brainy cynicism.
Series Two has all the promise to be as popular as its predecessor. With such a stellar cast, and more big names on the way, Fargo is a beautifully filmed, high-energy concoction of absurdity, frivolity, cruelty, anxiety, love, loss, and death. It is all you could ever want in a TV series. In short, it is well worth a watch.