Fargo is based on the 1996 award-winning movie of the same name. It is a crime-drama with an added element of dark humor. The lead characters are Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) and Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman), who are pursued by Deputy Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) and Officer Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks).
Lester is an insurance salesman who gets tired of being bullied by everyone after he is influenced by the inherently villainous Malvo in a chance encounter, and becomes a suspect in a series of murders alongside Malvo. Both characters are brilliantly written and well-played by the actors. Molly is a determined deputy, in a world full of cynical men, who has her own significant part to play and never lets up on the pursuit of the murderers.
Each episode of Fargo is full of action as there are multiple murders committed right from the start. The plot takes you on a relentless ride where the world is often seen through the twisted point of view of Malvo, who does not believe in the concept of right and wrong. He kills without compunction and also gets involved in a blackmailing scheme, driving a local superstitious supermarket chain owner almost insane. Meanwhile Molly believes Malvo and Lester are prime suspects in all the murders, and she gets Lester to give her information about Malvo, confirming her suspicions.
The ten-episode season is produced by the Coen brothers who wrote and directed the original film. Their influence is apparent in the well-developed characters, the dark comedy, and the undercurrent of weird, frightening, even disgusting elements. It takes you on a ride through the menace in Malvo’s world, without wasting any time in getting to the nastiness. Each extreme action seems to be followed by an extreme reaction, acted out by absolute, one-dimensional characterizations. Everything about Fargo is painted a shade of cynical.
The characters are similar to the movie, yet at the same time they are unique, and the storyline also diverges from the original as the season progresses. However, it is done in a clever way that will make you forget the original and enjoy the odd drama unfolding before you. It sets up a weird string of dominos from the start that will push you to watch the show to the end.
Fargo will wrap up the current storyline in these ten episodes, and if it returns for a second season, it will probably follow a different plot with some new characters. Watch the show for an action-packed drama that won’t give you a moment of respite between scenes.