Fargo: Season 1, Episode 1 – “The Crocodile’s Dilemma”

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[No Spoilers Below]

My feelings about the films in the Coen brothers’ oeuvre (at least the ones I’ve seen) go from like to love, with many of them falling near the latter end of the spectrum. Naturally, when I heard that their 1996 should’ve-been-Best-Picture-winner Fargo was being “remade” as a TV series, I was immediately turned off to the idea. Fargo is pretty close to perfect, like at least a couple of other Coen movies. Why mess with it?

Still, I planned to watch the show just to see it fail to find that unique Coen tone and disappear after one season, if not after just a few episodes. Even the cast (particularly Martin Freeman and Coen-vet Billy Bob Thornton) failed to give me much hope or excitement. The best thing the show had going for it was the network. FX, in my opinion, has the best track record of any network, even rivaling HBO. It has an assured “brand” and airs (or has aired) some of the best shows on TV right now (let’s forget about Anger Management for a second, or forever). If any network was going to pull this 10-episode “limited series” adaptation off, it would be FX.

Of course, you know what I’m going to say next. Continue reading

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