Series Review: Fargo – Season 3 (2017)

It feels good to have had this show back. I loved the first two seasons of this show (*cough* there are reviews available *cough*), so I was of course looking forward to this season. So let’s see if it is any good.

Ladies and gents… “Fargo” season 3!

Minnesota, 2010. We follow brothers Emmitt (Ewan McGregor) and Ray (Ewan McGregor) and how their sibling rivalry becomes the center of a series of deaths, betrayals, conspiracies, and other crazy things. So now we have our off-kilter crime-drama. And yeah, it’s pretty fucking great. Once again this show has managed to craft a deep, compelling, weird, suspenseful, and unpredictable crime story. I honestly never knew where it was going and it managed to really surprise me with some of the twists and turns throughout. It’s an odd and fascinating journey that I loved following.

The characters in this season (like in previous ones) are unique, interesting, quirky, and just extremely entertaining. Ewan McGregor had a tough job here as he had to play two roles, and make them feel different from each other. Emmit is the parking lot king of Minnesota, a wealthy and generally liked businessman. While Ray instead is a balding, poor(ish), parole officer who is jealous of his brother. And McGregor makes them both feel very different and manages to give two fantastic performances. Carrie Coon plays Gloria Burgle, a police chief/single mom who is investigating a murder that might be linked somehow to the Stussy brothers. She’s determined and kind, but has a little trouble with modern technology. And Coon is fantastic in the role. Michael Stuhlbarg (sporting an awesome mustache) plays Sy Feltz, the right hand man and best friend of Emmit. He’s loyal to a fault, wanting to make sure Emmit has a good a life as possible. And Stuhlbarg is great in the role. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Nikki Swango (awesome name), a gambler who is also the girlfriend of Ray. She’s tough, sexy, and just cool. And Winstead is great in the role. David Thewlis plays V.M. Varga, a very strange man that comes into Emmit’s life and starts changing it quite a bit. How do I best describe Varga… he’s weird and creepy and and he gets under my skin. So yeah, Thewlis is fantastic in the role. Really, this is filled with plenty of awesome characters and performances, and while I don’t have the time to go through all in detail, I’m just gonna list some of the awesome supporting players here. Olivia Sandoval, Shea Whigham, Mark Forward, Thomas Mann, Hamish Linklater, Goran Bogdan, Andy Yu, and Mary McDonnell. There are more, but I feel like some are better left as surprises.

The score for this season was composed by Jeff Russo, the man who did the music for the previous seasons. And once again he killed it. Of course the main theme from the previous seasons is played every now and then, still being awesome. But then there’s also a lot of new stuff that fits the show very well. There are tracks for more serious moments, and there are tracks for some of the more “silly” (in lack of a better word) moments. And there are licensed tracks used throughout as well, and they fit pretty well too.

For those not aware (fucking cave dwellers), “Fargo” is an anthology series created by Noah Hawley, based on the Coen brothers film of the same name. And while I’m not gonna list every director that this season had, I will at least say that they all did very well here. The shots look great, and they manage to create a lot of tension with very little thanks to their excellent direction. And the cinematography too is great. Sure, color pallet is a bit drab, but I think it kind of works for this story. They even have a little bit of animation in this to tell a certain part of the story. I’m not gonna spoil what, but let’s just say that it’s pretty cool. I also feel like I have to mention that this is really violent. Not just in terms of there being blood (though there’s that too), but there’s plenty of violence in this. There’s also a good dose of dark humor in this which I thought was quite funny.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 89/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,0/10 and is ranked #23 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

While not qutie reaching the heights of season 2 (which is fucking amazing), “Fargo” season 3 is still a fantastic season of television. It has a fantastic plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing. Time for my final score. *Oh jeez*. My final score for “Fargo” season 3 is a 9,90/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Fargo” season 3 is now completed.

*Please get renewed, please get renewed*.

Series Review: Fargo – Season 2 (2015)

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Some of you people might remember that I had seen and reviewed the first season of this show a while back. If you remember that you probably also remember that I absolutely loved it. So of course I was excited about seeing season 2… and here we are, finally reviewing it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the second season of… “Fargo”.

The year is 1979, that’s right, this season is more or less a prequel to season 1. Like I said in my review of the first season, this is an anthology show. Now that we got that part cleared let’s move on to this season. And in it we follows Minnesota state trooper Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) as he is drawn into an investigation involving a local crime gang, the mafia and a local couple (Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst). And it all of course is a huge mystery filled murder, deception and most other things you’d expect from this show if you’ve seen the first season. And there is no reason to either lie about it or postpone it anymore… I think the plot of the second season is great, as good as the first season even. I would even say that I might’ve enjoyed this season even more than the first one. The mystery is bigger and even more bizarre. It’s intriguing, entertaining and really well told.

While the plot is great on it’s own, it would be nothing without the characters, that is a fact that works for most pieces of media. With that said, holy shit the characters are amazing! They are all very interesting, colorful and all get time to shine. Patrick Wilson knocks it out of the park as Lou, which I didn’t have much of a doubt about since I love him as an actor. Ted Danson plays a sheriff and Lou’s father-in-law and he’s as great as ever. Jesse Plemons, you have shown me once again what a terrific actor you are. First “Breaking Bad”, now “Fargo”… I can’t wait to see what awesome thing you’ll do next. Kirsten Dunst, holy shit, this is the best she’s been in years. Jeffrey Donovan plays an unlikable asshole in this show, but that’s okay because his performance overall is terrific. And there are a whole bunch of otehr great actors/performances/characters in this show that I will not get into because I would be here all day. But yeah… it’s all great.

Just like in the first season we got Jeff Russo to do the score for the show. And once again it is great. It manages to create a lot of tension, a lot of suspense, a lot of drama and it is just awesome to listen to. There is also a lot of otehr tunes here that are not composed by Russo. What I mean by that is that there are a lot of licensed tracks and not only do they fit the scenes they are used in, but they are songs that I really enjoyed listening to. As someone who listens to a lot of 70’s/80’s music, this soundtrack was pretty much made for me. Especially in the last few episodes, those had some of the best tunes in show in my opinion. Yeah… this season had great music.

Season 2 takes the directing of season 1 and ramps it up to fuckin’ eleven. It’s quicker, it’s snappier, it’s even more stylish than the first season. It’s also even more violent, good grief. Yes, season 1 was pretty damn violent, but wasn’t this violent. It also didn’t have as much violence and brutality and blood/gore as this season. Not that the extra violence takes away from the show, I would amost say that it is one of the things keeping the show as interesting as it is in combination with the story and characters ‘n’ shit. The pitch black humor also makes a triumphant return in this season and as someone who loves pitch black humor to no end I actually laughed at some pretty dark stuff. No wonder I never get invited to parties…

This season of the show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% (holy shit) positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 96/100. And while imdb doesn’t have season-based averages, the show does have a score of 9,0/10 and is ranked #23 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

The second season of “Fargo” took what season 1 did right and improved upon it. I thought the story was even better, the characters more entertaining/great (though I miss Billy Bob Thornton), the soundtrack absolutely fantastic, teh directing/action fantastic and the violence/humor great. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Fargo” season 2 is a 9,90/10. I love it and it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Fargo” season 2 is now completed.

So… Ewan McGregor next season then!

Series Review: Fargo – Season 1 (2014)

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Anthology series, a concept I find very curious. The idea of it is really ingenius; every season features new stories and new characters which gives the writers of the shows a lot of creative freedom when it comes to the show. And it seems a lot of shows these days are embracing that style of stroytelling which makes me curious to see what the next trend in television will be.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the first season of… “Fargo”.

Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) is a mysterious drifter who one day comes into a small town in Minnesota. Early on during his time there he meets an insurance salesman named Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) and they start getting acquainted. However is seems like Malvo is influencing Lester in a pretty bad way. And by pretty bad way I mean that he influences Lester to murder someone. And from that we also follow two police officers (Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman) who are trying to solve these murders that start occuring. And with that said I will not try to explain anymore of it because that would be delving into spoiler territory and I don’t do spoilers unless there is something specific I want to talk about in something. But I have to say that I was intrigued by the plot in the show and I loved how it developed over the ten episodes that this story covers. We get some good twists and revelations throughout combined with a lot of good suspense and a surprising amount of dark humor. And that mix of things make for an interesting plot to watch unfold.

The characters in the show are all very colorful, quirky, interesting and well written. Martin Freeman nails it as Lester, out reluctant anti-hero. I say “anti-hero” because he does some shady shit and hides some bad secrets in this show. And Freeman does all of that pretty damn well. Billy Bob Thornton was great in the role as mysterious and devious Malvo. It’s so great that he still got it in him to give a great performance like this because he has kind of been off the radar for the past 10(ish) years. Colin Hanks (son of Tom Hanks) is great in the role as police officer Gus Grimly, a man who wants to solve these terrible crimes while also taking care of his daughter. Allison Tolman is amazing in the role as the determined police officer Molly Solverson. Really, she was great… someone I will keep my eye on now. Also, her dad is played by Keith Carradine and that’s just awesome. Eveyr actor does in fact do great work in this show and trust me when I sya that there are a lot of big names in here. Hell, even Key & Peele make appearances in the show (And yes, they are a bucket of fun).

The score for the show was provided by Jeff Russo and holy hell was it ever great. It was heavy and very dramatic but could also be a little lighter when it needed to be. And I have to say that the series main theme (Sidenote: The title of it is “Bemidji, MN”) is honestly one of the best main theme songs I have ever heard. It’s dramatic, it’s dark and it is just straight-up beauitful. The entire score I honestly think is nothing short of great.

Whenever I watched this show I felt cold. Not because it’s dark and depressing like “Requiem For a Dream”, but because they are in the middle of snow-covered Minnesota and it all looks very cold. Sure, it’s kind of the same weather here in Sweden atthe moment of writing this, but it still looks really cold. And I feel like the director(s?) captured it all really well. They captured everything very well because everything in this show is very well directed. Everything’s also really violent. A lot of blood and brutality is shown in the show and I kind of feel like that adds to the charm of it. But I also mention it as a fair warning if you hate violence and/or you get queasy easily… kind of like Bob Odenkirk’s character in the show. The show is also really funny in a very dark way. And I guess that is something the writers of the show did to try to capture the feel of a Coen brothers movie. And for those of you who didn’t understand that reference, this show is based on the Coen brothers movie of the same name and that’s why I said that they seemed like they tried to capture the feel of a Coen movie… A.K.A. darkly comical but still suspenseful.

This show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes the season has a 98% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. And while imdb.com doesn’t have average scores per season, the show still has a score of 9,0/10 and is ranked #25 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

I’m not gonna lie to you guys, I was surprised by the high quality of this show. The story is great, the characters are great & the acting is great, the music is great, the directing is great and there is a lot of great humor. It’s just a great season. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for season 1 of “Fargo” is a 9,88/10. It most definitely gets the one and only “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of the first season of “Fargo” is now completed.

Oh jeez.