Although our weather is just beginning to warm up, it’s still a cool, cruel world for the colorful characters of FX’s “Fargo.” The show has recently begun its third season, and while most anthological series will typically decrease in quality after its first few seasons, “Fargo” is just as chilling as ever.
The series is named for the Coen brothers’ 1996 dark comedy, with a similarly grim sense of humor, unexpected violence and amusing oddball characters. While the plot of the film is not identical to those of any of the three seasons, every season of “Fargo,” as well as the film, is set in a small Minnesota town with a mysterious connection to Fargo, North Dakota. The stories of “Fargo” are told in the same fashion as “American Horror Story.” Every season sees new characters in a different time period, but always in the same area. Each story is connected in subtle ways, and I’m excited to see where these connections come into play this season.
The latest season, set in the year 2010, follows the interconnected lives of two feuding brothers, both played by the mesmerizing and infinitely versatile Ewan McGregor, and a policewoman (Carrie Coon) struggling to advance in her field due to gender politics. The characters attempt to solve mysteries, make peace with their pasts, cover up mistakes, and live a normal and happy life without crime lords, murder and blackmail getting in their way.
McGregor plays Emmit and Ray Stussy, two brothers locked in an endless feud over an unfair trade in their youth. As a result of this trade, Emmit became a wealthy business mogul while Ray was dealt the short end of the stick, eventually pursuing a career as a parole officer. Though Ray’s life may seem like a total nightmare, one of his parolees, a beautiful young woman named Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), brings light and excitement to his dull life. McGregor is so charming and pliable that he manages to have chemistry with everyone, even himself.
As the season goes on, the secrets become harder to keep, the webs become more tangled, and the bodies harder to hide. The story becomes increasingly more intense as the season progresses and the line between good and bad become more blurred. Each character’s morality is tested by the sinister forces around them, pushed toward evil, motivated by greed and power.
Fargo has to be the most singularly unique show on television today. Its pace is slow, but the action is quick and the characters are unforgettable. No other show has such a brilliant cast of veteran actors who can handle the difficult dialogue provided by the show’s writing staff.
The show pokes fun at midwestern America, with each character speaking in an exaggerated Minnesota accent. Even the most dangerous characters seem harmless with such a friendly and nonthreatening dialect. The contrast drawn between the quaintness of small town middle America and the shockingly bold people who live there, hiding behind a simpleton facade is the heart of the show. Every season is filled with enough sharp twists to keep viewers captivated all season long.