Author Topic: Fargo  (Read 692 times)

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Offline ThePerm

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Fargo
« on: September 29, 2020, 05:57:44 PM »
A lot of world building in these two episodes.  In this series you can just follow the present plot-line, but there is a very complicated interconnected plot-line going on as well throughout the series. I feel like I'm watching the show backward.
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Fargo
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 10:30:20 PM »
Season 2 was/is excellent. I recommend people check it out. Probably go with Season 1 as second best. Martin Freeman showed the insidious nature of the screen persona / behavior he's kind of known for or expected these days with such a wormy character and the way he was squirming and scheming to get out of all the trouble he was constantly in. Likewise, Billy Bob Thorton as Lorne Malvo is probably the role I most associate with him nowadays. Although David Thewlis character in Season 3 was given the wolf motif from Peter and the Wolf (IIRC), wolf is basically the perfect characterization for Malvo and how I'd describe that character. But my impression of Season 1 was that it also seemed to be filled with some elements that seemed to go nowhere. If I were to watch it again I might feel different since some elements and characters have played a role in other seasons but ultimately they're still sort of expendable elements. Just there to give the show and seasons a bit more of an overall lore yet a first time viewer could really tune into any season for the first time and still appreciate that season without knowing a character may have appeared in a different season or some event that happens or organization that is seen is referenced in another season.

Season 2 felt much more tightly plotted. Even in Season 1, the Fargo show was sort of willing to take and blend in elements or idiosyncracies of other Coen films even if the Fargo movie was still the broad outline for the look and feel of the show. You can definitely see Season 2 embracing more of this blending of other Coen film elements / homages into the season making it more of a Coen pastiche. It just seems more ambitious and understands the style of show it wants to be. Things sort of pinball around to this big collision of characters at the end and felt much more satisfying whereas Season 1 unfolds in its own mysterious way. It's main thread/conflict would seem to be Molly trying to catch Lester Nygaard but it has a zig-zag path and ultimately ends up feeling like an intimate conflict amongst 4 people even though a lot more are affected from the choices and chaos created by the villains. Season 2 feels larger. There's more people involved and bigger things afoot as two criminal enterprises clash with each other as it leads up to the Massacre at Sioux Falls. Season 2 nailed it with the casting. Everyone is just great for their roles. There's so much that still sticks out in my mind from that season even years later. Typewriters, Ronald Reagan, UFOs?, the lousy visual effect of a character being buried alive, the Undertaker, Martin Freeman's narration as the book is opened for the Massacre episode, Nick Offerman's character doing his best to persuade some people from storming a police station, Bokeem Woodbine's character's ultimate fate, a sort of hilarious kidnapping/hostage situation. I should probably check out this season again sometime. I also enjoyed talking to Dan Laser here about it as it was unfolding. That added some enjoyment as I got to geek out with someone else about it as well. Unfortunately, that is one element that won't be around if anyone checks it out now.

As for Season 3, there's nothing that it necessarily does poorly or would be considered a disaster. It's biggest issue is more the fact that it just didn't feel as fresh or exciting. The show had developed certain traits and story beats and seeing them occur again for a third time but with a new coating just didn't excite like the first couple times. After what was sort of an ambitious second season, the third season was more toned down and similar to the first with that feeling again of a more intimate conflict amongst certain people than a conflict with a large scope or consequence. Having seen this season close to the time I also watched The Leftovers made me a big fan of Carrie Coon and wanting to see her in more stuff. Yet at the same time, it was frustrating to see her character of the good/smart female cop once again thwarted by a higher-up not trusting her instincts. We'd seen that already in Season 1. As well, Season 3 had a sort-of meta message about the stories we tell ourselves or what stories others tell us and what we choose to believe or not. The way narrative is shaped. You can kind of see it with how the season ends and its final scene. I'd have to look up the reviews for the episodes of Season 3 on The A.V. Club as I was following along with them as the episodes aired but the reviewer there worded it better and onto this concept early on with the final episode pretty much confirming that thought. Because of it, the season was almost a bit more fairy-tale like. It was more about making this point on narrative visible if you are looking for it but it seemed to do so at the expense of getting emotionally invested in the season. More philosophical than visceral perhaps. As such, even though the season also had an eclectic group of actors, none of them really stood out or popped like Season 2's cast or the main characters of Season 1. The only ones I can really recall much of are Carrie Coon's no-nonsense cop and David Thewlis's silver-tongued villain but its a more vague recollection with no strong attachment to them.

I'm curious to see what Season 4 will bring. Noah Hawley seemed unsure what more to do with the show after Season 3 so hopefully the break has helped birth new ideas. And perhaps the longer break won't make these elements feel kind of repetitive like Season 3 started to.
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Offline ThePerm

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Re: Fargo
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2020, 12:23:23 AM »
I think this season is going to be big on story. There is a lot of weaving in the first two episodes. After I watched the first 2 episodes of season 4 I watched "The Best of Mike Milligan" Bokeem Woodbines lines seem to be a callback to things going on right now. That little boy Chris Rock(Loy Cannon) traded for the Faddo boy...who is he raised by? Rabbi Milligan. Now I wonder how Brad Garrett's character plays into everything. Is Jo Bulo actually Josto Fadda or is Jo Bulo the other kid? where do the twins come in? Is the undertaker the guy who runs the mortuary now?
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