A Kind-Of Review: Fargo Season 1

As I continue my “winter-break-catching-up-with-tv-athon,” I have decided to dive into the world of Fargo. When first hearing about the show, I expected some sort of strange prequel or “sequel” sort of situation. I’ve been a fan of the film Fargo for years and wasn’t sure if I would be up for an adaptation of sorts. Plus, I’ve been watching too many dramas. I need some funny in my life.

I was wrong. This show is great (and it is funny!). Here’s the show trailer to get you intrigued…

Now go watch the show and don’t read anything else in this post until you finish Season 1 (spoilers after the read more)

First of all, I would like to make clear that I listened to Fargo: An Unofficial Podcast in conjunction with the show. I freaking love listening to podcasts about the show I’m currently watching, especially if none of my friends are watching along with me. The podcasts open up a bit of discussion and thought about what you just watched in a way that isn’t easy if you’re watching something on your own. Anyway, yes, whether it be this podcast or any other (I recommend this one), you should try out tv podcasts sometime.

Also, I know a lot of people who watch this show haven’t seen Fargo the film. 1. Whaaaaat the heck? 2. Get on that soon, it’ll make everything even better.

Back to the show:

From the early on, something I found interesting in the show were the countless “symbols” and homages to the Coen brothers. I loved these because they definitely were a nod to the original Fargo, but also went beyond and recognized other films like The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, True Grit, etc etc. I actually screamed when I saw the money hidden in the snow and the ice scraper. That is cool, and I really hope they manage to tie that into more of the future seasons of the show. It could easily be the central key to connecting the show to the film.

In the podcast I listened to, they spent a lot of time focusing on the idea of Lorne’s character being the archetype of endless evil (maybe even embodying the devil). While I liked this theory at first, I ended up loving their other theory much more: the idea of his character as a wild dog (specifically a wolf). Lorne kills to survive, whether that means he is killing to make an income or to protect himself. And, ironically enough, here comes Gus, the literal dog catcher. So great.

Also really loved the plague references early in the show, particularly in the King’s/supermarket subplot. Something I didn’t pick up on my own (maybe I’m dumb for not realizing this), but when the son is killed in the “fish tornado,” that’s the killing of the firstborn. Kind of really brings it all full circle and ties up that pretty nicely, I think.

Despite all of my love and excitement throughout, there were two main things that bothered me about the show, both pertaining to our main heroes, Molly and Gus.

As for Molly, I almost felt it was always a liiiitle bit of a stretch how good of a cop she was, especially after she was set up as just-okay-ish in her introduction. When she first appears, she is investigating the “crashed car with no driver but wait! there’s a frozen man in his underwear in the woods” when the Police Chief shows up. She seems rather lost and the chief must ask “Did you check here? Did you check there?”

A few episodes later, we see Molly enter Lester’s house and check the inside of the washing machine. I mean, the machine was pulled out a bit and she didn’t actually find anything, but I was just a little shocked. Why would she even think to look in that exact spot? And especially after how borderline lost she was in her first case? I don’t know. I know that this case meant a lot more to her (especially with the chief being killed and her theories that nobody seems to believe), but it just seemed like a stretch to me after how she was set up.

And lastly, Gus. I wish Molly would have killed Lorne instead. I know for her it was just about finally being right and getting acknowledgement and respect not only from Bill but also from the FBI agents (who, luckily, she doesn’t know are complete morons). And Gus kind of had to do something after everyone spent the entire season picking on him for being scared…that along with the dog catcher thing. So anyway, I understand why it was Gus, but still, I wish it could have been Molly.

Let me know what you thought about Season 1 and if you’re looking forward to Season 2. Also let me know if you disagree with me about my (very few) ‘problems’ with the show – I’d love to get some second opinions.

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