Fargo (2014), created by Noah Hawley is an American television series anthology based on the 1996 film of the same name. The original was directed by the Coen brothers. This show stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Joey King, Bob Odenkirk and Colin Hanks.
The opening episode is directed by Adam Bernstein and written by Noah Hawley.
Episode Synopsis: Lorne Malvi (Billy Bob Thornton) arrives in small town Minnesota. He runs over a deer, at which point a half-naked man escapes from the trunk of his car. Malvi escapes with a head injury and flees the scene. We are then introduced to Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman). Lester is a struggling salesman who lacks respect from his wife and peers. After an altercation with one of the locals, Lester ends up in hospital. This is where he meets Malvi who is there nursing his head injury. After Lester tells Malvi about his altercation, Malvi offers to kill the person in question. Lester denies that he wants this to happen, and then leaves to have his injury attended to. As the story progresses, things take a dark turn, and all of this seems to be a result of Malvi’s arrival.
I am really enjoying the anthology format shows like True Detective (2014) and now Fargo have adopted. Although this format is nothing new, it seems to be the in-thing at the moment, and allows producers to reel in bigger names with a finite number of episodes; in this case Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman.
This show has been cast well, and everyone gives good performances. Thornton plays the mysterious Malvi well, and Freeman’s American accent is great as he plays struggling salesman Lester.
I have seen a number of pilots that start slowly, but then pick up momentum as the season progresses. I was, however, impressed by this episode. It displays a dark humour, and plenty of twists and turns throughout. As a result, this paves way nicely for the remainder of the season.
I am eager to watch the rest of the season, and I recommend you doing the same.
By Robert Spence