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Thursday, March 28, 2013

FX Announces Plans to Ruin Fargo

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 3:29 PM

FARGO Marge Gunderson, shortly after being told about FXs Fargo TV show.
  • FARGO Marge Gunderson, shortly after being told about FX's Fargo TV show.

Because being one of the best movies of the '90s—or, actually, just being one of the best movies—apparently isn't good enough, FX has decided to turn Fargo into a 10-episode limited series. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show will "follow a new case and new characters, all entrenched in the trademark humor, murder and 'Minnesota nice' that has made the film an enduring classic."

That sounds kind of like they're just setting this series in the same "world" as Fargo, without any of the major characters that are in the film, but I can't imagine that's the case—those characters are the reason why Fargo works as well as it does. For something to feel like Fargo, it'd have to feature Marge Gunderson, at the very least, and you can't have Marge without her husband Norm, and if you don't have both Frances McDormand and John Carroll Lynch in those parts, then you don't have those parts. And let's not even get into the challenge of coming up with any sort of case that stacks up to the film's, or of approximating Roger Deakins' cinematography, or of dredging up side characters even half as memorable as Carl Showalter or Jerry Lundegaard or good ol' Mike Yanagita. MIKE YANAGITA!

Maybe the Coen brothers' involvement with the series—they're credited as executive producers, though it isn't clear how much of a role they'll actually play—means they've got McDormand and Lynch locked up for those parts? And maybe the Academy Award-nominated Deakins has been dying to go back to working on TV? And maybe the Coens are directing this too? In which case, ignore everything I just said and count me in! But without those ingredients, I'm not sure how you can call anything Fargo.

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