Fargo, the much lauded TV spin-off of the cult film, has created an art-form out of balancing the utterly bleak with the stylishly quirky. This intricate blend of tragedy and comedy has paid off, winning the show three Emmys, and a further fifteen nominations. Yet Season Two interestingly departs from the winning formula, not least an entirely new cast.
The new season is set in 1979, and follows Lou Solverson (Patrick Watson) as he investigates a series of murders linked to a local crime syndicate. In typical Fargo fashion however, there is much more to it than meets the eye, and a seemingly straightforward robbery-gone-wrong soon brings the likes of The Mob together with beautician Peggy Blomquist (Kirsten Dunst), and her husband Ed Blomquist (Jesse Plemons of Breaking Bad infamy).
Noah Hawley has decided to place the Fargo universe in a specific context, involving then presidential hopeful Ronald Reagan in the town as he passes through on a campaign stop. This has some interesting implications for the series, as the Fargo universe changes from being an abstract allegorical commentary on morality, to one at the centre of a nation in crisis. This season there’s no equivalent Lorne Malvo character (Billy Bob Thornton) to tempt the community into wicked deeds; the evil is lying right under the surface everywhere.
Despite these changes, Fargo will have plenty to keep returning fans happy; with moral dilemmas, grizzly murder, fantastic cinematography, developed performances, and twisted humour aplenty. Aww jeez, here we go again.