Fargo has a lot to live up to by following in the steps of such a well-known and critically acclaimed movie, but somehow the pilot of Fargo really captivated me. I like how they didn’t reproduce all of the characters we saw in the movie the same way but, instead, brought a ton more to the table and let us play with them in the first episode. The pilot had more shocking events and intense scenes than some other TV shows have in an entire season. I’m hooked already and I can’t wait to see what they’re able to pull out with the rest of the season. Bravo. Okay, so, Adam Bernstein directed “It’s Pat”… that was over 20 years ago. Since then he’s been involved in some of the best TV shows TV has to offer; Oz, Rescue Me, 30 Rock, Nurse Jackie, Bored to Death, House of Cards, Californication and even Breaking Bad. Needless to say, he’s come a long way and it really shows with this pilot. It felt like we were watching a highlight of everything Joel and Ethan Coen have done well in the past few years of their career, excluding musical numbers of course as I’m sure they would have fit into the pilot very well. With Joel and Ethan both attached to the show with writing and producing credits I’m sure any director they get to do episodes will be able to show the brothers’ vision the proper way.
We got to know Lester (Freeman) a bit too much in this episode but it really made me want to root for him, despite his shortcomings. As for Billy Bob Thornton’s character, I think this is the best thing I’ve seen him in since… well… I really think this is the best thing I’ve seen him in ever. To me, Martin Freeman steals the show. I was wondering how his accent was going to sound but I’m totally convinced he was the perfect person to play Lester, he’s fantastic in this. I’m not a huge Billy Bob Thornton fan, I mean, I like some of the things he’s done but nothing particularly stands out as some of my favorite things, but I’m pretty sure he will go down as one of my favorite TV show characters after this show is over. I also can’t wait to see more of Colin Hanks and everyone else we didn’t even get to see yet.
Again, it felt like we were watching a Joel and Ethan Coen movie, not just a TV show. There were some things that felt like they were holding back (aside from swearing) but they were still able to do a lot more than I’ve seen on any other TV channel. It seems like FX and AMC can get away with a lot, so long as they don’t show nudity or say “fuck” or “cunt.” But, it’s not really needed for the way this show works, everything really flowed naturally throughout the course of the episode.
I love it. If the rest of the season has as much suspense, intensity and stressful situations (which I know it will) then I’m ready to take a ride through Fargo and live this nightmare with Lester, sign me up because I’m on board.