Here’s a fun game idea, pick a celebrity(any will do, but they can’t be on this show), now go through the cast of “Fargo” and see how long it takes to get to that celebrity through IMDB or Wikipedia. Like the Wikipedia game or the TV Tropes game. Seriously though, the cast for this show is just f*cking fantastic. Billy Bob Thorton, Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine(finally his name is attached to a show that’s actually good, I’m looking at you “Following”), Martin Freeman, and a brand new find in Allison Tolman(we’ll talk about her in a little bit, but in short she was fantastic). “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” is an absurdly dark, visually striking, and fun opener, that juggles these aspects perfectly.
“Fargo” is a gorgeous show, right up there with “Hannibal” in terms of ambitious visual and directorial risks. The setting gives the show a unique feel that most crime/mystery/cop shows don’t have, the Midwestern rural setting sets it apart from the majority of cop dramas out there. The sets and town landscape are a visual masterpiece, and it’s great to see someplace other than Los Angeles or Vancouver on TV. “Fargo” is a very visual show, much of the show’s humor comes from visual comedy, and it really works. Visual comedy is a hard thing to do, because it can be very easy to miss, or worse just not that funny. This show does an excellent job with it, the scene where the guy gets stabbed while having sex with the stripper was hilarious(also the deer scene at the beginning got a chuckle out of me).
The cast as mentioned before is great. Allison Tolman’s character doesn’t get a whole lot to do in this premiere, but what she does, she goes all out on. The scene at the very end with her bringing the paint buckets to her partners wife was wonderful, and I’m excited to see more of her as the series progresses. Oh and Billy Bob Thorton, Jesus can that man act. He’s f*cking excellent here, his dry wit, and edginess makes him a very compelling anti-villain(he’s pretty strictly evil, but he’s just so darn likable doing it). I’m unfamiliar with Martin Freeman’s work for the most part as I haven’t watched “Sherlock”, but his facial expressions are wonderful, and that “Aww Jeez” after he hammers his wife to death was great(just writing that made me chuckle a bit, he killed that scene). It’s always nice to see Bob Odenkirk(how weird is it seeing him play such a scaredy cat? I’ve been rewatching “Weeds” and he shows up in that too playing a very Saul-esque character. He’s great at playing skeezball characters, but it’s nice to see him playing something different)
The episode hits all the right marks. It makes you feel something, it makes you laugh, and it occasionally makes you a bit uncomfortable(the scene where the wife has her face smashed in with a hammer). “The Crocodiles Dilemma” is an excellent opener. I have to say at once point I was starting to think that Billy Bob Thorton might be a hallucination, but that final scene with Colin Hanks seems to rule that out(though he’s been known to hallucinate at times, WHORE! Tableaus, tableaus, tableaus, mother*cking tableaus whores. Sorry I couldn’t help but make a “Dexter” season six joke, Season Eight was bad but Six…oh man).
Overall, this was a lovely premiere. There isn’t a weak link in the cast(Season Six of “Dexter” wasn’t Colin Hanks fault), and if the series continues on this route it could be a real gem.
GRADE: A- 92%