Oh Geez! Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Fargo…
On the surface, even a remote passing thought of trying to translate Coen brothers big screen perfection to the small screen seems crazy. On paper, however, tonight’s premiere of Fargo on FX has all the makings of ‘Must-See-TV’. Written by Noah Hawley (Bones) and starring Martin Freeman (Sherlock, The Hobbit), Billy Bob Thornton, Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad), Colin Hanks (Dexter, Good Guys), Key & Peele, and Oliver Platt (The Big C), Fargo, the biggest ‘Ah Ha’ moment, to quote Alan Partridge, is that the FX series has the blessing of the Coen brothers, who serve as executive producers. For Hawley, how can you possibly say no to someone asking if you want to adapt a Coen brothers feature for the small screen?
The important (and smart) thing about the series is that while it keeps the Coen’s quirky dark characteristics of the film, giving brief nods throughout to its brilliance, it tries to distance itself enough to be judged on its own merits. Reading various reports, it sounds like it was Hawley’s desire to pay tribute to the original just enough, but not too much, to try and avoid the ultimate comparisons that will come anyway.
Responding to the one question on the minds of everyone that is a fan of the big screen version of Fargo needs to be asked as to whether or not the new Fargo has its own woodchipper moment, Hawley replies: “All I’ll say is that the Coens kill people in some very creative and memorable ways and it was my obligation to come up with ways of my own. I hope I rose to the standard.”
Let’s hope so…Fargo premieres tonight on FX in the States and on Sunday, 20 April at 9pm on Channel 4 in the UK.