When the Coen Brothers released Fargo in 1996, they already had a devoted following thanks to their originality in films like Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing and Barton Fink. But Fargo did very well at the box office as well as critically and changed the game for The Coen Brothers giving them a bonafide hit. Their careers continue to reach new highs today but Fargo has always had a special place for many fans. Eight years after Fargo, FX debuted a new TV show inspired by the film. While many thought the film might be a tough sell as a series, writer Noah Hawley beautifully took the world of Fargo and created all new storylines that intertwined with the story from the film resulting in an entirely original series that in many ways surpassed the film. Then in 2015 came Fargo: Year Two and again, instead of just continuing in the established world, the show runners decided to take the series back to the 1970s and follow a series of events only mentioned in passing in Fargo: Year One. That is a creative approach. And the real accomplishment here? It’s even better than Fargo: Year One.
Fargo: Year Two follows multiple stories of people all eventually involved in some way with the Sioux Falls Massacre mentioned in Fargo: Year One. Peggy Blumquist (Kirsten Dunst) and her husband Ed (Jesse Plemons) cover up a hit and run death of Rye Gerhardt (Kieran Culkin), one son of the Gerhardt crime family. The whole incident is investigated by Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) and his father in law Hank Larsson (Ted Danson) as they delve deeper into the actions of the notorious Gerhardt family.
Fargo: Year One was a phenomenal TV show with career high performances by Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton and the criminally underrated Allison Tollman. Fargo: Year Two matches that quality with incredible performances by Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson, Kirsten Dunst (seriously the best performance of her career), Jesse Plemons, Jean Smart and Jeffrey Donovan. And the story is even more engaging, more brutal, more emotional and more impressive. Fargo: Year Two is a prime example of the theory that TV is the best it has ever been lately with material that is exceeding the quality levels that we see even in feature films. And it also proves, along with a few other shows recently, that films can successfully be adapted for TV and still be exceptional. I can’t recommend Fargo: Year Two highly enough and it doesn’t even matter which order you watch the seasons in, there are multiple references in each that make them compliment each other perfectly. Bring on Year Three.