Fargo Year 3

| December 13, 2017

Over the last few decades, Hollywood executives have mined the fertile ground of television instead of putting time and effort into original scripts. For the most part, TV’s shows do not make good feature films. Let’s take a look at 2017. CHiP’s, a popular motorcycle cop dramedy from the 1970’s, was turned into a dreadful, boring, and unprofitable mess. Also in ’17, 90’s pop culture phenomenon Baywatch made the jump to the silver screen with disastrous results. There must be a solution to these awful small-to-big-screen atrocities, right? Absolutely! Take established big screen entities and turn them into television series!

Very rarely does the big-to-small-screen formula work out. The best example would be M*A*S*H*, the 1970 hit film from acclaimed director Robert Altman. The film was turned into a television series in 1972, lasted until 1983, and was big in the ratings. The series finale of M*A*S*H* is one of the highest rated TV shows in U.S. history. Since 1983, many movies have been adapted into TV series, most with minimal to no success. That is until 2014, when FX debuted the 10 episode limited run series Fargo.

The first season, or Year 1, of Fargo was an immediate success with fans and critics alike. The episodes were engaging and creative, and the acting performances from Martin Freeman (The Hobbit Trilogy), Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade, Bad Santa), and Allison Tolman (Krampus) were exceptional. It also didn’t hurt that the creative forces behind the 1996 feature film Fargo, Joel and Ethan Coen, were producers of the series.

As great as Year 1 turned out, Year 2 was bound to suffer a sophomore slump. Just kidding. Somehow, Year 2 turned out even better. The story was even more engrossing, and the acting was, once again, top notch, with terrific performances from Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring), Jean Smart (Designing Women), and Ted Danson (Cheers). I saved the best performances for last. Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia) and Bokeem Woodbine (Ray) are mesmerizing scene stealers.
With all of that being said, Fargo Year 3 may just be slightly better than the first two years. Year 3 has 6 brilliant acting performances. Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man) is somehow both fragile and aggressive. Carrie Coon (Gone Girl) is a treasure as small town policewoman Gloria Burgle. Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting) plays “the parking lot king of Minnesota” Emmit Stussy, as well as Emmit’s brother Ray, a parole officer. If it’s at all possible, I’d love to see McGregor nominated for both roles (are you listening, Emmy’s?)

Since I love saving the best for last, the 2 performances that transcend great come from David Thewlis (Wonder Woman) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane). Thewlis plays V.M. Varga, a mysterious benefactor/crime lord who throws Emmit Stussy’s life into complete chaos. Varga is well educated, yet slimey and despicable. Winstead plays Nikki Swango, an ex-con who’s dating her parole officer, Ray Stussy. Swango is beautiful, smart, and conniving. And Winstead as Swango is a show stopper. I can’t heap enough praise on her performance.

Fargo Year 3 is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from 20th Century Fox and MGM Television. The 4 disc DVD set includes all 10 episodes, as well as a number of special features, including looks at some of the characters and the shows shooting locations.

Winter time is upon us. Cold and snowy conditions are everywhere. So why leave the comfort of your home? Sit back, relax, and binge watch Fargo Year 3. And when you’re finished, might as well binge watch Year 1 and Year 2, dontcha know.

About the Author:

Steve graduated from Southwestern Michigan College with an Associate's Degree in communications. He currently resides in Niles, MI

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