Sunday, April 20, 2014

Not Far To Go

A month or so ago I noticed an ad on the side of a bus promoting Fargo on FX.  I thought why would they go out of their way to advertise a showing of a movie that's been around almost two decades.  Only a bit later did I realize it's been reimagined as a miniseries.  The show's created by Noah Hawley and stars Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman, along with some other well-known TV faces like Bob Odenkirk and Kate Walsh.

I caught the pilot, "The Crocodile's Dilemma," and it was weird.  Not the show, exactly, but watching this world which is a parallel universe to the original film.  It takes place in Minnesota, with everyone talking in their Minnesota way, and it still features a criminal (Thornton) and a timid guy who's failing in his life (Freeman), but the resemblance, so far anyway, doesn't go much further.

The movie, you'll recall, was about a loser who needed money and got involved with some criminals.  Their plot falls apart and soon there are dead bodies and a big investigation.  That's sort of happening in this show, but the relationships are all different and so are the crimes.  (Spoilers ahead) Freeman is 40 yet still being pushed around by his old high school bully.  He meets Thornton and Thornton, already a badass criminal who messes with people, gets the idea he should kill the bully, which he does (after having killed someone else on an assignment).  Then Freeman gets fed up with his wife and kills her. Then the police chief shows up to ask Freeman questions and Thornton shows up too and shot the officer.  And we're off.

The show has been described as a dark comedy, though it seemed more dark than funny.  I also found the action a bit hard to believe.  I wouldn't call the show compelling, but at least it wasn't boring. I'll probably check it out next week--it's only a miniseries, I might as well stick around.

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