Contains spoilers for Season Two of Fargo
n.b: Fargo hasn’t finished airing its second series yet (FX — USA/Channel 4 — UK) as of writing, so this post will be updated sometime later with some further screenshots and video clips.
n.b: Captures are all taken from 720p sources.
What do Broadchurch and True Detective have in common? Well — probably quite a few things, but one particular thing is a terrible second series/season. Really, I’m talking about the quality significantly falling. True Detective went all over the place, and the ending was awful. Broadchurch tried to shift direction and go down that path without actually moving anywhere.
Fargo, on the other hand, had a superb first season, and, get this: a second season of equal if not greater quality. It really depends how much you love Billy Bob Thornton’s Lorne Malvo and how that changes your perspective of the first season (the fact everyone who watched S1 loved Malvo at least a bit goes without question). Season Two has really had some great thought put into it — there’s a reason it’s 100% rated on RT.
There’s not a single character who isn’t interesting or is poorly developed. The Solversons are adorable, the Gerhardts menacing but fiercely protective. Hanzee has a very interesting development throughout the series, whilst Milligan is a charming display of evil, with some lovely diction by Bokeem Woodbine. Kirsten Dunst really pulls off crazy nutjob very well as Peggy, and Jesse Plemons as her husband can’t help but elicit some pity. Karl and Sonny are a hilarious duo, with Nick Offerman giving a superb performance as Karl in episode six. The show is creepy and tense. It is well written, directed, and acted. It also has plenty of humour.
The following is a set of images & videos from Season Two of Fargo, accompanied with varied thoughts about the show. I’m not a film/TV critic at all.
Fargo has a lovely colour palette. Reds, blues, browns, and some bits in between. Exceptions, I think, are rare. It’s a period thing, I guess.
This is used superbly in Fargo. It can be done to show a division:
They’re together, but not really. By this point (episode eight), they’re both too tied up in the other’s issues to leave. It’s some lovely imagery. Perhaps a bit heavyhanded, but really nice stuff.
It can also be used to display a more unified image, as above, such as the Solversons, thinking of each other, or, one of the other, but in the case of the Solversons it is likely the former.
A telephone shot. Left (Peggy) and right (Constance) are speaking to each other with a normal 50:50 splitscreen before Ed shows up, slotted nicely in the middle.
The video, meanwhile, just has some gorgeous framing.
Split Screen is even used in a less artificial way than the black frames to achieve similar effects.
Betsy moves over once the awkwardness between them subsides.
Of course Mike Milligan knows ‘Jabberwocky’. His delivery, combined with the visuals, turns the poem into the strangest pre-battle preparatory speech I’ve seen. It’s certainly not ‘St. Crispin’s Day’, but it works nonetheless. And, ye gods, the shots! Beautiful.
All Hail the Drones.
Some other lovely shots:
The scene that the above capture was taken from, and episode in general — especially those set in that location — was really very funny. It’s another example of the bathos of Fargo — the conflict between Peggy and Ed’s pastoral ideals and the serious violence of the Gerhardts.
There’s something very pleasing but off-putting in watching one scene with the audio of one we never see. It’s put together to match and further show the divide between Ed and Peggy.
Those transitions! The contrasts!
This show has a superb soundtrack, both in original compositions and the music used. There’s a Spotify playlist of the latter. Its use in combination with tropes and shots, such as the following referring to the alien theme present throughout the season, as the camera rises smoothly up with that trademark blue reflection.
Basically, watch this show. It’s great.