Fargo – 4 seasons [2014-]


Description: The all new “true crime” case of Fargo’s new chapter travels back to 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Luverne, Minnesota, where a young State Police Officer Lou Solverson, recently back from Vietnam, investigates a case involving a local crime gang and a major Mob syndicate. Helping him piece things together is his father-in-law, Sheriff Hank Larsson. The investigation will lead them to a colorful cast of characters that includes Karl Weathers, the town lawyer of Luverne, Minnesota. A Korean War vet, Karl is a flowery drunk blessed with the gift of gab and the eloquence of a true con artist. Joe Bulo, the front man for the northern expansion of a Kansas City crime syndicate. The new face of corporate crime, Joe’s bringing a Walmart mentality to small town America. His number two is Mike Milligan. Part enforcer, part detective, Mike is always smiling – but the joke is usually on you.

Creator: Noah Hawley

Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman

Taglines: Aw jeez, here we go again.


  • Billy Bob Thornton came up with his character’s hair cut on his own. The moment Noah Hawley saw him, he knew they were both on the same page regarding the character.
  • Every episode starts with the onscreen words “This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 2006/ 1979/ 2010 (depending on what season it is). At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.” This is a nod to the way that the 1996 source movie Fargo (1996) started (also by claiming that its events were based on a true story). However, neither the movie nor the TV show are actually based on true events. In a 2014 interview, the show’s executive producer Noah Hawley clarified the “true story” episode introductions by saying “the show…. It’s all just made up. The whole cloth. I didn’t go looking for [a] true crime. It started from a character standpoint and everything grew organically out of that.”
  • Each episode of the first season has a title that refers to a koan, parable, or philosophical paradox.
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays ex-con Nikki Swango in the third season, signed on to join the series without knowing anything about her part. She assumed she would be playing a “really nice Minnesota cop or a really sweet Minnesota housewife.”
  • The same building is used in all three seasons of Fargo for different purposes. In season one it is Lester’s (Martin Freeman) office – an insurance brokerage. In season two it is the butcher shop that Ed (Jesse Plemons) works in. In season three it is the apartment building Nikki (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) lives in.
  • Season 2 takes place around an incident in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1979, and focuses on a young Lou Solverson (played in season one by Keith Carradine). The writer, Noah Hawley, says season 2 not only draws inspiration from the film Fargo (1996), but also from other Coen Brothers (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen) movies such as Miller’s Crossing (1990) and The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001).
  • This is actually the second TV show spin-off of the movie Fargo (1996). The first was in 2003 starring Edie Falco. A pilot was shot and aired but the series was not picked up.
  • Bruce Campbell, who plays President Ronald Reagan, was briefly visible on-screen in the movie Fargo (1996). He is in the soap opera that is playing on the TV in the kidnappers’ cabin. This was archive footage of a young Campbell in the 1980s soap opera; Generations (1989). This was one of his early acting jobs.

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