The first episode of the new Fargo television program premieres on the FX channel April 15, the first in a 10-episode limited series adaptation of Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 iconic film of the same name.
Previews are beginning to hit the page and the web. The Daily Beast proclaims it "bloody good." Online movie website Rope of Silicon calls it "dark, funny and a wonderful." The Detroit News likes its "humor both black and broad, characters silly and strong, and bursts of sudden, often surprising violence."
Entertainment Weekly is not quite as hot for the cold weather show, giving the show a B+. The reviewer confesses ambivalence about the whole idea of spinning a TV show out of the classic movie, but praises acting performances and adds it "boasts unique and satisfying hooks."
Shot in Calgary and set in Bemidji, Minnesota, the cast features Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine and newcomer Allison Tolman in a cable adaptation of the film that appeared on AFI’s list of 100 Greatest Movies, won Best Picture at the Oscars, and introduced "Yah!" and full-length snowmobile suits to the movie-going masses.
The television program continues in the milieu of the movie, with a true crime story that is tracked by a sharp cookie of a female cop. But it's not a remake – the show will feature its own characters crime story, FX says, but will include the humor, homicide and “Minnesota nice” of the original film.
The Vancouver Sun says the producers and cast have pulled off the trick of transferring the film's vision, saying it is “the most auspicious beginning for a new television drama since True Detective, a reminder that the small screen can be every bit as nuanced, adult and engaging as anything on the big screen.”
Joel and Ethan Coen gave FX their blessing based on the pilot script, and are executive producers, but have reportedly had little to no day-to-day involvement.
So get that popcorn ready. The Daily Beast says that "FX’s Fargo accomplishes the impossible feat, satisfying Coen purists skeptical that the strange, remarkable cinema experience they created in 1996 could possibly translate to the small screen and making them excited that experience to travel, through 10 episodes, to some place new."