The first season of Fargo was proof that creator Noah Hawley could take the mood and feel of the Coen's masterpiece and turn it into a TV series. The show had all the hallmarks of the movie: dark humor, idiot bad guys, lovable protagonist; and it also got an incredible performance from Billy Bob Thornton. Overall I would say that the first season was:
Hawley was unsure if he wanted to continue with the show after the first season, but after the rave reviews it would have been hard for him to turn his back on the Fargo universe. So here we are with a brand new season and a new cast of characters. Fargo is going to be anthology series much in the same vein as True Detective.
I haven't talked much about season two of True Detective, but it has fallen into the trap of being too self-serious with writing and performances that are hard to take serious at times. I get the feeling that Nic Pizzolatto does not expect his audience to have fun watching his show, which I don't have a problem with as long as the show is great, but Hawley is making content that is just as dramatic and compelling without making anyone feel like they just got preached to for an hour after every episode. I was listening to Vince Gilligan (creator of Breaking Bad) on WTF the other day, and he could not stress enough how important it is to have comedy as a source to bring levity to a show steeped in dramatic moments. This is what the first season of Fargo got so right. It was pitch perfect with its humor, which made the big dramatic moments stand out that much more.
I'm excited to see what kind of high jinks are in store for us in Season Two of Fargo. The cast looks to be on point, I really enjoy Patrick Stewart in almost anything he's in, and - oh look - it's Ron (F'n) Swanson! I can't think of a show I'm more excited to watch this fall. If you haven't seen the first season I would definitely check it out on Hulu when it becomes available. It's a rockin good time dontchaknow.