Mondays. The Republican party. Hollywood having the audacity to remake classic movies. What do these things have in common? They're all incredibly depressing. Mondays depress us because it's like, four days 'til the weekend. The Republicans suck because they're the Republican party and that's their job. And unnecessary Hollywood remakes are depressing because they're just so, well, unnecessary, and symptomatic of a general lack of ideas among people who get paid a lot of money to have ideas.
Like me, a lot of people were a bit pissed to hear that FX were remaking the Coen Brothers' seminal '90s black comedy Fargo as a TV miniseries. If they heard the news on a Monday in the presence of a Republican, chances are they were triply depressed. But Fargo actually subverted our expectations, turning out to be a seriously thrilling, funny, beautifully-cast and written piece of television, not to mention a total visual treat. We were wrong. It happens.
Such a success was season 1 that season 2 was commissioned. This being an anthology series in the vein of True Detective, the cast and story are all-new, although one character is carried over. Kind of. Here's the trailer.
Now that you're feeling a little more stoked, let's take a look at all we know so far about season 2 of Fargo.
The cast is pretty damn fantastic
FX knows how to cast a series. Whether it's the mighty Justified or the underrated Soviet spy drama The Americans, they regularly pull in actors of a seriously high calibre, and this sophomore season of Fargo looks no different.
First up, we've got Kirsten Dunst, somebody who's been doing solid work for almost two decades now but still somehow feels underappreciated. Hopefully this role is enough to get her some long-overdue recognition. Her character Peggy Blomquist (props to whoever dreamed up that name) is a small-town girl with big city dreams, but given the level of blood in the trailer, it seems pretty likely that those dreams might be on ice for a while.
And then there's Ted Danson, sporting some magnificent facial hair. He's playing the Sheriff of Rock County, but hopefully he's not entirely a goodie - Danson is so good at playing bad, as evidenced by his arc on Damages, that it would almost feel like a waste if he didn't have a sinister side.
Rounding out the leads are Jean Smart and Patrick Wilson. Smart has popped up on countless TV shows over the years, my personal favourite being her over-bearing and outrageous mother figure in Samantha Who?, whilst Wilson is basically the king of the indie film. His character Lou Solverson appeared as Molly's father, years later, in season 1, giving us a nice bit of backward-continuity going into season 2.
Blood in the snow
What we know about the story for season 2 is thus: a murder investigation draws Solverson into a turf-war between rival mob factions across the mid-west in 1979. Which is good news for fans of the "bloodied snow noir" sub-genre which the original Fargo basically made an art form of. If nothing else, we can be pretty much certain that season 2 will look stunningly gorgeous on-screen.
Noah Hawley, Fargo's exec producer, teased the central conceit of season 2 in a little more detail: "[It's] a much bigger story, kind of an American epic. You have this small-town couple who finds themselves caught in this war between the Kansas City mafia and the Gerhardt family … They’re both crime syndicates where violence is a real factor. We’re setting up this dynamic where there are a lot of bad people sort of on a collision course and the idea is, who will emerge?" Put another way, there's going to be a whole lot of blood in the snow in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and we probably shouldn't expect all of our favourites to make it out alive.
Check out a couple more of the teasers and featurettes FX has produced to whet our appetites in the run-up to season 2.
Watching these really hammers home that just aren't enough TV series set in the '70s. What a decade. What a glorious time for fashion.
Fargo returns October 12. on FX, with a UK showing expected pretty soon afterwards on C4. Are you as stoked as I am? Can it top season one, or will it fall victim to the True Detective curse? Don't be shy, leave a comment...