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Fargo (S2)
BLU-RAY disk
04.19.2016 By: Sean Wist
Fargo (S2) order download
Director:
Noah Hawley

Actors:
Patrick Wilson
Ted Danson
Kirsten Dunst
Jesse Plemons

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Season 2 of the crime saga Fargo starts off in 1979 with bloodshed in a Waffle Hut that ignites a Midwestern mob war. Caught in the middle of the action are a small-town beautician and her husband, a Minnesota state trooper, and the inhabitants of a small town in South Dakota.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I'm not a huge fan of Joel and Ethan Coen's film, FARGO. It had some great acting and a lot of moments that make one smirk, but the film's ingredients never amounted to much for me, as unique as it was. When it was announced that a TV show based on the movie was in the works, I felt like FX was REALLY reaching for something to make a show out of. Much to be surprise, I thought the first season of the show bested the film, bringing home poignant performances, gut-wrenching tension and credible action for a TV show. So how does season 2 compare? Prepare yourselves for another unpopular opinion...

I'm going to go ahead and get the good out of the way, because to be honest, season 2 of Fargo is a lot better than most of what passes for TV these days. Thanks to showrunner Noah Hawley, each and every episode is engaging and bringing forth some great acting moments. The filmmakers assembled here really know how to put together a story with some meat, of which the actors chew and spit out with infectious tenacity. Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson, and Kirsten Dunst (to name a VERY small few) shine and they're one of the main reasons that this show thrives. As it happens, the stars ARE the stars of Fargo's sophomore effort.

While season 1 surprised audiences with something fresh and different, season 2 offers up a little more of the same with monologues and riddles when you most expect them, action scenes being built up for a half an episode (rather than coming out of nowhere), and a major event towards the end of season 2 that will no doubt leave some feeling that the show has jumped the shark. For those who enjoyed season 1, there's plenty to love in season 2. It's ALMOST great. However, this season feels likes it's trying a little too hard and at the end of day, it's not quite as satisfying as the first.
THE EXTRAS
The supplementary material for Fargo has been spread over all 3 discs in order to preserve the video and audio quality of the episodes. Fortunately, the "throwaways" are contained on the first two discs with the real meat saved for disc 3. Let's take a look!

Skip Sprang TV Commercial (0:59): A TV commercial made for season 2 featuring the character Skip Sprang's typewriter store, Carriage Typewriters.

The Films of Ronald Reagan: Audio Commentary by Bruce Campbell (8:07): Given that Fargo: Season 2 utilized the acting chops of Bruce Campbell for president Ronald Reagan, it's cool to see that he was given his own featurette here. On the other hand, they went about it all wrong. This extra mostly screens the televised material you see during the show (whether it be the shooting of a movie, or a commercial, speech, etc) and Bruce Campbell commentates in character as Reagan. It's cute, but nothing nearly as entertaining as Campbell just talking about his experiences point-blank.

Waffles and Bullet Holes: A Return to Sioux Falls (44:38): This is the first "real" extra of the set and is mostly a retrospective on the second season and how it began from a monologue in season one. For those of you who didn't pick up on all the connective tissue, you're going to see the entire picture here. From story to casting to shooting, most of the beats of shooting a show on this scale are shown. It's not the most extensive behind-the-scenes look, but it should satisfy those who are curious.

Lou on Lou: A Conversation With Noah Hawley, Keith Carradine and Patrick Wilson (15:39): Patrick Wilson plays the younger iteration of Keith Carradine's character from the original series, so it's fitting that showrunner Noah Hawley sit down with the two of them (separately, for whatever reason) to talk about that character and how they chose to bring him to life.

The History of True Crime in the Midwest (3:45): Finally, Noah Hawley pulls back the curtain on his "grand vision" for Fargo and talks a bit about the fictional book from which all these stories come from. It's a neat idea introduced late in season 2 (that was narrated by Martin Freeman) and will leave you wondering which story from this book we might see in season 3.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I'm well-aware that the general populace loved season 2 as much as, or even more so than, the first season. For me, it wasn't quite as fresh or grounded, often trying too hard to follow some beats of the original season while also making unnecessary ties. With that said, even those gripes didn't hold me back from mostly enjoying one of the most engaging shows on television. The capacity in which this show can slide from genre to genre, from action to suspense to comedy, never fails to amaze me. You'd be hard-pressed to find better material from these actors, and a better crime show currently on television. Even if it wasn't a great season, it was a REALLY good one, and any fan of this show should be more than happy to own this set.
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