The Next 'Breaking Bad'? 'Fargo' Ep. 1 Is A Must-See [Video]

New television series Fargo premiered last night on FX, giving American audiences a first taste of the adaptation of the Coen Brothers famed 1996 dark comedy. Starring Martin Freeman ('The Hobbit') and Billy Bob Thornton ('Armageddon'), the new show has been developed by Noah Hawley ('Bones') but has received the blessing of Joel and Ethan Coen, who are acting as executive producers.

Martin Freeman Lester Nygaard Fargo
British Star Martin Freeman Adopts A Minnesotan Drawl For His 'Fargo' Character.

With plenty of black humour and often shockingly overblown violence, the show has been described by Hawley as more like ''a ten hour movie'', than a traditional series. Set in snowy Minnesota, Fargo is a furtherance of the '90s crime classic and has already been tipped by some as the next Breaking Bad in terms of its must-watch factor. Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Oliver Platt, Kate Walsh, Keith Carradine, Adam Goldberg, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele all take supporting roles in the show.

10 years on from the Fargo movie, Freeman stars as Lester Nygaard, a mild-mannered insurance salesman, alongside Thornton's deranged, menacing killer, Lorne Malvo, who talks Lester into being tough in episode one, 'The Crocodile's Dilemma.'

Variety draws favourable parallels to the Coen's critically-acclaimed crime thriller, No Country For Old Men: "The implacable contract killer played by Billy Bob Thornton, for example, feels like a close cousin to Javier Bardem's philosopher-murderer in 'No Country for Old Men,' down to his sadistic streak and tendency to engage prey in casual (if inordinately uncomfortable) conversation."

THR is in agreement over the strength of Thornton's casting: "The casting on Fargo is superb, but none more so than Thornton, who is absolutely magnetic as the calm killer with a penchant for wry observation.... The four episodes that FX sent are a testament to Hawley's bold belief that he could tackle such an original piece of cinema and make it work on the small screen,"

"Like the movie, the series is peculiar, with an irregular rhythm and lots of black humor, and it is also oddly winning ... 'Fargo' isn't the movie; it's a television adaptation that lives up to the spirit of the original by straying.," says the NY Times.

Billy Bob Thornton Lorne Malvo Fargo
Critics Have Almost Unanimously Praises Billy Bob Thornton's Casting As The Psychotic Killer, Lorne Malvo.

Newsday's review is slightly more tethered, albeit still positive: "Since comparisons are inevitable, let's go ahead and make more: 'Fargo,' the series, is funnier than the film, more bleakly so. [...] But the film was a masterpiece of storytelling economy that didn't spill over into side-stories, a few of which are patently ridiculous in the series [...] The film's essential weirdness felt real. The TV series' weirdness is more often just comical (or disgusting. One word: Spiders.)"

The show's UK premiere is scheduled for this Sunday upon which Channel 4 Chief Creative Officer Jay Hunt commented "Fargo is a perfect Channel 4 show - a dark comedy, beautifully directed with a stunning cast. We are excited to be bringing it to a British audience."

Fargo premieres on Channel 4 in the UK on the 20th April.

More: Martin Freeman set to play Richard III in Shakespeare adaptation.

More: What to expect from the UK premiere of 'Fargo.'


Tags: Martin Freeman - Billy Bob Thornton - Joel Cohen - Ethan Coen


More Martin Freeman

'Sherlock' Cast "Reduced to Tears" After Being Told Season 4 Plot

Steven Moffat, the creator of BBC drama Sherlock, has set tongues wagging after discussing details of the forthcoming fourth season of the show. Steven Moffat...

Creative Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 [Pictures]

The stars stepped out onto the red carpet for one of the glitziest ceremonies of awards season: the Creative Primetime Emmys.Having previously won for NBC's...

James Corden's Gone All USA: But Which Other Comedy Brits Have Flown Across The Pond?

It looks like British favourite James Corden has successfully sealed his fate as another Brit over on American shores with his appointment as the new...

A Week In Movies: Get On Up Premieres, Cooper Cooks In London, Trailers For Tusk, Mockingjay, The Hobbit And Mad Max

The stars came out for the New York premiere this week of Get on Up, starring Chadwick Boseman as Godfather of Soul James Brown. He...


Film Franchises That Go On Forever

The Hobbit trilogy has been criticised by some viewers for having too little content spread too thinly over the course of too many films. Originally,...

The Best Movie Trailers To Emerge From Comic-Con 2014

The San Diego Comic-Con may be over but the buzz surrounding its contents is only just beginning. Showing teasers left, right and centre, the convention...

Middle Earth is Ravaged By War in 'The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies' [Trailer + Pictures]

As promised by the release of Smaug from Eribor, war has descended upon Middle Earth and threatens to strip landscape of peace, serenity and beauty....

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Trailer

Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the mini-army of dwarves led by Thorin are facing an evermore deadly path in their pursuit of the Lonely Mountain and...



Martin Freeman Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Martin Freeman

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All