While the world may never know what a genuine Coen brothers TV show would look like, Fargo might just be the best danged alternative that could ever exist. Darkly hilarious, deeply disturbing and erratically violent, Fargo isn’t a series that is destined to please everyone, but critics and audiences love it. FX announced that audience amounted to just over 4.1 million total viewers for the night, with 1.79 million in the key 18-49 demographic. Those numbers don’t make it a gee golly runaway success or anything, but it’s far from the slippery start that Billy Bob Thornton’s Lorne Malvo has in the beginning of the episode.

Approximately 2.6 million tuned into Fargo’s 10 p.m. ET airing, which Coming Soon points out was a 100% increase over the audience watching the lead-in program, the broadcast debut of Baltasar Kormákur’s Contraband. The rest of the ratings came from the immediate second viewing at the awkward hour of 11:37 p.m. ET, and FX will be paying close attention to the Live+7 results that latecomer DVR viewers bring in. The word of mouth is sure to be fantastic over the next few days. In fact, I wouldn’t be upset if you readers took a second right now to tell someone to watch it. But come right back.

“The Crocodile Dilemma,” as the premiere was titled, dives smack dab into the drab life Lester Nygaard, played beautifully by Martin Freeman as the put upon everyman who finally snaps beneath the weight of a nowhere job, a nagging wife and an adult bully’s antagonism. Lester heads into dark territory after a chance meeting with Malvo, a shadowy henchman of sorts whose blind sense of justice and morality make him both an antihero and a real asshole. Bodies start piling up before the local police even know what to do, but it’ll be an absolute treat to watch the joyful Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman), the nauseous Bill Olson (Bob Odenkirk) and Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks) try and get to the bottom of things before the bottom swallows them whole.

As our own Kelly showed in her review, it’s hard to delve into details about this show without giving away spoilers, because something noteworthy happens every six minutes or so. And it all makes you do something like this.


Next week’s episode, “The Rooster Prince,” will take us down deeper into the mess, as [SPOILER]. Sounds crazy, right? In case you missed the first episode, check out the first seven minutes below. Then you’ll have no g-d choice but to seek out the whole thing.

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