One of the many, many reasons I absolutely loved Fargo — the FX drama that builds upon the 1996 Coen Brothers movie of the same name — is that it’s filled with allegories and digressions and asides that may or may not mean something, but they always make you think. (More on that later.) So in the spirit of the show, let’s start with one of my own — or rather, one that, like this show, builds upon somebody else’s. READ FULL STORY
Tag: FX (1-8 of 8)
At this point, the best way for Louis C.K. to surprise us would be to write a happy ending. And that’s precisely what the auteur comedian did in the fourth-season finale of his undefinable FX series.
As Darren Franich wrote earlier this month, Louie can’t really be categorized. It’s a comedy, until it isn’t; it obeys the laws of continuity, until it doesn’t; it’s grounded by recurring scenes of C.K. doing standup, until those scenes fall by the wayside. The only predictable thing about the show’s ambitious fourth year has been its unpredictability. (Well, that and Louie’s bum luck with women, which is a whole separate issue.) Which is why season four’s two-part finale was so refreshing: The hourlong closer set aside flights of absurd fancy (like Hurricane Jasmine Forsythe) and time jumps (the extended flashback in “Elevator Part 4;” most of “In the Woods”) and meandering 10-minute monologues about the pleasures of being a single, straight, white comedian with no responsibilities (Todd Barry’s segment in “Elevator Part 5″) in favor of a simple, slow-building story about Louie’s complicated relationship with Pamela, the woman who broke his heart back in season two. READ FULL STORY
Watching the FX drama Fargo has sometimes felt like playing a game of I Spy: What loving homage to the original Coen brothers film might pop up next?
That’s not to say the series is a mere knockoff or shoddy imitation. Though heavily inspired by the Coens’ 1996 classic and rooted in its lore, the 10-episode adaptation more than stands on its own, thanks in large part to a stunning study in character transformation by star Martin Freeman. As Lester Nygaard, he has gone snow-booted toe-to-toe with some of the darkest criminals (Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo) and most dogged cops (Allison Tolman as Molly Solverson) on television. Still, it’s been a lot of fun to connect the dots between the film and series.
With the season winding to an end — the finale airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on FX — we present a near-comprehensive guide to the Fargo Easter eggs that have so far popped up in the show. [SPOILERS AHEAD!] READ FULL STORY
Fargo‘s fourth episode, “Eating the Blame,” didn’t simply pay homage to the 1996 Coen Brothers film that inspired the series. In it, writer Noah Hawley and director Randall Einhorn actually confirmed that both the series and movie take place within the same universe.
The episode begins with a young Stavros Milos and his family attempting to escape a life of debt by fleeing to Minnesota in 1987. When they run out of gas, a desperate Stavros has his prayers answered… by an ice scraper sticking out of the snow at the side of the road.
It’s the same ice scraper seen in the 1996 film. In fact, it’s the same snowy field and fence where kidnapper Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) buried close to $1 million in cash for later retrieval. Carl met an untimely demise, but now fans know what happened to that money — Stavros Milos (Oliver Platt) used it on his way to becoming the Supermarket King. READ FULL STORY
In this week’s cover story, EW goes on the set of Sons of Anarchy, FX’s addictive drama that’s gone from a leather-clad family drama about an outlaw motorcycle club to a dark exploration of human brutality. The deaths are coming so fast and so furious this season the drama’s nearly 5 million fans have worked themselves into a frenzy trying to figure out which major character will meet their maker. Will Tig finally pay for killing Pope’s daughter? Is Clay going to get his just reward? Will Jax go down over the sins of his stepfather?
“The irony of the crown is you can’t necessarily sit at the head of that table and not become Clay,” series creator Kurt Sutter tells EW. “Although in Jax’s mind, he is the anti‑Clay. He’s doing everything for completely different reasons. But the truth is, the behavior is still the same…when you’re outlaws who live by a code of violence, can you really step away from the violence?”
Sutter goes on to tease who may — or may not — bite the dust before the drama’s series finale in 2014.
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'The Bridge' premiere react: Lady detectives, Asperger's syndrome, and the makings of a compelling new drama
Not too long ago, it was hard to find a female crime fighter on TV who wasn’t a gum-chewing tough broad who wore stilettos while chasing down bad guys. Now, women who work in law enforcement wear more sensible shoes, but there’s a new explanation for why they’re just as emotionally withdrawn as their male partners: blame psychological issues. On Homeland, C.I.A. agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) has bipolar disorder, an illness that apparently causes her to have no-strings-attached hook-ups with strangers in bars. On Bones, forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel) displays many of the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, including an obsession with data and an inability to read other people in social situations. (“I don’t know what that means” is her catchphrase.) Guys aren’t immune to the trend either: in the very first episode of Hannibal, someone asks FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) where he falls “on the spectrum,” and his character does have some traits that could read as autistic, including a lack of eye contact and an ability to sympathize with animals. But when female characters have these conditions, the implications are slightly different. These roles sometimes suggest that only a woman who has trouble forming relationships could possibly be so laser-focused on her career.
Maybe that’s why the character of Detective Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) bothers me so much on The Bridge, an otherwise compulsively watchable drama about the border wars between the U.S. and Mexico. Though it’s never mentioned in the first episode—and I’m basing this review only on the first episode, which just aired tonight, in order to avoid spoilers—Sonya has Asperger’s, a fact that’s supposed to explain her lack of empathy, as well as her penchant for stripping down to her sports bra in the middle of the police department, in full view of her much older boss (he’s played by the great Ted Levine of it-places-the-lotion-in-the-basket fame). Granted, Sonya is supposed to be a rugged vet from El Paso, Texas, and the fact that she’s played by a German ex-model doesn’t help. With her mannequin beauty, rigid movements, and slight accent, Kruger seems less like a woman on the spectrum trying to pass as a border cop than a Euro-cyborg trying to pass as human. (Watch her eyes shifting in this clip, from 0:23 to 0:25, and tell me she’s not a fembot.) But it’s not Kruger’s fault that Sonya sometimes talks like her brain has been programmed by Siri. “I’m sorry if I didn’t exercise empathy,” she tells a murder victim’s husband, right after bluntly informing him that his wife is dead. Although she’s undeniably awkward, the more Sonya ignores people’s feelings, the closer she gets to solving crimes. When a man gets locked inside a car that’s been rigged with a bomb, she calls him on his cell phone and grills him for details while the last seconds of his life tick down to zero. She seems to support that same old boys’ club cliche: the less emotion you betray, the better you’ll be at your job.
The home where American Horror Story‘s first season was set — Los Angeles’s Alfred F. Rosenheim Mansion, a six-bedroom beast that also features a ballroom and Tiffany stained glass — hasn’t really been the site of numerous ghastly murders. It is, however, just a 20 minute drive from the Beverly Hills home where Erik and Lyle Menendez shot and killed both their parents in 1989, 25 minutes from the site of the Wonderland Murders, and 25 more minutes from the spot where silent film star Ramon Novarro was savagely beaten and left to die by two male prostitutes.
How do I know all this? Thank American Horror Story‘s new “Murder Houses in Your Area” web site, which allows users to discover the grisly killings that took place in their own neighborhoods. Simply plug in an address, and the site will quickly generate a map of murder houses near you.
Fargo as a TV series? You betcha. Joel and Ethan Coen are reportedly executive producing an adaptation of their Academy Award-winning movie for the network that brought us Sons of Anarchy, Justified, and American Horror Story.
This new project isn’t the first attempt to bring Fargo to the small screen — a Coen-free pilot for a Fargo TV series was filmed in 1997 and ultimately aired as part of a special in 2003. The first televised Fargo starred Edie Falco as Marge Gunderson, the pregnant police officer immortalized by Frances McDormand in the film — and if it were still 1997, I think Falco would be an excellent choice to strap on Marge’s fake belly for this new show as well.
But since Falco and McDormand are both a little too old to credibly play pregnant — and because William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi are a little busy with movie careers and cable series — which actors could step into their snowboots for this new Fargo? READ FULL STORY
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