Friday, May 19, 2017

North Country

I just finished watching Season 2 of the FX series Fargo, based on the Cohen Brothers' film. Departing from the movie and the first season, this installment takes place in 1979, which beyond allowing for wonderful wardrobe, soundtrack, and cars, it also places the cop aspects in a world before DNA and databases and hyper media hysteria. I found this to be one of the most intriguing parts about this season.

We quickly learn that some of the characters are ones we met in the first season, albeit much earlier in life. Though it has no bearing on the show, it's another intriguing aspect that adds to the creation of this world that the viewer spends time in. In that time, the view become entangled in beginning of a mafia turf war between a North Dakota family and the expansion of the Kansas City mafia. Through chance events, this war crosses path with a small town in Minnesota and snares a few of the residents in its web.

The surface entertainment is certainly quality drama that is well-scripted and well-acted, but the the underlying themes are really what steal the show and reveal the reason for the time period. Society was changing drastically through the late '60s and '70s and by the time 1980 was coming around, a lot of those progressive movements were about to meet a new set of resistance. The show subtly deals with the issues of woman's rights, the changing way of big business over small town culture, and the scars of Vietnam. Thoroughly enjoyable, and I look forward to catching up with Season 3.

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