I just got done watching Fargo, and for the most part I was pleasantly surprised.
If you haven't heard by now, I'm a born-and-raised, probably permanent resident of rural Minnesota. I wasn't really looking forward to the premiere. Whenever the movie Fargo comes up, Minnesotans (and particularly rural Minnesotans) seem to be the butt of the joke. Naive, too nice, possibly dumb and of course the accent. It seems to be a favorite conversation topic whenever I travel internationally.
Not that I would skip the show! I enjoy the Coen brothers, and it's still about Minnesota. And having recently gotten into Sherlock, I was looking forward to seeing Martin Freeman.
As you may know, Fargo isn't even a city in Minnesota (it's in NoDak, as we like to call it). Just like the movie, most of the show doesn't seem to be set in Fargo anyway. The show is set in Bemidji. I had a long term relationship with a guy who was going to college in Bemidji, so I've spent my fair share of time there.
The accents were a little overdone, but not too bad. Martin Freeman still sounded pretty British to me though! He claims he practiced his accent by watching Youtube videos of Minnesotans, which is like...huh? Don't you have voice coaches or something? Do you think results are really that accurate if you just look up random people imitating Minnesota accents? I kind of loved all the little speech pattern things - like saying nifty and avoiding swearing. Those are totally true. It was a little annoying that he said "heck" about every three words.
I was disappointed that there don't appear to be any people of color in the show. I know Minnesota, especially rural Minnesota, is not terribly diverse, but Bemidji is adjacent to the Red Lake Indian Reservation. It would be extremely weird to walk through Bemidji and not encounter many people of Native descent. Native people are a huge part of northern Minnesota's culture. I wiki'd the show to make sure I wasn't mistaken on this and it mention Key & Peele will be making an appearance, but apparently not until the last few episodes - so I guess there will be some PoC eventually?
Oh, and as for the plot, it's pretty decent too. It follows the original spirit of the Fargo movie - dark, gory and totally weird.
Thank you for listening to these inane thoughts of a Minnesotan on "Fargo."