The sprawling cast of Fargo season one was one of the factors that elevated the show to critical acclaim and awards contention. Movie stars Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton led the charge with able support from the lesser-known Allison Tolman, the well-known character actors Oliver Platt, Kate Walsh, Keith Carradine and Bob Odenkirk, and even comedians Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele. Thornton won a Golden Globe for his efforts and was nominated for an Emmy alongside Freeman, Hanks and Tolman.
With its anthology structure necessitating a brand new cast, season two of Fargo has a significant pedigree to live up to. Unlike the tumultuous casting process for the second season of fellow anthology True Detective, the casting announcements for Fargo season two came in a few short bursts. The forthcoming episodes, like Fargo season one, offers a mixture of high-profile names (Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson) and acclaimed character actors (Jean Smart, Jesse Plemons and Nick Offerman).
One of two new Fargo season two teasers (see above) offers short glimpses of those new cast members, along with other supporting players like Jeffrey Donovan, Bokeem Woodbine and Brad Garrett. The glimpses showcase dark humor when Donovan’s character offers another man a kiss before brutally tasing him, and ominous drama when Smart’s character warns, “I’m not afraid of a war.”
Meanwhile, the other new Fargo teaser (see above) points out the Midwestern characters’ penchant for using the phrase “OK then” and hints at a strain of sexism in the 1970s-set season, as Garrett’s character explains who Smart’s character is and then says, “She’s tough...but a girl.”
Here is the official premise for Fargo season two (for more, read the full Fargo season two synopsis):
The all new “true crime” case of Fargo’s new chapter travels back to 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Luverne, Minnesota, where a young State Police Officer “Lou Solverson” (Wilson), recently back from Vietnam, investigates a case involving a local crime gang and a major Mob syndicate.
FX’s marketing for Fargo season two has, in general, emphasized character and mood over the plot. The video teasers in particular focus on showing the range of acting talent on display, while also providing glimpses at the art direction, costuming and cinematography that made the first season a standout. With a sturdy cast and strong critical buzz out of the 2015 Television Critics Association Press Tour, Fargo season two seems poised to avoid the sophomore slump.
There’s always a chance that these short teasers are showing the finest moments from an otherwise disappointing season, and that these clips make better use of the performers than the actual show will. But based on these clips, it seems a safe bet that Fargo will remain worth watching when it returns.
Fargo season two debuts on FX in October 2015.