There goes the Minnesota tourism industry

The movie Fargo warped the image of Minnesota—and now the FX channel is going to be showing a new, 10 episode miniseries titled… Fargo, starring Bilbo Baggins with a Minnesota accent.

An original adaptation of the Academy Award®-winning feature film, Fargo features an all-new “true crime” story and follows a new case and new characters, all entrenched in the trademark humor, murder and “Minnesota nice” that made the film an enduring classic.

Yep, that’s exactly what living in rural Minnesota is like: funny accents, and grim, understated humor over all the dead bodies littering the snow. It’s a sensibility that has always informed my blog, dontchaknow.


  1. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Loved the movie, we’ll see about the FX series. I’ll watch until I don’t.

  2. reasonbe says

    I’ve never understand society’s love of murder for entertainment purposes. Yeah, I’m a wet blanket. These acts and their consequences are horrific and yet they are reduced to neat & tidy episodes for soap sales. And they sell a lot of soap. I wonder if a pitch is being made right now for a series set in Kabul featuring a conflicted Taliban youth preparing for an election massacre. oh the possibilities.

  3. mhph says

    He’s certainly doing something with his voice, but I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call it a Minnesota accent.

  4. gussnarp says

    Without Bill Macy or Frances McDormand, I just don’t think I’m interested.

  5. =8)-DX says

    I remember watching halfway through Fargo, then thinking: “I don’t care about these idiots or which of them dies.” and stopped watching. The series looks even less interesting, including even more horrible acting and long “meaninful” boring scenes.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    It sounds just like life in North Sweden!
    We are so bloodthirsty we instigated the last Swedish witchhunt.

    — — — — — — — — —
    Please, please include the “hello, friendos” guy from that other film.
    And add some monsters, as an excuse to get Riddick involved.
    And since we are talking Swedish descendants there is an opening for “Let the right one in” spinoffs.
    Towards the end of the film, Peter Griffin appears with a chain saw, but the concept of “just kill the bad guys” turns out to be too complex for him resulting in a massacre.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    …and a wendigo! And zombies!*
    (A naked female alien one, like that film from the 1970s)

    The original santa (from “Foreign Imports”) turns up and children who lie start disappearing…

  8. carlie says

    We’ll see. I’m thinking of opening a wood-chipper store in the MoA.

    Selling wood chippers? Nah. Sell wood chips, each with a burned-in quote from the movie, for $5 apiece. Be sure to have at least 5 varieties so people will want to collect them all. You’ll make millions.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    Rev. BigDumbChimp,
    Is that Ranxerox on your icon? He should have a role, too. Hell, he should be the main character.

  10. David Marjanović says

    “I got these… nifty pens.”

    You also have magic cars.
    People don’t need seatbelts when driving them…

    They’re Trabis.

    Minnesota has *imagine blood-dripping font* COMMUNISM.

    (…Oh. Disclaimer: Trabis do have seatbelts on the front seats.)

    Please, please include the “hello, friendos” guy from that other film.

    Which one? All I know is the Simpsons episode!

    The original santa (from “Foreign Imports”)

    *turns pale*

  11. playonwords says

    Shouldn’t there be a storyline about a crazed university Professor who goes round persecuting Christians and threatening Dudebros? Further on in the series we discover that the Prof is in fact the high priest of a cult that worships tentacled elder beings killing the sacrifices then disposing of the remains in tanks of flesh eating fish.

  12. twas brillig (stevem) says

    But he’s NOT (simply) Bilbo!!! He’s Doctor Watson (from BBC’s Sherlock) and Arthur Dent (from the movie, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), not to mention Jim from the original The Office [Ricky Gervais’ creation].
    All of these characters seem perfectly appropriate for the Fargo scenario; if it is anything like the “dreadful” movie. The movie was interesting for being upbeat while simultaneously being depressing and slow. I interpreted it as being intentionally contradictory and mildly confusing; to represent what it must “really” be like to live in that Middle-Of-Nowhere part of the country. Sorry Minnesota: Been there, Done that, Gone elsewhere now.

  13. gmacs says

    starring Bilbo Baggins with a Minnesota accent.

    Um, if it’s anything like the movie, it will actually be a North Dakota or Wisconsin accent. I was probably one of the few in Minnesota who liked that movie, but the accents were pretty bad. Well, except the old guy maybe.

    What I want to know is what is up with serial killer shows lately? Especially the ones based on movies?

  14. gussnarp says

    @=8)-DX – À chacun son goût and all that, but I find your clearly irrational hatred of Fargo disturbing ;-)

  15. =8)-DX says

    @gussnarp #20
    It was more a case of “what’s the point?” and the decision to stop watching was entirely rational. Perhaps I should rewatch it or I’m getting it confused with another film. Sorry in that case.

  16. Jason Nishiyama says

    Since it’s impossible to get to Minnesota from Hollywood, it’s all filmed in southern Alberta….

  17. says

    Oh, gee – It kind of looks like Saskatchewan to me! Uff Da! No meatloaf, but we did make Tater Tot Hotdish last night (for reals). It was good.

  18. mothra says

    If the tourism industry does go (ahem) ‘south’, you will be spared scenes such as I witnessed in the more southern Dakota. A family is watching two immature bighorn sheep wandering along a shale outcropping. After much deliberation the man turns to his family and says: “Yep, thoes are antelope alright.” I never found out what he said after the next bend in the road revealed a herd of about 25 antelope.

  19. Rob Grigjanis says

    birgerjohansson @11:

    And add some monsters, as an excuse to get Riddick involved.

    He already is, in a roundabout way. Vin Diesel voiced the title role in The Iron Giant, and someone combined scenes from that movie with the theme music from Fargo to make a lovely little video.

  20. says

    It seems like they got the tourism problem covered: No one outside the US can even view the FX Networks website. None of it.

    “This site is currently only available to viewers living in the United States.”

  21. says

    I loved the movie for the policewoman protagonist. Movies with awesome yet realistic female characters are rare.

    As to the popularity of murders as entertainment, I can offer my own perspective since I read and watch a lot of them. To me the appeal is multiple. It’s generally easy reading/watching, not too challenging after a long day. The ones I like offer interesting backgrounds – other countries or times. And they are escapism in the sense of being morality plays: the detectives/police are deeply committed to finding the truth, the murderer will be caught, some kind of justice will be done, the innocent will be exonerated. Ah, if only this were true in real life. *sigh*

    I do like some well drawn characters, so moral grey areas are OK with me, as long as they are, well, chaotic or neutral good. But personally I will not read “true crime” – I want my murders safely fictional thank you, no humans harmed for my entertainment. And I hate the gratuitous torture porn genre.

  22. Rey Fox says

    I loved the movie for the policewoman protagonist.

    Frances McDormand made that movie.

  23. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    I’d watch it just to see something set in a place where it’s cold. Most of the world isn’t California after all. Mind you, I hate it when they’re all bundled up and complaining about the cold and you can’t see their breath. /winter pedant

  24. chigau (違う) says

    FossilFishy #32
    Actors are valuable commodities.
    Ya can’t risk damaging them.

  25. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Come one chigau, if you watch that trailer it appears that they CGI’d in the names on some of those shop fronts. Would it kill them to CGI some breath so it actually looks cold? ;)

  26. seversky says

    Uff’d! Fargo is North Dakota. I know. I’m a Brit and I live there. It’s flat and often covered in snow. Or water when the snow melts. If they wanted a show about Minnesota they should have called it Moorhead. Or Brainerd It’s not a big deal but it’s little things like that make you want to fire up the woodchipper.

  27. says


    The movie is called “Fargo”, but most of the events in it take place in western Minnesota. In fact, part of it is in fact in Brainerd.

    As the for bad accents, if a movie takes place pretty much anywhere in the middle of the country, expect Hollywood to fuck it up. You just gotta get used to it. Fargo’s a good movie even if the accents are bad.