Grinchmas 2023 · Horror · Horrorthon365 · Microreview · Television

Grinchmas 2023: ‘Fargo’ Season 5 Is a Nightmare Before Christmas, and Pointed Homage to the Original Film

Going back to the franchise’s film roots, the fifth season of Noah Hawley’s ‘Fargo’ is a fabulously updated version of the Coen Brothers’ classic source material. Dot Lyon (Juno Temple) is a typical Minnesota housewife whose main concerns are her daughter, school board meetings, and husband, in that order. But after a math curriculum meeting turned violent and Dot ends up booked and printed down at the station, her long-hidden past becomes present with a violent quickness.

Dot’s husband Wayne (David Rysdahl) is a Kia car dealership owner, but it’s not this husband who has arranged to kidnap Dot as in the 1996 movie. And here, we have a Mommy Warbucks in Mrs Lyon (Jennifer Jason Leigh) instead of the wealthy dad from the film. And Scandia’s main female cop — Frances McDormand’s counterpart replete with thick Minnesotan accent — is Indian American Indira Olmstead, played by ‘Never Have I Ever’ actor Richa Moorjani.

New characters include John Hamm as quietly sadistic white supremacist Sheriff Roy Tillman. His thuggish, confederate-flag displaying brute of a son Gator, Joe Keery going back to Steve Harrington from ‘Stranger Things’ asshole roots. And twisted hitman Ole Munch (Sam Spruell) whose ancestor was a Welsh sin eater and appears to have poisoned his descendent line. Among many others to root for, and against.

‘Fargo’ season 5 is both a Halloween show and a Christmas show, with overt thematic references to ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ that similarly blur these holidays, including a Christmas tree up at the matriarch’s manor in October and character masks like Jack Skellington and Boogie’s Boys worn by the gnarly villains.

Like all the seasons before and the movie itself, season 5 is about the butterfly effects of violence and the terrible ripples of bad choices on ourselves and others. Season 5 is particularly and gothically charming, though, with all its homage to original.

✨Minnesota nice/5 stars. Highly recommend rewatching the 1996 movie before diving into this one.✨

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Zuzu Zombie’s #Horrorthon365 project is a collection of eclectic genre watchlists with accompanying microreviews to suit the changing seasons. Horrorthon365 was sparked by a gnarly hand injury and carpal tunnel surgery gone awry, hence the flash-style reviews. After a wicked fall at home and brutal elbow fracture that required surgery, posts will be sporadic until I’m healed. In the meantime, browse the entire collection here