How Far Will “Fargo” Go?

Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo. Photo: Chris Large/FX
Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo. Photo: Chris Large/FX
Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo in Fargo. Photo: Chris Large/FX

And this week’s “James Spader Creepy TV Guy” award goes to Billy Bob Thornton in Fargo. You think Twin Peaks was an odd show? Try Fargo. Based on the Coen brothers’ film, this TV adaptation, written brilliantly by Noah Hawley (and executive produced by the Coens), stars Thornton as Lorne Malvo, a drifter who insinuates himself into the lives of the people in a small town in Minnesota. One of the town folk is an unhappy insurance salesman — Martin Freeman’s Lester Nygaard. Freeman, who can be seen in the BBC’s Sherlock as Dr. John Watson and in the Hobbit films, is perfect as the indecisive Lester — ripe for Malvo’s guiding hand to murder and mayhem. The cast, also including Colin Hanks as cop Gus Grimley and Allison Tolman as persistent and observant cop Molly Solverson, is superb; for good measure, there’s also Keith Carradine as Molly’s father Lou, Kate Walsh and Oliver Platt. The writing is more Coen brothers than the Coen brothers, with lines for Malvo that are typically weird and cryptic, like “Highly irregular is the time I found a human foot in the toaster-oven. This is just odd.” Well, Billy Bob, the entire show is just odd.

Blake McIver, Scott Nevins and Emerson Collins take to the People's Couch
Take it to The People’s Couch

The People’s Couch
My new guilty pleasure is Bravo’s The People’s Couch, in which we watch people watching television, including, of course, Bravo. Bazinga!

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The show is peopled by three gay pals —  Blake McIver, Scott Nevins and Emerson Collins — who kinda lead the whole pack; bestie writing partners Julie Goldman and Brandy Howard; three best friends of a certain age, Teddi, Ayn and Sue; the Egbers, a family that watches together on a king-sized bed; the Resnicks, another family gathered on their couch; sisters Cathy and Destiney; and sisters Amanda and Kenya, among others. And the shows they watch? They run the gamut from Game of Thrones, Gordon Ramsey and My Bionic Pet to Dance Moms, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Celebrity Wife Swap. My personal fave is when the three gay friends watch Game of Thrones and Nevins wears his blow-up crown. (Don’t ask me, ask him!)

Rachel Nichols and Magda Apanowicz with The Orb
Nichols and Apanowicz with The Orb

The SyFy Universe
By now, you all know that I’m a sci-fi geek, obsessed with quantum physics, time-travel and the space-time continuum. Well, folks, Continuum is not only back, but it’s back in time. Alec (Erik Knudsen) decides to use the orb to go back one week to save Emily (Magda Apanowicz), and Kiera (Rachel Nichols) follows. Two Alecs, two Kieras, one Carlos: a lot of confusion. Watching Alec avoid himself and wondering if he’s changed the future by interfering with the past is the whole conundrum of time-travel. Would the prevention of Lincoln’s or Kennedy’s assassinations have changed the course of history? In theory, yes, but when one of the Kieras is killed, what does that mean for the future of the other Kiera? And which Kiera was killed? Don’t ya just love this time-travel stuff? Well, I gotta go retake my SAT’s so I can get into Smith the next time around.

This Week on the Tube…
After two more episodes of Turn, I know this is a keeper. Even the three-minute recaps are mesmerizing. And it’s all true!

Is it Starsky and Hutch, or Javie and Kevin?
Starsky and Hutch or Javie and Kevin?

Best TV Moment of the Week…
Castle going all ‘70s Boogie Nights to find a killer. Best Costumes: It’s a tie! Lanie (Tamala Jones) in a hot, revealing, red dress complete with ‘fro, and Kevin and Javier (Seamus Dever, Jon Huertas) as a pair of Starsky and Hutch clones. Props to Beckett (Stana Katic) for enduring the sexist remarks of a witness trapped in 1978.

And, don’t me get started…
What the f**k happened to Mad Men? Once it was the best thing on TV. Now, with two uber-boring episodes of its final season already aired, it has nowhere to go but up. Please, Don Draper, don’t go out with a whimper.

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The TV Junkie was preceded in her family by a large mahogany cabinet that housed a small screen with a large speaker below. Thus began her love affair with the older sibling in the living room. Theirs was a tenuous relationship, prone to mishaps (forgetting to use the special "screen" for Winky Dink), joyous events (Julie & Carol at Carnegie Hall), sad moments (Clarabelle saying goodbye to the Peanut Gallery) and a wide range of emotions (the funeral of John F. Kennedy and the Inauguration of Barack Obama). From Captain Video to Star Trek to Lost; from A Brighter Day to The Edge of Night to One Life to Live; from Peyton Place to Dynasty to Desperate Housewives; there has never been a greater love, than that of the TVJ and the best friend a girl could ever have. Like "The TV Junkie" on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @thetvjunkiepml.