Three years after the previous one, Fargo is back, an anthological series by Noah Hawley, inspired by the cult of the Coen brothers, with the fourth season that differs, in part, from the previous ones. The risk of every anthological series is precisely that of having to change stories and, in part, themes from one season to another, trying, however, to maintain the same style and the same quality.
In this case, this deviation starts from the year in which the story is set: 1950, much earlier than in the previous three seasons. To be precise, initially, we are catapulted into 1920, where we are shown the mechanisms and changes of power in a Kansas City at the mercy of criminal gangs, ready to agree according to a certain code but also ready, at the right moment, to eliminate the one another for the conquest of power. We arrive, therefore, in the year in which the events are set, introducing us to the two main gangs: the Italian-American mafia, with the Fadda family, and a gang of African Americans, led by Loy Cannon (Chris Rock).
Already from this incipit, we notice a substantial difference with the other seasons and even the film itself. We are facing a history of fights between gangsters, of those we see in many other television series and of which we are also used to seeing. We, therefore, lose that originality that we expect and that has accompanied us for three seasons, showing us a story and a history that has been very inflated in recent years.
The metaphor of the criminal side within each of us is not present here, as almost all the characters are shown are real gangsters belonging to organized crime, or, as in the case of the nurse and the two fugitives, criminals for their pleasure. to do it. We do not see the emergence of the monstrous and violent side of ordinary people or the effect that crimes and lies can have. How do we not see these improvised criminals collide with events much bigger than them and with real criminals?
Here, moreover, we do not see characters that we could define “from Coen”, one above all Lorne Malvo in the first season or the Varga of the third, but real gangsters, except the nurse Mayflower or the US. Mormon Marshal played by Timothy Olyphant, although the latter could be used more.
In the fourth season of Fargo, all this is replaced by a well-made and certainly well-acted gangster story (with the presence of numerous Italian actors, such as Salvatore Esposito), but which certainly differs too much from the themes and style of that Fargo than from the film and from the wonderful first season we were used to it. This gives us the feeling of almost a normal, albeit excellent, American gangster story, which only in the very last episodes manages to give us a sort of thematic connection with the previous seasons, remembering to be called Fargo.