Praise For ‘Fargo’ Beyond Accents, Landscape

IMDB | PHOTO COURTESY  Allan Dobrescu portrays Charlie Gerhardt, a 17-year-old with cerebral palsy affecting his right arm, in FX's "Fargo." Both actor and character share the disability.
Allan Dobrescu portrays Charlie Gerhardt, a 17-year-old with cerebral palsy affecting his right arm, in FX’s “Fargo.” Both actor and character share the disability.

My Mondays have never been better.

The day I usually dread is now all I look forward to after the weekend. Why? “Fargo” is on.

FX’s crime drama started its second season last month, diving into another 10 episodes following the bloody tailspin of a beautician, a butcher, a crime family and a Missourian mafia.

All set in the Upper Midwest. Fargo, North Dakota, included (OK, so they filmed in Canada, but hey, it’s Fargo in the story).

While the accents are a little exaggerated by some actors, “Fargo” does a brilliant job in a number of areas.

Like the 1996 film of the same name, this show has nailed its landscape. Flat. White. Endless. Straight, open roads that stretch for miles. Yeah, that’s Fargo.

Beyond that, FX has a cast of champions.

Big names like Kirsten Dunst, Brad Garrett and Jeffrey Donovan line the cast, but also some little-known actors like Russell Harvard and Allan Dobrescu, who I’ve gotta highlight here.

Harvard, a deaf actor, portrayed a hit man for a Fargo mob in season 1 while Dobrescu, whose right arm is affected by cerebral palsy, portrays the grandson of a Fargo crime boss in season 2.

Both characters share the same disabilities as the actors behind them, a casting technique that I applaud.

Not only does this provide opportunities for Harvard and Dobrescu, but the realities of their disabilities are woven into the integral parts of the stories’ plots.

Heck, the writers of “Fargo” went so far as to include American Sign Language in the show’s dialogue, which made for some awesome banter between Harvard and fellow actor Adam Goldberg, another Fargo mobster in the show.

When did you last see ASL on TV? Or at all?

Furthermore, the inclusion of a teenager with cerebral palsy is just another hit of reality here. Up to three out of 1,000 babies are born with the condition, and for Dobrescu’s character, he learns to adapt, even teaching himself how to cock and fire a handgun with one hand.

So kudos to FX for being genuine in its casting and storytelling, the latter to some extent.

We don’t all talk like that, you know.

One Reply to “Praise For ‘Fargo’ Beyond Accents, Landscape”

  1. Being from the area and the same age as most of the characters in 1979, for the most part they got it right. But we certainly were well past black and white tv. They should have had the hbo excersize girls. Everyone that age left those babes playing in the background. Also bell bottoms were out of style. Levis 501s were the rage. The popular hair style was long straight parted down the middle (Ted Bundy’s favorite) otherwise it is pretty spot on. That is how we sounded (still do) and that is how mundane our lives were (yes…still is). But at least that part of Americana holds fast and true with no desire to change. My family had the first Infinite in town for almost a year as well as the first microwave and video recorder.

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