HOLLYWOOD – Following the success of the Fargo TV show, FX have announced they have green lit a spin off TV version of the hit Coen Brothers movie: The Hudsucker Proxy.
Based on the 1994 film starring Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Newman, The Hudsucker Proxy TV show will be written by Noah Hawley and executive produced by the Coen Brothers. Hawley came by the Studio Exec Bungalow to talk about the project:
I’m really excited. We’ve done two seasons of Fargo and the third will be a real challenge but now I have enough people in place that I can kind of let it run itself and I am ready for a new challenge. Hudsucker is going to give me that.
How is it going to be different from Fargo?
Well, if you’ve seen the film you’ll know that it is a tribute to the sort of screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s and much less dark than Fargo. So we’re going to be doing that. There will be much less violence. Bruce Campbell also had a great role in the film so we’re hoping he’ll come back for us.
So there’ll be less violence?
Oh absolutely. The whole tone will be lighter and more comic. Plus we’re looking at a totally different demographic. A younger audience. This is going to be fun and youthful, colorful and with lots of music and dance. Oh and they’re going to be the Muppets as well. They are going to be working in Hudsucker Industries int he lower sections.
That sounds… very different. So it’s going to be …
You know for kids.
The Hudsucker Proxy: The Show will be broadcast in 2016.
FARGO: Season 2 – Mid-Season Review: The second season of Fargo is some great television but its depiction of women though true to the 70s period is pretty hard to stomach.
At the beginning of every episode, Fargo underlines its fictive status with the greatest lie in art ‘based on true events’. Although in the Coen Brothers’ original movie the assertion was slippery – many took them at their word at least at first – in Noah Hawley’s inspired show the repeated assertion of sober truth is weekly reminder that we are watching a brilliant blackly comic fantasy show. Yes it might be set in Minnesota and there aren’t any dragons, but this is as realistic as Game of Thrones using its comically exaggerated aw heck ordinariness as merely a counterpoint to the operatic levels of violence and the Manichean extremes of good and evil portrayed in the snowy wastes.
Season 2 sees the action shift to 1979 and unfurls as a crime turf war played out against the background of the irresistible rise to power of Ronald Reagan. Everyone is against Carter, whose original sin seems to be the oil crisis which sees people having to queue to fill up their cars as a sign of the decline of America. The characters are drawn with broad strokes. The honorable and decent police officers Patrick Wilson and Ted Danson are played with ramrod moral probity and down to earth wit. No phone footage of them beating up or shooting unarmed black men. Fargo is set before camera phones made the police act that way. On the other side are the wicked criminals, the Gerhardts and the Kansas City crew, both sounding like progressive rock bands and both with a superbly operatic and unrestrained sense of violence. In the middle are the simple folk, the Blumquists played by Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst, who have to pay for the consequences of poorly made decisions and ultimately the violence of everybody else. Missing is Billy Bob Thornton’s truly compelling performance as an avenging angel of violence, but his bemused extreme violence remains as does the opposition provided by the down to earth folks. This is a world that could easily bring forth the dualism with crayons of Reagan’s morning in America versus the Evil Empire rhetoric.
Part of this conservative universe is the treatment of women who are either dangerously duplicitous (Rachel Geller as the Gerhardt daughter), dangerously dumb bimbos (Dunst) or saintly and dying (Cristin Milioti as Betsey Solverson). The one person who could buck the trend, Floyd Gerhardt (Jean Smart) Matriarch of the Gerhardts is seen consistently as ineffective and always a step behind her feral offspring as well as her adversaries. Now this is a mid-season review and I’m betting that the worm might well turn at some point but thus far what is really missing from the show is not Billy Bob Thornton’s entertaining grandstanding but Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman)’s strong woman at the core.
Fargo remains one of the best and most unlikely successes of recent television. And it is testament to how good it is that I haven’t even mentioned Nick Offerman’s turn as town lawyer and blow hard.