IMDb > Mary McDonnell > News
Quicklinks
Top Links
biography by votes awardsNewsDesk
Filmographies
overviewby type by year by ratings by votes awards by genre by keyword
Biographical
biography other works publicity photo galleryNewsDesk
External Links
official sites miscellaneous photographs sound clips video clips

Connect with IMDb



2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

1-20 of 60 items from 2017   « Prev | Next »


Major Crimes: Season Seven Still Possible Despite TNT Cancellation

16 October 2017 6:14 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Is Major Crimes really gone for good? Recently creator James Duff revealed the cancelled TNT TV show might still have a chance at a seventh season, Deadline reports.As we reported earlier, TNT has cancelled the crime drama after six seasons. The series follows the further investigations of the detectives in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Major Crimes division. Stars include Mary McDonnell, Tony Denison, Gw Bailey, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Robert Gossett, Phillip P. Keene, Graham Patrick Martin, Kearran Giovanni, and Jonathan Del Arco.Read More… »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

Permalink | Report a problem


Major Crimes: Will Kyra Sedgwick Return for the Series Finale? And Other Burning Questions Answered

6 October 2017 7:03 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Closure will elude longtime fans of The Closer as its Major Crimes spinoff concludes its run in January.

RelatedMajor Crimes Creator on Cancellation: ‘So Sorry’ I Couldn’t Prevent This

As first reported by TVLine, the upcoming sixth season of Major Crimes (premiering Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 98/8c) will be its last. And though series creator James Duff saw the writing on the wall around the time he was midway through producing the upcoming 13-episode run, an encore by Kyra Sedgwick’s Brenda Leigh Johnson aka The Closer’s titular crimesolver was not in the cards.

Ever since The Closer »

Permalink | Report a problem


Major Crimes Cancellation: TNT Series Creator & Star React

4 October 2017 1:30 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Yesterday, TNT announced its Major Crimes TV show would end with the upcoming sixth season. Now, creator James Duff, and star Mary McDonnell are reacting to the news that Major Crimes is ending, and it sounds like a cancellation to us. Check out their reactions, below, and let us know what you think. A sequel to the Kyra Sedgwick crime drama, The Closer, Major Crimes made its TNT debut back in August of 2012. The police procedural series also stars G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Phillip P. Keene, Graham Patrick Martin, Kearran Giovanni, Jonathan Del Arco, Leonard Roberts, Jessica Meraz and Daniel di Tomasso. Jon Tenney, Ransford Doherty, Kathe Mazur, Rene Rosado, Dawnn Lewis, and Bill Brochtrup recur. The sixth and final season premieres on Halloween, October 31st, at 9:00pm (Et/Pt). TNT says two-episode »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

Permalink | Report a problem


Major Crimes

3 October 2017 5:17 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Network: TNTEpisodes: 105 (hour)Seasons: SixTV show dates: August 13, 2012 -- January 16, 2018Series status: EndingPerformers include: Mary McDonnell, G. W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Phillip P. Keene, Robert Gossett, Jonathan del Arco, Kearran Giovanni, Jon Tenney, and Graham Patrick Martin.TV show description:      This TV series is a continuation of The Closer, following the departure of Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick).The detectives in the Los Angeles Police Department's Major Crimes division are still reeling from Brenda's leaving and this creates a tough transition for the newly appointed head of the division, Captain Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell). Unlike their previous chief, Raydor is determined to lead the department with a rule-based, more team-oriented approach, sharing the credit with the people with »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

Permalink | Report a problem


Major Crimes Creator on Cancellation: 'So Sorry' I Couldn't Prevent This

3 October 2017 3:03 PM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Major Crimes creator James Duff is busy directing the 13th episode of Season 6 aka what will now be the series finale, but he did find time to fire off a few thoughts on the announcement that this will be the TNT drama’s farewell season.

RelatedCable/Streaming Scorecard: What’s Renewed? What’s Cancelled?

“I do want you to know that it was not at all my idea, nor did I want to leave the show,” Duff shared on Facebook Tuesday afternoon, hours after TVLine first reported the news. “The actors, the writers, the producers and our talented crew would »

Permalink | Report a problem


TNT’s ‘Major Crimes’ to End With Season 6

3 October 2017 10:24 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

The upcoming sixth season of TNT’s “Major Crimes” will be its last, the network announced Tuesday. The drama, which stars Mary McDonnell as Commander Sharon Raydor, kicks off its final season Oct. 31, with the two-episode series finale airing Jan. 16. Created by James Duff, the show launched in August 2012 as a spinoff of “The Closer,” the drama that featured Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Leigh Johnson. The cast of “Crimes” includes G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz and Phillip P. Keene. Also Read: Kyra Sedgwick on When She Learned Husband Kevin Bacon Is Her Cousin: 'Most White People. »

- Ryan Gajewski

Permalink | Report a problem


TNT's 'Major Crimes' to End After Season 6

3 October 2017 10:07 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - TV News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - TV News news »

TNT is closing the book on Major Crimes.

The Mary McDonnell procedural is set to end after its upcoming sixth season, the cabler announced Tuesday.

The sixth season is set to premiere Oct. 31 on the Turner-owned network, with the two-hour series finale dated for Jan. 16. This upcoming season will also see the cop drama celebrate its 100th episode. 

“The whole company of Major Crimes is dedicated to making 2017-18 the best season yet,” said series creator James Duff. “We will finish our long run on TNT with a finale worthy of our loyal viewers and their years of unstinting support.”

»

- Kate Stanhope

Permalink | Report a problem


Major Crimes to End After Season 6

3 October 2017 10:00 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Cops, out.

TNT’s Major Crimes will end after its upcoming sixth season, TVLine has learned exclusively.

RelatedMajor Crimes Season 6: Billy Burke to Return as Phillip Stroh

What will now be the crime drama’s 13-episode farewell run kicks off on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 9/8c, with the milestone Episode 100 landing on Dec. 19. The double-episode series finale will then air Jan. 16, 2018.

“The whole company of Major Crimes is dedicated to making [this] the best season yet,” says series creator James Duff. “We will finish our long run on TNT with a finale worthy of our loyal viewers and their years of unstinting support. »

Permalink | Report a problem


The 15 Greatest TV Presidents of All Time, Ranked

22 August 2017 1:19 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

On-screen presidents are an unusual collection because they don’t always reflect what we want from a leader. (Though these days, it seems that consensus is fracturing more than ever.)

Some are abrasive, some are diabolical. Others are worse at their job than you would expect. So when picking the “best” TV versions of U.S. presidents, it’s just as important to consider what these individuals brought to the position that previous inhabitants did not, for good or ill.

Despite the occasional missteps of these fictional Commanders-in-Chief, many of them do represent the theoretical ideals that a national leader should uphold: a clear grasp of the office’s privilege, an understanding of the ramifications of key policy decisions, and the power that words can have to send a message to the entire nation.

We kept this particular roundup to fictional Presidents of the United States. You could make a »

- Michael Schneider and Steve Greene

Permalink | Report a problem


The 15 Greatest TV Presidents of All Time, Ranked

22 August 2017 1:19 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

On-screen presidents are an unusual collection because they don’t always reflect what we want from a leader. (Though these days, it seems that consensus is fracturing more than ever.)

Some are abrasive, some are diabolical. Others are worse at their job than you would expect. So when picking the “best” TV versions of U.S. presidents, it’s just as important to consider what these individuals brought to the position that previous inhabitants did not, for good or ill.

Despite the occasional missteps of these fictional Commanders-in-Chief, many of them do represent the theoretical ideals that a national leader should uphold: a clear grasp of the office’s privilege, an understanding of the ramifications of key policy decisions, and the power that words can have to send a message to the entire nation.

We kept this particular roundup to fictional Presidents of the United States. You could make a »

- Michael Schneider and Steve Greene

Permalink | Report a problem


‘Major Crimes’ Gets Season 6 Premiere Date On TNT; Unveils Promo

7 August 2017 10:35 AM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

TNT has slotted Halloween, October 31 for the Season 6 premiere of its hit crime drama series Major Crimes. The network also released a first-look promo. In Season 6, as Cmdr. Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) grows accustomed to her new boss, Assistant Chief Leo Mason (Leonard Roberts), the detectives find themselves questioning their faith in the rapidly changing priorities of the justice system and their ability to reason through difficult changes in their personal… »

Permalink | Report a problem


Universal Cable Productions (Ucp) Invades San Diego Comic Con 2017! Red Carpet Coverage!

30 July 2017 9:50 AM, PDT | Age of the Nerd | See recent Age of the Nerd news »

(Aotn) Stars from across the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment portfolio, including cast members of Syfy’s “The Magicians” and USA Network’s “Colony” shared laughs and libations during Universal Cable Productions’ 8th annual San Diego Comic Con party.

The event was held at Omnia Nightclub where guests were treated to”Psych: The Movie” pineapple cocktails in honor of the upcoming reunion flick on USA, “Blood Drive” inspired blood orange margaritas, ‘Happy!”themed desserts inspired by the Dark Horse Comic’s character of the same name, and ‘Mr.Robot’s” newly released Funko Pop! Vinyl figures.

A variety of Ucp talent attended the festivities including “Happy’s!”Christopher Meloni and producer Grant Marrison; “Colony’s” Sarah Wayne Callies, Tory Kittles, Peter Jacobson; Producer Gale Ann Hurd; “Psych:The Movie’s” James Roday, Dulé Hill, Maggie Lawson, Kristen Nelson, and producer Steve Franks; “The Magicians’” Jason Ralph, Stella Maeve, Arjun Gupta, Olivia Taylor Dudley, »

- Johnnie Crow

Permalink | Report a problem


'Battlestar Galactica' Would Be "Fundamentally Different" Today, Cast Says at Comic-Con Reunion

20 July 2017 12:02 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - TV News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - TV News news »

In the lore of Battlestar Galactica, there was always something special about the number five. For 2017, two other numbers have pinged on the Dradis: two and 25.

For the second time this year, creator Ronald D. Moore and members of the Battlestar Galactica cast reunited together on stage to look back on the modern science-fiction classic. First appearing at the Atx Television Festival earlier this summer in Austin, the BSG crew joined forces again Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con, with cast members including Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck), Mary McDonnell (President Roslin), Grace Park (Boomer), Tricia Helfer (Six), Michael Trucco (Anders), Tahmoh Penikett (Helo) »

- Josh Wigler

Permalink | Report a problem


Comic-Con 2017: Syfy’s Panel & Screening Schedule Includes Channel Zero: No-end House, Sharknado 5, Blood Drive

18 July 2017 11:37 AM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Syfy will have a huge presence at this year's Comic-Con, with special screenings of Channel Zero: No-End House and Blood Drive, as well as a plethora of panels, including Sharknado 5: Global Swarming:

Press Release: New York, NY – July 5, 2017 – As Syfy celebrates its 25th anniversary and its recent brand reboot, the network is headed to San Diego Comic-Con bigger and better than ever before. In addition to 15 Syfy series panels or screenings, the network is rolling out a host of events, activations and parties designed to leave no fan behind. And Syfy will once again extend the fun to fans nationwide, with a three-night live TV event, Syfy Live From Comic-con, hosted by Zachary Levi.

“San Diego Comic-Con is the pinnacle event of the year for sci-fi enthusiasts, and as the only network dedicated to the genre 24/7, we can’t wait to celebrate in a big way,” said Alexandra Shapiro, »

- Derek Anderson

Permalink | Report a problem


Major Crimes: Is the TNT TV Series Cancelled or Renewed for Season Six?

7 July 2017 8:09 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Vulture WatchIs Lapd Captain Sharon Raydor still on the case? Has the Major Crimes TV show been cancelled or renewed for a sixth season on TNT? The television vulture is watching all the latest cancellation and renewal news, so this page is the place to track the status of Major Crimes season six. Bookmark it, or subscribe for the latest updates. Remember, the television vulture is watching your shows. Are you?  What's This TV Show About?This spinoff of Kyra Sedgwick's crime drama, The Closer, also airs on the cable channel. Major Crimes follows the further investigations by the detectives in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Major Crimes division. Mary McDonnell, G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz, Kearran Giovanni, Phillip P. Keene, Jonathan Del Arco, and Graham Patrick Martin star. Recurring in season five are: Camryn Manheim, Jon Tenney, Kathe Mazur, Jeri Ryan, Rene Rosado, Leonard Roberts, Dawnn Lewis, Daniel »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

Permalink | Report a problem


Battlestar Galactica: Reboot Cast to Reunite at Comic-Con

5 July 2017 8:33 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Battlestar Galactica fans are in for a treat. Deadline reports the cast of the Syfy TV show will reunite at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.A reboot of the 1978 sci-fi series, the drama follows the surviving humans of the Twelve Colonies of Man as they search the galaxy for the fabled 13th colony — Earth. The cast includes Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, Katee Sackhoff, Michael Hogan, and Aaron Douglas. The series ran for four seasons before ending in 2009.Read More… »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

Permalink | Report a problem


Syfy’s ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Creator & Cast To Reunite At Comic-Con

5 July 2017 8:16 AM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Following their recent get-together at Atx, the creator and cast of Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica will reunite again at San Diego’s Comic-Con this month. Confirmed to attend so far are creator Ron Moore and cast members Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff, Mary McDonnell and Grace Park. More will be announced in the coming days. Moore’s re-imaging of the 1978 series ran for four seasons from 2004-09. At the recent Atx festival, he recalled his initial hesitation in doing a series… »

Permalink | Report a problem


Fargo Season 3, Episode 10 Review: Somebody to Love

22 June 2017 10:25 AM, PDT | LRMonline.com | See recent LRM Online news »

I gotta be honest, I wasn't looking forward to the Fargo Season 3 finale. There were a lot of balls up in the air and no clear way to tie off all the dangling plot threads. Last season's finale, with the crazy motel shootout and the sudden spaceship appearance, kind of left a bad taste in my mouth -- don't give me space aliens in my neo-noir, crime drama and then fail to explain it. Unfortunately, as events in this finale play out, prepare to be somewhat disappointed... but in a good way, I guess.

Gloria (Carrie Coon) writes a resignation letter in the cold opening, she's cleaned out her desk and headed for the door when the phone rings. IRS guy, Larue Dollard (Hamish Linklater), has built an epic case of fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion -- some of it actually illegal. Nikki (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) sent the care package to Dollard to take down Emmit. He's papered his conference room walls with the documents, it looks like a big deal but it's really not -- we later learn this is all just a false show of bravado, another red herring in a season of red herrings, and it makes the case (again) that we can't trust our eyes.

Related - Fargo Season 3, Episode 9 Review: Aporia

However, with that single phone call everything changes. Gloria's back... in an IRS team-up! What? Not the sexy, dramatic moment you were hoping for? Ok, then how about Nikki and Mr. Wrench (Russell Harvard) sawing-off shotguns and prepping for a heavy assault inside a dimly lit motel room. That's more like it, amirite?

Varga (David Thewlis) has sequestered Emmit (Ewan McGregor) in his house, playing out this minor subplot's endgame. He's surrounded himself with a platoon of patrolling gunmen, fearful of the Swango and Wrench alliance -- rightly so. Emmit is tired, he just wants it all to be over, and though he makes a desperate play to kill Varga, he predictably fizzles. Emmit's story (and by extension, Ray's story too) is the least interesting of the season; things just happen to Emmit and he does little to stop them. It's not that Emmit is an unsympathetic character, rather it's that he's barely present at all, an ultimately inconsequential plot device. Fargo Season 3 has been all about Varga, Nikki, and Gloria.

Nikki lures Varga and his fireteam to an abandoned storage facility. They head for a third floor rendezvous, which is shot like a horror movie. A grim corridor of death awaits as they exit the elevator -- It's a trap (sorry, my inner Star Wars nerd got loose for a moment)!!! Shockingly, we don't witness the bloody ambush -- creator Noah Hawley is showing restraint? Naturally, Varga makes a hasty exit, sacrificing his own men to save himself. Nikki and Wrench subsequently settle their accounts, and Wrench reluctantly walks away with a pile of cash -- he's proven to be the most loyal and honest broker in this warped season, next to Gloria of course.

And then there's Ruby Goldfarb (Mary McDonnell). I kept wondering what an actress of her stature was doing in such a tiny cameo role? It didn't add up. And now we know why: she was the big boss all along; the least among us rises again. Goldfarb takes over Stussy Enterprises and shows Emmit the door in an epic power play!

Feels like we all need a warm hug in a nice Minnesota quilt, eh?

Alas, Nikki's story ends in tragedy and disgrace. She tracks down Emmit on a lonely stretch of Minnesota highway and levels a shotgun on him... until a state trooper rolls up and things go South. I can't say it makes much sense, Nikki is a smart character, a survivor -- it betrays her intelligence to go out in such a stupid fashion. But she's happier now, I guess, reunited with Ray (if you believe in that kind of thing).

But wait, there's more! Another time jump, and it's five years later. Emmit has reconciled with his family; Sy is... alive; Varga's still in the wind; and the big IRS case resulted in a limp misdemeanor and probation (Emmit's illicit earnings allegedly stashed overseas), until Mr. Wrench proves his loyalty one last time and finally settles Nikki's score with Emmit.

On a more positive note, Gloria has moved on, she's a special agent in the Department of Homeland Security. Varga turns up in a Dhs holding cell, and so we finally get our Gloria vs. Varga faceoff (referring to himself now as Daniel Rand, a software salesman out of Brussels -- Hawley is a Marvel fan too, apparently). We've come full-circle, the ending scene is reminiscent of the season's cold opening in East Germany. The dialog here is sharp and there's a fun back-and-forth tension to the scene, but it doesn't tell us very much. Varga tries to convince Gloria that he is about to go free and she contends that he's headed for federal lockup... we wait for the door behind Gloria to open. Will Varga, Rand, the Devil, or whoever he truly is walk away free or in handcuffs? The clocks ticks down and the lights go dark, roll credits. Hunh?

It's a convoluted, kind of unsatisfying ending... but I gotta give Hawley credit, he avoided the formula. I'm glad the season ended on character rather than spectacle. Season 3 really didn't connect with Seasons 1 and 2, and that's Ok. There's no good way to end any complicated story, particularly one this quirky and oddball. What's actually so surprising about this finale is that it's all about the ladies. Noah Hawley is a progressive! It's not the slam bang ending we were expecting, but dammit, it's the ending we deserved! We wish you well in your future endeavors agent Burgle, it's well-earned.

Grade: B

Was this the ending to Fargo Season 3 that you expected? Let us know in the comments down below!

Don't forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page. Lrm Lego Origins, Daredevil's Best Fight, Steve McQueen, and More! -- The Lrm Weekend #LRM_Weekend #DavidKozlowski https://t.co/1T4EZ0Yfo4 about 18 minutes ago »

- David Kozlowski

Permalink | Report a problem


‘Fargo’ Season 3 Squandered TV’s Greatest Cast By Trying to Be Every Show At Once

22 June 2017 6:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

After two seasons worth of magic, “FargoSeason 3 — or Year 3, to use the preferred nomenclature — was finally unable to outrun the specter of Peak TV hovering over its shoulder. Even with one of the greatest TV casts ever assembled, the story of feuding brothers and a nefarious conglomerate slowed the series’ hot streak and brought it back down from the realm of tightly constructed, riveting crime drama into the realm of ordinary.

Wednesday night’s season finale showed why the rest of the previous episodes lacked the distinctive spirit that’s helped make “Fargo” into its own creative entity. The previous two seasons have funneled their experiences through the police officer Solversons at the center: Alison Tolman’s Molly and Patrick Wilson’s Lou both anchored their respective seasons amidst a maelstrom of criminal (and in notable instances, supernatural) activity.

Read More: Noah Hawley on the ‘FargoFinale and Why the Fate of Gloria Burgle Matters More Than You Think

But with a near-unprecedented cast including Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, David Thewlis, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scoot McNairy, Mary McDonnell, Shea Wigham and Michael Stuhlbarg, “Fargo” had that unique but very real problem of juggling an ensemble of actors who were each carrying their own shows within their respective plot lines. Gloria Burgle’s pursuit, the existential quandary of loyalty from Sy, and the classic, biblical blood feud between the two Stussy brothers all seemed like they were vying for supremacy in a show that tried to have it every way.

With all that impressive output in front of the camera, the various adventures that these characters went on seemed too stylistically disparate to be part of a focused season of television. Take Episode 8, “Who Rules the Land of Denial?” as an example. It’s a striking hour of TV, but one that owed its visual and philosophical approach to some of the other biggest TV shows on air right now. Nikki’s kitten-filled encounter in the bowling alley dipped into “Twin Peaks” territory, complete with Ray Wise’s presence. The bloody escape from the prison bus into the woods was practically a dimly lit “Game of Thrones” set-piece, complete with a surprise garroting.

These scenes came in the wake of the overtly Don Hertzfeldt-ian animation sequence from Episode 3 and presaged a “Leftovers”-adjacent piano theme at the end of Episode 9 that would probably make Max Richter do a double take. “Fargo” has always worn its influences on it sleeve, often with an accompanying wink and nod. This season felt like the first time some of the most gorgeous images on TV were in service of a faithful recreation of what’s worked elsewhere, rather than a visionary reinterpretation.

A series that had previously managed to bring together a nuanced look at opposing forces of good and evil managed to play this season fairly straight. By Thewlis’ own admission, V.M. Varga is a character completely without any redeeming qualities. He’s an out-and-out villain from frame one, drab business attire and all. The closest that he comes to any kind of sympathy is his sniveling, tiptoeing towards the elevator after he’s found out he’s under attack in the season finale.

Varga’s two defining characteristics — his rotting teeth and propensity to vomit up his nervous binge eating — were far more literal manifestations of the evil rotting him from inside and out than the show ever burdened its predecessors with. Lorne Malvo and Mike Milligan, previous “Fargo” heavies, were more than just sophisticated bad guys. Their calm demeanor, without much affectation, hinted at the insidious nature of human corruptibility. By placing all its narrative weight on a character who showed so much outward, borderline-cartoonish villainy, Season 3 robbed its central conflict of comparable substance.

And as far as the victim of Varga’s plotting, Emmit Stussy never really moved beyond being a hapless victim, closer to the bumbling cycle of unfortunate circumstances of Jerry Lundegaard from the “Fargo” film than the poisonous, bitter edge that Martin Freeman added to Lester Nygaard. As a result, Ewan McGregor’s double casting never really had the opportunity to move beyond a half-baked treatise on the nature of free will.

One of the reasons “Fargo” succeeded in creating something all its own in preceding installments is that it guided its ambiguities towards a greater purpose. Season 3’s many allegories and literary allusions left little room for interpretation or subversion. Whether listening to Billy Bob Thornton explain the opening of “Peter and the Wolf,” Varga explain Lenin’s appreciation Beethoven, or a series of animated characters float through the Stussy-authored sci-fi universe, each of these came with a blatant, explicit connection to the characters we saw on the screen. In previous seasons, those conclusions would be left to the audience to draw.

The conversation between Gloria and Winnie in Season 3’s penultimate episode also helped to underline this idea. A mystery that our own Ben Travers pointed out fairly early on — Gloria’s invisibility to technology — was made more intriguing by the explanatory distance the show took from it. But in baring her soul to Winnie, there was Gloria expressing all of those concerns out loud in convenient, metaphorical detail. The old “Fargo” would have had her merely stare down the bathroom sink sensor before finally realizing that her circumstances had changed, taking out any references to it in the conversation that came before.

As one final parting confirmation, the show delivered its Season 3 version of a time jump; a transformation that seemed so radical in Season 1 but here seems like a tacked-on afterthought. That audience handholding became even more literal when, without leaving the audience to fill in the blanks, it put the aftermath of the Stussy fortune in direct on-screen text. You could argue that this is a playful, twisted diversion meant to make Emmit’s kitchen assassination all the more shocking. But instead it seemed like a final emphatic exclamation point on the season’s special brand of reinforced cynicism.

Read More: The Coen Brothers’ Rules: 4 Filmmaking Practices That Give ‘Fargo’ Its Cinematic Consistency

All told, this season of “Fargo” was far from without merit. As much as Sy was hamstrung for most of the season, Stuhlbarg still proved that he’s one of the greatest working actors and a worthy addition to the series’ roster of Coen Brothers alumni. The Ray Stussy apartment ambush sequence is one of the best-directed scenes of the year. And the finale’s Mexican standoff was delivered in such a simple and unadorned way that made its consequences all the more tragic.

But even in the artistry of showing the two bodies fall from far away, Nikki’s character farewell underlined how much this version of “Fargo” reveled in making each new development as definitive as possible. A bullet hole to the forehead leaves little room for doubt. “Fargo” is still one of TVs most visceral crime shows, but one thing it didn’t borrow from its fellow 2017 TV shows was to let the mystery be.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Related stories'Fargo' Review: Season 3 Finale Ends the Debate and Tells Us If We've Been Wasting Our BreathNoah Hawley on the 'Fargo' Finale and Why the Fate of Gloria Burgle Matters More Than You ThinkHow Editors of 'The Crown,' 'American Gods,' and 'This Is Us' Achieved Emotional Power »

- Steve Greene

Permalink | Report a problem


‘Fargo’ Season 3 Squandered TV’s Greatest Cast By Trying to Be Every Show At Once

22 June 2017 6:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

After two seasons worth of magic, “FargoSeason 3 — or Year 3, to use the preferred nomenclature — was finally unable to outrun the specter of Peak TV hovering over its shoulder. Even with one of the greatest TV casts ever assembled, the story of feuding brothers and a nefarious conglomerate slowed the series’ hot streak and brought it back down from the realm of tightly constructed, riveting crime drama into the realm of ordinary.

Wednesday night’s season finale showed why the rest of the previous episodes lacked the distinctive spirit that’s helped make “Fargo” into its own creative entity. The previous two seasons have funneled their experiences through the police officer Solversons at the center: Alison Tolman’s Molly and Patrick Wilson’s Lou both anchored their respective seasons amidst a maelstrom of criminal (and in notable instances, supernatural) activity.

Read More: Noah Hawley on the ‘FargoFinale and Why the Fate of Gloria Burgle Matters More Than You Think

But with a near-unprecedented cast including Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, David Thewlis, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scoot McNairy, Mary McDonnell, Shea Wigham and Michael Stuhlbarg, “Fargo” had that unique but very real problem of juggling an ensemble of actors who were each carrying their own shows within their respective plot lines. Gloria Burgle’s pursuit, the existential quandary of loyalty from Sy, and the classic, biblical blood feud between the two Stussy brothers all seemed like they were vying for supremacy in a show that tried to have it every way.

With all that impressive output in front of the camera, the various adventures that these characters went on seemed too stylistically disparate to be part of a focused season of television. Take Episode 8, “Who Rules the Land of Denial?” as an example. It’s a striking hour of TV, but one that owed its visual and philosophical approach to some of the other biggest TV shows on air right now. Nikki’s kitten-filled encounter in the bowling alley dipped into “Twin Peaks” territory, complete with Ray Wise’s presence. The bloody escape from the prison bus into the woods was practically a dimly lit “Game of Thrones” set-piece, complete with a surprise garroting.

These scenes came in the wake of the overtly Don Hertzfeldt-ian animation sequence from Episode 3 and presaged a “Leftovers”-adjacent piano theme at the end of Episode 9 that would probably make Max Richter do a double take. “Fargo” has always worn its influences on it sleeve, often with an accompanying wink and nod. This season felt like the first time some of the most gorgeous images on TV were in service of a faithful recreation of what’s worked elsewhere, rather than a visionary reinterpretation.

A series that had previously managed to bring together a nuanced look at opposing forces of good and evil managed to play this season fairly straight. By Thewlis’ own admission, V.M. Varga is a character completely without any redeeming qualities. He’s an out-and-out villain from frame one, drab business attire and all. The closest that he comes to any kind of sympathy is his sniveling, tiptoeing towards the elevator after he’s found out he’s under attack in the season finale.

Varga’s two defining characteristics — his rotting teeth and propensity to vomit up his nervous binge eating — were far more literal manifestations of the evil rotting him from inside and out than the show ever burdened its predecessors with. Lorne Malvo and Mike Milligan, previous “Fargo” heavies, were more than just sophisticated bad guys. Their calm demeanor, without much affectation, hinted at the insidious nature of human corruptibility. By placing all its narrative weight on a character who showed so much outward, borderline-cartoonish villainy, Season 3 robbed its central conflict of comparable substance.

And as far as the victim of Varga’s plotting, Emmit Stussy never really moved beyond being a hapless victim, closer to the bumbling cycle of unfortunate circumstances of Jerry Lundegaard from the “Fargo” film than the poisonous, bitter edge that Martin Freeman added to Lester Nygaard. As a result, Ewan McGregor’s double casting never really had the opportunity to move beyond a half-baked treatise on the nature of free will.

One of the reasons “Fargo” succeeded in creating something all its own in preceding installments is that it guided its ambiguities towards a greater purpose. Season 3’s many allegories and literary allusions left little room for interpretation or subversion. Whether listening to Billy Bob Thornton explain the opening of “Peter and the Wolf,” Varga explain Lenin’s appreciation Beethoven, or a series of animated characters float through the Stussy-authored sci-fi universe, each of these came with a blatant, explicit connection to the characters we saw on the screen. In previous seasons, those conclusions would be left to the audience to draw.

The conversation between Gloria and Winnie in Season 3’s penultimate episode also helped to underline this idea. A mystery that our own Ben Travers pointed out fairly early on — Gloria’s invisibility to technology — was made more intriguing by the explanatory distance the show took from it. But in baring her soul to Winnie, there was Gloria expressing all of those concerns out loud in convenient, metaphorical detail. The old “Fargo” would have had her merely stare down the bathroom sink sensor before finally realizing that her circumstances had changed, taking out any references to it in the conversation that came before.

As one final parting confirmation, the show delivered its Season 3 version of a time jump; a transformation that seemed so radical in Season 1 but here seems like a tacked-on afterthought. That audience handholding became even more literal when, without leaving the audience to fill in the blanks, it put the aftermath of the Stussy fortune in direct on-screen text. You could argue that this is a playful, twisted diversion meant to make Emmit’s kitchen assassination all the more shocking. But instead it seemed like a final emphatic exclamation point on the season’s special brand of reinforced cynicism.

Read More: The Coen Brothers’ Rules: 4 Filmmaking Practices That Give ‘Fargo’ Its Cinematic Consistency

All told, this season of “Fargo” was far from without merit. As much as Sy was hamstrung for most of the season, Stuhlbarg still proved that he’s one of the greatest working actors and a worthy addition to the series’ roster of Coen Brothers alumni. The Ray Stussy apartment ambush sequence is one of the best-directed scenes of the year. And the finale’s Mexican standoff was delivered in such a simple and unadorned way that made its consequences all the more tragic.

But even in the artistry of showing the two bodies fall from far away, Nikki’s character farewell underlined how much this version of “Fargo” reveled in making each new development as definitive as possible. A bullet hole to the forehead leaves little room for doubt. “Fargo” is still one of TVs most visceral crime shows, but one thing it didn’t borrow from its fellow 2017 TV shows was to let the mystery be.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Related stories'Fargo' Review: Season 3 Finale Ends the Debate and Tells Us If We've Been Wasting Our BreathNoah Hawley on the 'Fargo' Finale and Why the Fate of Gloria Burgle Matters More Than You ThinkHow Editors of 'The Crown,' 'American Gods,' and 'This Is Us' Achieved Emotional Power »

- Steve Greene

Permalink | Report a problem


2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

1-20 of 60 items from 2017   « Prev | Next »


IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners