Because I know the film so well, I'm afraid I spent the first half of the pilot episode comparing the television series (unfavorably) to the movie.
What kept me interested enough to continue watching, though, were the top-drawer performances of Billy Bob Thornton as the havoc-inducing psychopath and the outstanding Martin Freeman on loan to the New World from across the pond. Billy Bob never fails to be interesting in any role he plays, and 'Sherlock's Dr. Watson nails both the Minnesota patois and the frenetic desperation of the put-upon everyman-turned-murderer he's playing.
The pay-off for sticking with the pilot despite my reservations was huge. The plot developments in the third act are both heartbreaking and genuinely shocking. I can say that I'm really looking forward now to more excellent work from Billy Bob, Martin Freeman, and the newcomer cast in the role of the young female cop. Film devotee or no, the TV series has now totally got me.