How much Fargo was in the TV show “Fargo”? Let’s listen to a true Fargoan explain. Don’t worry – it’s not a recap of a show you didn’t see. It’s something quite different. How did eminent domain affect the Mary Tyler Moore show? Why did a one-hit-wonder rocker end up dead in his car smelling of gasoline? Why do I think of the seven hills of Rome when someone mentions Wild Bill Hickok? The Ramble explains all.

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Members have made 14 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Leslie Watkins Member

    During the holidays I binged watched the second season of Fargo (with the cast above). I thought it was quite good except that it got off on a tangent at the end and would have been better if it had been cut by a couple of episodes. (I could have definitely done without the conversation between the detective and candidate Reagan.) But despite the violence and the utter insanity of the lives of the characters, I found it very watchable and could see the impact of the Coen brothers throughout. (Regarding the title, I bet lots of people would get the question wrong if asked what state Fargo is located in. I bet most would say Minnesota.)

    • #1
    • January 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm
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  2. Profile photo of 1967mustangman Member

    I am really happy James is doing The Ramble. Mo Lileks is Mo betta.

    • #2
    • January 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm
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  3. Profile photo of Cunctator Inactive

    I cannot thank Mr Lileks enough for his continuing cultural observations – and of note, with his “Bleat” website, he is the modern day Pepys. I am a little annoyed that I have to work to find out the answers to questions posed on his website, but it’s maybe too self-absorbed to want to be spoon-fed.

    By the way, I was a little annoyed with a Ricochet flagship podcast about a year and a half back where Pepys was mentioned by RBCL, but JL didn’t get acknowledgement for his excellent archive.

    • #3
    • January 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm
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  4. Profile photo of Dustoff Member

    James……..really……..Deadwood was filmed in………Califormia? Say it ain’t so James. Say it ain’t so. On the otherhand, great reason to open a great bottle of Malbec; Argentina of course. Unless, the grapes were grown in Brazil. Oh what the heck! Thanks Mr. Lileks. Ramble on Bro.

    • #4
    • January 6, 2016 at 8:07 pm
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  5. Profile photo of Reese Member

    Awe, that’s sad that MTM’s statue was removed from the Nicollette Mall. I saw it there when strolling during a meeting of the Health Physics Society in about ’09. (Date is approximately when I last saw a movie in a theater (Star Trek) while playing hooky from the meeting.

    I was thrilled to see the statue, and I’m sure I played the same theme in my head that day as I heard during this Ramble, especially the kitten at the end (same with WKRP in Cincinatti).

    • #5
    • January 6, 2016 at 8:20 pm
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  6. Profile photo of SParker Member

    Nothing really compares to watching the forgettable Ryan O’Neal film, The Driver, living in the city the car chases are shot in, and trying to reconcile the traffic pattern with reality. Funny if you lived here. It was at least a chance to reprise the old Stooges joke:

    “It’s a one-way street!”

    “We’re only going one way.”

    • #6
    • January 6, 2016 at 9:25 pm
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  7. Profile photo of James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks Post author

    Hey, thanks for listening! And for the kind words. Reese is on to something with that kitten-at-the-end / WKRP remark. The “sitcom theme tied to a particular city” subject omitted one example, which the opening and closing music addressed.

    • #7
    • January 6, 2016 at 11:28 pm
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  8. Profile photo of Fricosis Guy Coolidge

    James Lileks:Hey, thanks for listening! And for the kind words. Reese is on to something with that kitten-at-the-end / WKRP remark. The “sitcom theme tied to a particular city” subject omitted one example, which the opening and closing music addressed.

    Umm…a sitcom helmed by a famed segue stomper?

    • #8
    • January 7, 2016 at 6:18 am
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  9. Profile photo of Don Tillman Member

    James Lileks:The “sitcom theme tied to a particular city” subject omitted one example, which the opening and closing music addressed.

    The podcast theme sounded totally familiar but I couldn’t place it right away. Of course! That particular neuron that hasn’t been boinked in an awful long time.

    —-

    I can imagine a business opportunity, a set of package tour of cities where television shows are placed, highlighting the locations of the exterior shots.

    • #9
    • January 8, 2016 at 10:45 am
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  10. Profile photo of Egg Man Member

    Let’s not let the bumper music get the short shrift. James happened to miss WRKP in Cincinnati, but Blue Yeti was on top of it (the song are the closing credits). Of course, I don’t think anyone in the show ever ventured outside, with the notable exception of Les Nesman’s live broadcast to cover the infamous Turkey Giveaway.

    As it turns out, it’s somewhat of a parody. I used to watch the show in reruns and was never able to figure out what the heck they were singing. I found out a few years ago that the singers created a version with gibberish as kind of a ‘placeholder’ for what real lyrics were supposed to sound like. Eventually, someone had the idea to leave the gibberish in as a parody of incomprehensible rock songs.

    PS: I guess Lileks beat me to the mention–that’s what I get for hitting “post” several hours after typing.

    • #10
    • January 8, 2016 at 10:51 am
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  11. Profile photo of Mitchell Morgan Thatcher

    Hmm, TV / movie theme songs that captured the essence of the cities they were set in. Long running TV show Dallas pretty much nailed it. Then there’s Jan Hammer’s unforgettable Miami Vice. I never watched the show but I always liked the intro. There’s Dexter of course for a more modern reference but that’s pure Dexter and not Miami at all. Honolulu has an abundance of riches with both Magnum P.I. and THE ULTIMATE Hawaii 5-0.

    • #11
    • January 8, 2016 at 11:13 am
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  12. Profile photo of Randy Weivoda Thatcher

    James, are you aware that we are going to have a Ricochet Meetup In Minneapolis in March? We’d love to see you there.

    • #12
    • January 8, 2016 at 1:56 pm
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  13. Profile photo of Reese Member

    James Lileks:Hey, thanks for listening! And for the kind words. Reese is on to something with that kitten-at-the-end / WKRP remark. The “sitcom theme tied to a particular city” subject omitted one example, which the opening and closing music addressed.

    Yes, I don’t know the song, except that it’s used in the closing credits of ‘KRP, followed by the kitty.

    • #13
    • January 8, 2016 at 5:26 pm
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  14. Profile photo of William Boot Member

    William Sanderson starred in one of the best episodes of one of the best TV series ever to be discontinued before the big backstory could reach a denouement. I’m referring to “Life,” a mid-2000s series on NBC. I just checked and it’s still streaming on Netflix.

    • #14
    • January 17, 2016 at 10:43 am
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