5 things you think about Fargo, North Dakota — that you shouldn’t

TED Blog

Fargo: the fiction. Billy Bob Thornton stars in the FX television show Fargo. This show is based on the Coen Brothers movie, and gives the absolute wrong impression of my city. Photo: FX Fargo: the fiction. Billy Bob Thornton stars in the FX television show Fargo, which is based on the Coen Brothers movie. Both give the absolute wrong impression of my city. Photo: FX

By Greg Tehven

Fargo, North Dakota, has a skewed reputation. This city, which happens to be my hometown, rocketed to infamy thanks to the 1996 dark comedy by the Coen Brothers about a down-on-his-luck car salesman (William H. Macy) who plans to have his wife kidnapped, and the sheriff (Frances McDormand) who investigates what happens when the plan goes terribly awry. Fargo is a great film—I mean, it won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay—but it also planted some very off ideas about the city I call home. And just as the jokes were finally dissipating, FX rolled out a new, addictive TV show also called Fargo that dredged up the stereotypes anew.

I grew up on a…

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