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Fargo Season 4 Review (Spoiler-Free)

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This Fargo review contains no spoilers.

Time has become an odd thing to track throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but it still seems hard to believe that it’s been over three years since the last season of Noah Hawley’s Fargo wrapped on FX. Fargo season 3 was often ponderous, existential, and meandering. It also routinely gave off a vibe that Hawley was growing tired of the Midwest, Coen-worshipping box that he had placed himself in. Perhaps time away from the anthology series allowed Hawley to return with a bit more energy, but also a narrower focus. Instead of a twisty-turny story fueled by happenstance and bad luck, Fargo season 4 is a ‘50s-set, pulpy tale of two warring Kansas City gangs. Some may call this season’s story timely, but it would be relevant in any era of American history. This is a tale of immigrants, race, and what it means to be an American.

Gone are V.M. Varga’s long-winded musings about perception shaping reality and in their place are several characters spouting off dialogue like “You know why America loves a crime story? Because America is a crime story.” If you drank every time a character waxed about America, Americans, or American values, you’d be drunk before the first commercial break. It wouldn’t be helpful to be drunk, because there are a lot of characters to keep track of, each with a gloriously ridiculous name. 

The themes may be more simplistic, but the sprawling ensemble cast includes the Italian crime syndicate the Fadda Family, anchored by brothers Josto (Jason Schwartzman) and Gaetano (Salvatore Esposito, from the Italian series Gomorrah) and the Cannon Limited gang headed by Loy Cannon (Chris Rock) and his right-hand man Doctor Senator (character actor Glynn Turman). There’s also the Fadda family’s Irish wildcard Rabbi Milligan (Ben Whishaw) and slightly off nurse Oraetta Mayflower (Jessie Buckley, recently seen in I’m Thinking of Ending Things) sporting the Minnesota accent to remind you which show you’re watching. Oh, and don’t forget twitchy corrupt cop Odis Weff (Jack Huston), arrogant U.S. Marshall Dick “Deafy” Wickware (Timothy Olyphant), fugitive lesbian couple Zelmare Roulette (Karen Aldridge) and Swanee Capp (Kelsey Asbille), and local morticians Dibrell (Anji White) and Thurman (Andrew Bird) Smutney, along with their precocious 16-year-old daughter Ethelrida (Emyri Crutchfield). Keeping up?

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Resident Evil: The origin story of Mr. X

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Mr. X is the ultimate stalker. In the original Resident Evil 2, Mr. X hounds your every move during the "B Scenario" (i.e., your second playthrough with a different character), but in the remake, he is a much more constant threat. Despite his numerous appearances, Mr. X remains shrouded in mystery.

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Ratings: Discovery Encore Flies Low for CBS; Big Brother, Family Feud Top Night

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In the latest TV show ratings, CBS proper’s launch of Star Trek: Discovery‘s full first season on Thursday night drew 1.7 million total viewers and a 0.2 demo rating, shy of what a Bull rerun did in the time slot (1.9 mil/0.3) two weeks ago.

Discovery‘s series premiere had previously aired on CBS exactly three years ago, concurrent with the sci-fi drama’s debut on CBS All Access (where Season 3 begins streaming Oct. 15).

Opening the Eye’s night, Big Brother (4 mil/1.1) rose a tenth in the demo week-to-week and dominated the night in that measure. Love Island (1.9 mil/0.5) ticked up to Thursday highs.

Over on ABC (and pending adjustment due NFL preemption in Miami), Celebrity Family Feud (5.1 mil/0.7) delivered Thursday’s largest audience. Leading out of that, Press Your Luck did 3.5 mil/0.6, followed by Match Game‘s 2.9 mil/0.5.

NBC’s long-MIA The Wall returned to 2.9 mil and a 0.4.

The Live+Same Day numbers reported in our ratings column do not reflect a show’s overall performance, given the increased use of delayed playback via DVR and streaming platforms, plus out-of-home viewing. These numbers (Nielsen fast nationals, unless denoted as finals) instead aim to simply illustrate trends or superlatives. Warning: Contents may be hot!

Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email [email protected] and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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Homestead Rescue: Raney Ranch: New Series Coming to Discovery

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In its first two seasons, The Wall has been a moderate success for NBC. However, it’s been off the air for two years. Will this be a case of “absence making the heart grow fonder” and translate into big ratings for NBC or, will viewers have forgotten show even existed? Will The Wall be cancelled or renewed for season four? Stay tuned.

Airing on the NBC television network, The Wall TV show is hosted by Chris Hardwick. The game follows pairs of players as they pursue a cash prize of up to $12 million. When a team answers a trivia question correctly, a green ball drops from the top of the grid-like wall and bounces randomly toward the bottom of the four-stories high structure. At the bottom of the wall, the ball will land in one of many slots, each with a value of $1 to $1 million. That value is added to the team’s total winnings. If the team misses a question, a red ball descends toward a random slot. The resulting amount is then deducted from the team’s total. In this game, players need both the answers and lucky bounces, to win a big cash prize.

The ratings are typically the best indication of a show’s chances of staying on the air. The higher the ratings, the better the chances for survival. This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available.

9/25 update: You can see the latest night’s ratings in context.

Note: If you’re not seeing the updated charts, please try reloading the page or view them here and here.

Note: Because NBC has broken season three up between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 broadcast seasons, the ratings are presented here in two different charts. The averages are included on the respective season charts (2019-20 and 2020-21).

For comparisons: The second half of season two of The Wall (which aired during the 2017-18 season) averaged a 1.05 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 5.20 million viewers.

Note: These are the final national numbers (unless noted with an “*”). These are different from the fast affiliate numbers which are just estimates of the actual ratings. The final nationals are typically released within 24 hours of the programming or, in the case of weekends and holidays, a couple days later.

 

What do you think? Do you like the The Wall TV series on NBC? Should it be cancelled or renewed for a fourth season?

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