Fargo, FX's other American crime story, has been spinning clever tales (complete with the greatest character names on TV) for four seasons now. Each season of the Noah Hawley anthology series, which is inspired by the Coen Brothers' classic 1996 movie, is set in a different time and features a different cast, but all are linked by a thematic interest in greed and the movement of money, as well as a visual inventiveness that elevates them over most other TV shows stylistically. Fargo always looks great.
The wait between seasons of Fargo, however, is famously long, and Hawley hasn't confirmed whether a fifth season is in the works. In the meantime, we've collected seven other great shows that you can watch that will remind you of Fargo. This is a collection of crime anthologies, visually striking shows, and shows with quirky ensemble casts.
The first seasons of Fargo and True Detective are like siblings. They're thematically and cinematically sophisticated crime stories with excellent casts and visionary creative teams that came out within a few months of each other in 2014. For a minute there it felt like the anthology format they elevated to new heights was the future of TV. It didn't really happen that way — audiences still prefer stories told over multiple seasons — and the shows stylistically diverged a lot in further seasons. But man, that first season of True Detective is still something special. If you're reading this list, you've almost certainly watched True Detective, but there's no reason not to watch it again, because it's still one of the best seasons of TV ever made. [Watch on HBO Max]
Noah Hawley's other show is very different from Fargo, but they share a visual inventiveness and a sense that anything could happen. Legion is an X-Men-adjacent series about David Haller (Dan Stevens), a man diagnosed with schizophrenia who is actually an incredibly powerful mutant with many different superpowers. David is an extremely unreliable narrator, and you can never be sure if what you're watching is real, which makes for a very confusing experience, but also a very exciting one. Plus, the colorful, retrofuturist world of the show is just very cool to hang out in. [Watch on Hulu]
The biggest influence on Fargo besides the Coen Brothers has to be this classic TV series from David Lynch and Mark Frost that Noah Hawley has cited as one of his favorites. They're both about towns in the middle of nowhere populated by quirky characters, some of whom are purely good and some of whom are of an elemental evil. Fargo's offbeat sense of humor and supernatural flourishes are highly reminiscent of Twin Peaks. Again, you've probably already watched it, but it's always worth watching again. [Watch on Netflix, Hulu, Paramount+]
Noah Hawley's most kindred TV spirit is Mr. Robot creator-writer-director-producer Sam Esmail. His USA Network psychological thriller about Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a brilliant computer hacker who is trying to topple the global financial order and restore power to the people but is suffering from serious mental health issues, is one of the best-looking and most relevant shows of the past decade. It got a lot of attention in its out-of-nowhere first season that had fizzled by the time it ended its run in 2019, so it ended as one of TV's most underrated shows. It's really worth catching up on. [Watch on Amazon Prime]
This Amazon thriller is the newest show on this list, and while it's not much like Fargo in terms of plot — it's about various people fighting to obtain a mysterious comic book that may foretell how to stop the end of the world — it's a lot like it in that it's a visually striking show with a dark sense of humor and a lot of violence. It even has a relentless, borderline not-human killer character like Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) or Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare) or any number of other Fargo/Coens characters in Arby, a nerdy, raisin-loving hitman played by Christopher Denham. [Watch on Amazon Prime]
USA's murder mystery doesn't have Fargo's visual panache or sense of humor, but it's doing reliably strong work in the crime anthology series space. Bill Pullman plays Harry Ambrose, a homicide detective in upstate New York who every season investigates a new case in which he knows who the killer is, he just has to figure out why he or she did it. It's novelistic and consistently well-acted. Fargo Season 3 and The Sinner Season 2 both feature the great Carrie Coon. [Watch on Netflix]
I must add a caveat to my recommendation of this limited series and acknowledge that it's not for everyone, because it's extremely insane. Nicolas Winding Refn directs every episode of this story about a corrupt LAPD officer (Miles Teller) who starts carrying out vigilante justice and a cartel boss (Augusto Aguilera) who wants to corner the crime industry in Los Angeles. They are all 90 minutes long except for the last one, which is 30 minutes. It has all the things you love about Fargo — a distinctive and stylized visual identity, an accomplished cast giving it their all, heady ideas about the destructive nature of American capitalism, and a warped sense of humor — just exaggerated to a grotesque degree. It's extremely violent, glacially paced, and just generally really cynical and bleak and abject, but it's artistic in a way that TV rarely is, even Fargo. [Watch on Amazon Prime]
Fargo Seasons 1-4 are available to stream on Hulu.