When small town drama meets big crime, we get Fargo. Fargo is a black comedy crime drama television series that took the world by storm during the years when it aired, and this is why we have created a list of 15 shows like Fargo just for you. Fargo was created and primarily written by Noah Hawley, and is based on a previously released film of the same name.
This series follows an anthology format, with each season set in a different era and location, with a different story and new set of characters and cast. This style of storytelling especially for crime dramas have risen in popularity, and it’s all thanks to the Coen Brothers. According to the creators Each season is heavily influenced by the Coen Brothers. So If you’re a fan of the Coen Brothers’ style or this genre as a whole, then here are 15 TV shows like Fargo.
List of TV Shows Like Fargo
1. The Killing (2011)
The Killing is a crime drama that revolves around the aftermath of the murder of a young girl in the community. A murder which affects everyone in the town each in their own unique ways. A murder that has still remained unsolved.
We get in-depth investigations and detective work, quite similar to shows like Fargo. Its willingness to explore deeper themes like these is one of the many reasons I highly recommend it. As well as the way it humanizes all of its characters, especially coming off the back of such a tragic event.
2. American Crime Story (2016)
Anthology series are all the rave it seems lately, and American Crime Story, is another of the more recent series made in this style. Its plots are always centered around big trials or crimes that dominated popular culture for months, if not years, ranging from the O.J Simpson trial Gianni Versace’s murder.
The show doesn’t just touch upon the surface, but also takes a closer look at some of the societal issues that may or may not have caused the crimes that took place, and affected their respective trials. American Crime Story delves into the complex legal, social, and cultural issues, quite similar to series like Fargo.
3. Castle Rock (2018)
Castle Rock is a psychological horror anthology series just like the show previously seen on this list. It is set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine And takes huge inspiration from stories written by Stephen King to create a brand new story for the audience to enjoy.
As usual, each season focuses on a different storyline entirely in the town of Castle Rock. Although all are creepy and weird in their own ways. Castle Rock has an unsettling atmosphere quite similar to shows like Fargo, and I would not recommend watching it alone in the dark. So make sure it’s real bright out before embarking on this cinematic journey.
4. Better Call Saul (2015)
Better Call Saul, although initially made popular due to being a prequel/sequel to Breaking Bad, is a bonafide crime drama in its own right, and some of the best TV in recent years. Similar to shows like Fargo, this show follows the story of James ‘Jimmy’ McGill, a lawyer who starts his descent into carving a niche for himself as a lawyer for criminals and the corrupt. Already seen the show? Also Read: Shows like Better Call Saul
Better Call Saul also gives us more time with some of the more interesting characters in Breaking Bad, some of whom had little screen time, some who died too early, and some who we just couldn’t get enough of. The show has garnered critical praise and is a show that I will always highly recommend.
5. True Detective (2014)
True Detective is a crime anthology series like Fargo that shows us how tiring physically, mentally and emotionally a murder investigation can prove to be, taking a toll on not just the detectives themselves but even their families who they have to return to everyday.
Featuring Matthew McConaughey in the first season, the show switches through narratives every season, with a brand new cast, storyline and setting utilized for every new season. Fans have retained high praise for its first season, especially with regard to the acting on display. However, I do feel every season is worth watching.
Also Read: Show like True Detective
6. Dexter (2006)
Dexter is named after its titular character Dexter Morgan. Dexter is an analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department. But what nobody knows is that in his spare time he is also a serial killer. But a ‘good’ serial killer, as he only targets people who have ‘beat the law’ in one way or the other, hence have not gotten their just due in terms of punishment. He takes the burden of punishing them himself.
The show is known for its dark humor, suspenseful, and in the same vein with shows like Fargo, it makes us wonder if vigilantism can be allowed if it is indeed for a good cause. It is thoughts like these that will wander in your head as you watch this bonafide classic TV series.
7. Twin Peaks (1990)
Twin Peaks has been cited by the Coen Brothers as the major inspiration behind Fargo. This show is all about an investigation into the murder of a young woman named Laura Palmer. This murder takes place in the town of Twin Peaks. And similar to shows like Fargo, it tends to explore the personal and professional lives and relationships of those tasked with solving the case, in this case Dale Cooper.
Secrets and mysteries begin to unfold and get brought to the light the more Cooper digs into the happenings in the town. For sure you must watch a show which the creators of Fargo claimed was its major inspiration. It shouldn’t even take any convincing.
Also Read: Shows like Twin Peaks
8. The End of the F***ing World (2017)
The End of the F***ing World takes us on a crazy road trip with James and Alyssa, two teenagers on a road trip to run away from all their problems and all their worries. Except they find themselves in even bigger problems than they were in initially, turning from runaways into full blown fugitives.
James is a potential psychopath who is looking to unlock his true form by murdering someone, while Alyssa is simply a rebel. They both have their ulterior motives at first, but they grow closer, and a relationship begins to form between them. The End of the F***ing World also makes use of a lot of dark comedy to push forward its plot, similar to shows like Fargo.
9. Broadchurch (2013)
When a young boy is murdered in a small town in England, police detectives are thrown into turmoil in their personal and professional lives. In Broadchurch, Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller are assigned to this case, but they soon get more than they bargained for as they uncover deeper secrets that lie beneath the surface of this town. You can also read: Shows like Broadchurch
This show is known for its dark and emotional storytelling similar to series like Fargo, and also some other shows on this list. The main plot changes every season, bringing with it a new murder to solve and new challenges to overcome, and overall, new scenes to keep audiences wracked with anxiety.
10. Mr Robot (2015)
Elliot Alderson is the protagonist in Mr Robot, however he is not Mr Robot. Elliot is a socially awkward hacker who is being wooed by a group led by Mr Robot who have the sole aim of taking down an evil corporation known as E Corp.
Bohemian Rhapsody’s Rami Malek got his big break playing Elliot in this show, and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of his acting capabilities as well as shows like Fargo. This show is sure to leave a lasting impression on you should you give it a shot.
11. Utopia (2013)
Utopia puts the future of the world in the hands of a few comic book nerds. They stumble upon an unreleased manuscript which is said to have predictions about when the next global disaster would happen. This leads them to go on a journey seeking the truth about it all
The group are however targeted by an organization known as the ‘The Network’, who are determined to retrieve the manuscript at any cost. Utopia similar to shows like Fargo is drenched in a dark striking tone. It has been praised for its layered characters, who are more than simply what meets the eye.
12. Legion (2017)
Legion is centered on David Haller, a man who all of a sudden has superpowers. He begins to learn more about these superpowers, and will soon learn the truth about his past and what brought him to this point. He soon finds that he is not alone, and is welcomed by a group of mutants.
A superhero series which somewhat fell under the radar, this series has actually been heaped with critical praise during its time on air. This series brought a new angle to the superhero genre and explored some deep psychological themes similar to shows like Fargo.
13. The Shield (2002)
The Shield is about a man’s descent into crime, slowly, steadily, but surely. Vic Mackey, played by Michael Chiklis, is the corrupt leader of a unit which he uses in any way he deems fit, without regard for the rule of law.
This series is a great showcase of how the good guys aren’t all that good sometimes. It is similar to shows like Fargo due to its ability to show both sides of the coin when it comes to morality, leaving the rest for you to decide, or judge based on the information placed before you.
14. Barry (2018)
Barry is about Barry Berkman. Formerly a full-time criminal, he decides he wants to delve into the field of acting. But his past comes calling again, and it may seem that he can’t just help himself but return back to his old life. His two personas keep clashing with each other, never giving him a minute of peace.
The show is known for its dark comedic tone similar to shows like Fargo, as well as its smooth blend of genres. Although the show is soon to be concluded after its 4th season, I still recommend you check this one out. It’s definitely a good one.
Also Read: Shows like Barry
15. The Patriot (2017)
John Tavner is The Patriot, a retired intelligence officer who now has to find work as a piping engineer, as he is finding it difficult to make ends meet. His past comes calling when he is enlisted again to prevent a disaster of catastrophic levels. Similar to shows like Fargo, The Patriot is all about weaving a web of lies and deceit, one which may sometimes be necessary in order to protect one’s family.
He is not alone in his journey, and has a team of people to help him along the way and cover his tracks in case he is about to be found out. The show makes good use of dark humor at the most timely of times, bringing some much needed levity to some aspects that really need it.
Here is a list of TV shows like Fargo that didn’t make it, which you can also check out:
1. Get Shorty (2017)
2. The Tourist (2022)
3. The Sopranos (2003)