Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Out of Respect for the Dead: C'mon Fargo, that ain't East River So. Dak.!

I love dark comedies, especially, now that Breaking Bad is over, the TV series Fargo. So I was excited to hear repeated mentions of Sioux Falls in this second season after some tantalizing references to a "Sioux Falls incident" in season one.

Last night, Fargo finally showed "Sioux Falls" but placed it in a pine forest in the Black Hills! I moved to Sioux Falls in 2009 and the second season is set in 1979 but I'm 99.9999999% sure that Sioux Falls was always in the eastern part of the state, over 350 miles from Mount Rushmore.

The episode also featured Canistota So. Dak., which it correctly placed as vaguely near Sioux Falls but therefore also erroneously in the Black Hills. It referenced a lake near Vermillion, apparently conflating Lewis and Clark lake, which is near the city of Vermillion, SD, with East Vermillion Lake, which is about 5 miles east of Canistota. Both the lake and Canistota are on the open prairie, not in the pine forests depicted in the show.

It actually is not illegal to shoot movies or TV shows in South Dakota. (See my Little Business on the Prairie for details.) So it isn't clear to me why Fargo won't shoot in the actual locations they mention (99% sure its Luverne is not the real Luverne, Minn.), or at least get the ecosystem correct. It can't be part of the joke as so few people know what Canistota, etc. actually looks like.

Of course shooting 1979 Sioux Falls in panorama would be impossible because the city is so much larger today and greatly revitalized. But setting it in the Coteau des Prairies instead of in the Black Hills would add to the show's verisimilitude.You know, out of respect for the dead.

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