Jon Hamm, Juno Temple join 'Fargo' for fifth season

As anyone living in or visiting Alberta this past October can testify, the province is a great place to film a snowy series. And while the cast and crew of "Fargo" had long since finished filming by the time Calgary received its most recent unseasonable dumping of snow, TV audiences are just now about to witness the magic (and crime - lots of crime) for themselves. Season 5 of "Fargo" begins Tuesday, Nov. 21, with back-to-back episodes on FX. Episodes are available to stream the following day on Hulu.

Despite filming in Canada, the current season of the series created by Noah Hawley is set primarily in North Dakota (as indicated by its title). Expected to run for 10 episodes, "Fargo's" fifth season is set in 2019, making it the series' most recent time frame to date. (For those interested, seasons 1 through 4 take place in 2006, 1979, 2010 and 1950, respectively.)

Those unfamiliar with "Fargo" may not know that the critically acclaimed series is based on the 1996 film of the same name by the Coen Brothers, which starred William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi alongside Frances McDormand in her Academy Award-winning role as police officer Marge Gunderson. Like the film, FX's "Fargo" is a black comedy, but rather than follow the same storyline as the film, the series opted to present its content as an anthology, jumping through timelines and to various locations in order to tell a series of related tales, each as unsettling - yet somehow inviting - as the next.

Season 5 stars Juno Temple as Dorothy (Dot) Lyon, a Minnesota-based housewife who appears to lead a normal, happy lifestyle. But, when Dot ends up getting into trouble with the local authorities, her past comes back to haunt her - a past that is much more sinister than anyone would have expected from this average Midwestern woman. As she tries to sort out the best course of action, Dot is pursued by North Dakota Sheriff Roy Tillman (Jon Hamm), Deputy Witt Farr (Lamorne Morris) and a mysterious man named Ole Munch (Sam Spruell).

Big names are attached to the project, to be sure, but longtime viewers of the series will have come to expect nothing less from "Fargo," which cast the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks and Martin Freeman in Season 1; Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Patrick Wilson, Jean Smart and Ted Danson in Season 2; Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Carrie Coon and Davis Thewlis in Season 3; and Chris Rock, Jason Schwartzman, Ben Wishaw and Jessie Buckley in Season 4.

With that said (or written, as the case would have it), Jennifer Jason Leigh joins the main cast as Dot's well-off mother-in-law, while "Stranger Things'" Joe Keery and "Never Have I Ever's" Richa Moorjani step into the roles of the sheriff's son, Gator Tillman, and Deputy Indira Olmstead, respectively.

Meanwhile, David Rysdahl, Jessica Pohly, Nick Gomez, Lukas Gage and Dave Foley star in recurring roles throughout the newest season.

And although the producers and casting directors once again managed to snag some serious star power for "Fargo," many viewers and critics wondered if the series would be returning at all. On Nov. 29, 2022, the day the Season 4 finale aired, series creator Hawley was asked about his intentions to continue the anthology.

"The danger is always that you're going to stay at the dance a little too long," Hawley replied, "so I have to put a lot of it in place in my head and really make sure that it's worthy of joining these 41 hours."

Hawley continued, stating: "I don't want to try and make another one [season] unless I think, 'Oh, we have to make this one. It's the best one yet.'"

No doubt big words for a new season, but hopes are high for all involved, from Hawley and the actors to those viewing each moment from the comfort and safety of their own sofas. But one element that has consistently kept viewers on their toes with Fargo is the tone of each coming season. When it comes to crime-heavy dramedies, it's often difficult to balance the grim and grit with a grin. Even Hawley admits that the tone changes from season to season, based on the content and characters.

"It's always a balance between how dramatic versus comedic it is, and this is the more comedic end of the spectrum," Hawley said of Season 5 during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published in August 2022. "I really love it."

All in all, the biggest question to answer this season is: "When is a kidnapping a kidnapping, and what if your wife isn't yours?" (per the Hollywood Reporter).

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Season 5 debuts Tuesday, Nov. 21, on FX

Dorothy "Dot" Lyon (Juno Temple) confers with Lorraine Lyon (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in Season 5 of "Fargo," which debuts Tuesday, Nov. 21, on FX. Courtesy of Michelle Faye/FX
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