Other TV Shows That Could Take Place in Minnesota


Fargo made its debut on FX this week. It was a gripping premiere, full of plenty of the shenanigans we’ve come to love from the Coen catalogue. Having lived in Duluth, Minnesota briefly, I got a kick out of hearing locations like Bemidji and Duluth referred to regularly. Then on Twitter, I saw this banter between IndieWire editor Sam Adams and Daniel Fienberg of HitFix:

Naturally, this led me to wonder what other Minnesota-themed TV shows might be created.

American Horror Story: Lutefisk
Allow me to describe a true horror story. It revolves around a traditional meal served in Minnesota. Lutefisk is made by aging fish, and then treating it in lye. Per Wikipedia, the resulting product (I hesitate to call it a dish) is “gelatinous in texture” and has a pungent odor. It’s smelly, gelatinous, aged fish, treated with lye. Adventuresome palettes are admirable but there are limits.

Like this

A potential scene from Two Harbors Five-O

Two Harbors Five-O
It’s the story of an elite pair of Department of Natural Resource rangers with a keen eye for fishing crimes. There is loads of potential here for sex appeal thanks to the multitude of bikini-clad ice fisherwomen along Minnesota’s scenic north shore. “Book ’em, Danno! Bagging over the limit!”

Nashwauk Empire
There’s a vicious struggle for political power within the ranks of organized crime in the Iron Range. Who will rise to the top? The mayor? The lady who runs the True Value? Karl from down at the Bottle Shoppe? Tune in each Sunday to find out.

Minnetonka is a cold town. And when it’s that cold outside, there’s only one way to keep warm inside- through countless acts of meaningless sexual debauchery with buxom Nordic ladies named Heidi. Our hero, Bjorn Gustavson is lewd, crude, and always surrounded by “hotdish”, if you know what I mean. (Actually, I have no idea what that means because in my time living there, nobody really explained to me exactly what ‘hotdish’ is)

The calm before a high speed chase in Moose Cops

The calm before a high speed chase in Moose Cops

Moose Cops
I dare you not to watch a show that features cops who ride around on moose, or meese, or… whatever.

Mad Mankato
Madison Avenue has nothing on the dog-eat-dog world of Mankato’s Riverfront Drive, a place where Hormel bucks fall from the sky and dreams of new snowmobiles are crushed.

Ice Road Commuters
It’s basically just the morning news helicopter hovering over daily traffic in and around the Twin Cities nine months out of the year. You betcha.

Magnum, Walleye
This animated tale focuses on a Mille Lacs walleye who solves crimes and doesn’t take any flack. It’s sure to be a hit with… stoners? Probably?


Filed under Humor, Movies, TV Shows

9 responses to “Other TV Shows That Could Take Place in Minnesota

  1. As a fellow Midwesterner and fan of the movie, I’m surprised you didn’t catch that Fargo is in North Dakota, not Minnesota. Everyone has been reporting this wrong (Grantland, HitFix, Fresh Air, etc.) which is sad for everyone involved. Not all CST accents are the same! (Though Fargo _is_ across the border from MN.)

    • Fargo is in North Dakota, but the movie takes place almost exclusively in Brainerd. I think the only scene that takes place in Fargo is the very end when they arrest William H. Macy. The TV show, so far anyway, has taken place in Bemidji and Duluth.

      • You’re right about the fictional settings, but I’m not sure the reviewers are as clear. Maybe they’re all saying, “‘Fargo’ is in Minnesota” and not “Fargo is in Minnesota.” I’m just bummed that the Midwest continues to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the US.

        Btw, I got the date of DELIVERANCE wrong so I missed it in the theater but I made up for it by seeing a 35mm print of BARRY LYNDON. Not sure those are comparable…

        • My apologies if I came off rude in my reply, and I absolutely know what you mean about the midwest in pop culture.

          I haven’t seen Barry Lyndon yet- I think it’s the only Kubrick I haven’t seen yet.

  2. I would definitely watch Moose Cops much to the dismay of my other half 🙂

  3. I live in Minnesota, so I can totally appreciate this. Especially Moose Cops. A couple of months ago I got held up in traffic because a moose wandered in the middle of the intersection and refused to move. Asshole.

    I still hate the fact that this show is called Fargo and has nothing to do with Fargo. Just like the movie. Gah!

    • Wait… no way. A moose held up traffic?! That’s hilarious.

      I remember when I first moved to Duluth and I lived way up on the Scenic North Shore. On the first day, my landlord told me not to leave garbage out the night before trash day because it would attract bears. That’s when I knew I was living in a different world.

  4. jackdeth72

    Since a friend of mine described the Coen brothers’ ‘Fargo’ as “The first American foreign language film”. Fox television could have moved ‘Fringe’ from Boston to St. Paul.

    Where those aliens from a parallel universe would fit right in.

    FX’s ‘Justified’ would be cool if moved to Minnesota. Making tracking of Boyd and his compatriot, Wynn Duffy’s Winnebago so much easier!

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