Often, the setting of a show is a simple statement of fact, something to establish where the story is taking place and nothing more. Some shows, however, go a bit deeper, and through its characters, it develops the setting to the point where it becomes a crucial element to the story on a whole. Here, we’ll look at a few examples of shows that made a fully-realized character out of their settings.
Fargo – Bemidji, MN
The widely acclaimed TV adaptation of the 1996 Coen brother’s movie, Fargo moved its location north of Brainerd to the town of Bemidji, Minnesota. Keeping with the same semi-serious tone and characters that seem to walk the line between genuine and caricature, the first season also successfully balanced the warm-hearted, “Minnesota nice” collective personality against the flat, desolate, snow-covered landscape, the latter due to it being filmed in Calgary, Alberta. While Bemidji wasn’t portrayed as idyllic, the quaint conventionality of its residents is underscored with the introduction of the mysterious Lorne Malvo, who’s very presence wreaks havoc on the town and drives much of the story.