In 2012 it was announced that the Coen Brothers' legendary film Fargo (1996), was being adapted into a TV mini-series. Initially the new was quite worrying, after a series of failed movie to TV adaptations like the horrible From Dusk till Dawn. However, as more details surfaced, like the fact the plot would only be influenced by the film and takes place almost 10 years later, the cast was announced with Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton and suddenly the prospect had changed – perhaps a TV show set in the world and tone of the Coen Brothers classic could actually be good. When it premiered it was clear that Noah Hawley had a clear understanding of the Coen Brothers' style. But the pilot did not only serve as a love letter to the film but to the vast array of work the Coen Brothers have directed.

Though the show felt incredibly faithful to the original, Hawley had also carved out an original voice alongside the homage to the film. The show was a lot more overtly dark than the film, adapting to the modern bleakness of shows such as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. Raising the stakes of the characters and even adding subtle supernatural implications to the plot. Lorne Malvo's character is constantly hinted to be not of this world which adds an extra flair to the story without distracted from the gritty crime drama. Though Season 1 of Fargo had Malvo, since then being heralded of one of TV's best characters, it was Season 2 where Hawley really made Fargo his own.

In Season 2, Hawley took the story back to 1979 and sets the season during a turf war between two rival mob outfits. The season takes an incredibly creative approach to direction, music, pacing, while obviously still taking a few cues from The Coen's mob classic Miller's Crossing. But ultimately Hawley takes the change of time period to drastically depart from the film's narrative and tell his own story entirely. Though often divisive, Season 2 made some serious tonal decisions that were ballsy and unlike anything I have seen on television. Hawley brings in sci-fi elements to parallel the plot, including a climatic vision of a flying saucer in the penultimate episode. Alongside the main mob-fuelled plot, memorable characters and incredible set pieces, Hawley brings in flourishes of style that makes this season stand above most television. Elements like split screen sequences that allow you to simultaneously follow two characters at once, film enactments of President Reagan's career to bring you into the world. One of the best television cameos comes from Bruce Campbell, who dons the role of Reagan himself. It was a risky series that departed from what made the first so popular, but Hawley managed to carry the momentum, which unfortunately seemed to drop off a bit for season 3.

Season 3 is perhaps the most mature of the 3 seasons, taking a bleaker and darker approach. Though grim crime dramas, the first two seasons channelled a sense of hope through the chirpy citizens of Minnesota. Season 3 explores Minnesota in modern electronic-fuelled times and how social media has disconnected a usually peaceful and friendly town. With incredible performances from Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and a bone chilling turn from David Thewlis as V.M Varga, an extortionate criminal who strip businesses of their assets. Though the most overlooked of the 3 seasons, Season 3 had the widest scope and most ambitious narrative of the 3. Not only does it visit L.A to contrast the small snowy town, but it is the first season to blatantly embrace the supernatural – though it is done so subtly that it fits right into the plot. Hawley also manages to convincingly connect all three seasons with common themes threads and characters: season 3 having one of the most satisfying comeback of the shows run. Fargo manages to stand beyond the film and show incredible promise for Hawley as a talent.

LEGION Season 1.

LEGION Season 2.

Hawley solidified that talent when he was tasked with adapting Legion for FX. What could have been a stereotypical superhero show became one of the most transformative shows running on television. Obviously last year the experimental nature of the first season was overshadowed by the return of Twin Peaks.

Legion however is one of the most inventive live action superhero production ever made. Taking stylistic cues from his work on Fargo, working with shattered narratives that jump around as well as incorporating dance, surreal imagery and experimental film techniques and placing them in the world of the X-Men. Not to mention one of the coolest premises, David (Dan Stevens) is kept in a mental asylum but the line of reality is blurred as he tries to figure out whether he is mutant, insane or both. The show never sticks in one place and is constantly psychedelic without regard for spoon-feeding the audience with exposition. Though sometimes the dialogue can be cheesy and the effect less than convincing, it rarely takes away from the incredibly colourful visuals, the well-placed soundtrack and the themes of mental health, schizophrenia and depression. Which are dealt with surprisingly compassionately despite the show being a superhero show with the occasional musical number. With episodes directed by Ana Lily Amirpour and Hiro Murai, the show is always stylish and flawlessly shot.

Hawley's writing style is very original and engaging, It is no wonder he has already been signed up to write and direct a Doctor Doom movie for Fox as well as having a couple other film and TV projects coming, not to mention a possible Fargo season 4 coming in 2019. It is incredibly rare that a TV show can create such a distinct and talented auteur, but of course the success should also be credited to the incredible team of writers and directors on these projects. Indeed, Hawley the show-runner has created two of the best shows on television in the golden age of the medium and that is pretty impressive.

FARGO Season 1.

FARGO Season 2.

FARGO Season 3.