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Which of the Coen Brothers' Movies Would Work as TV Shows?

Feb 26, 2014 | 3:45pm EST

Copious amounts of snow? Check. 1990-something automobile? Check. Old timey tunes blaring on the radio? Check. This definitely looks something like a Fargo series. And even though FX's upcoming adaptation is only loosely based on the Coen Brothers' 1996 classic, we're beyond excited. The trailer is pretty short, only giving us a few precious seconds of Billy Bob Thornton scraping midwestern flurries off of his windshield, before giving us an icy glare, but it has to be good enough for now. Hopefully the next trailer gives us a little bit of Martin Freeman's American accent, and at least a couple "you betcha"s (we'll even settle for a "don'tcha know").  Since Fargo is getting the small screen treatment, we wondered which other of the Coens' films would work on television, let's start at the top and work our way through the list.

Blood Simple
Would it work as a series?
Yes. Texas-style neo-noir on a week-to-week basis. We all love True Detective, don't we?

Raising Arizona
Would it work as a series?
No. Nicolas Cage's zany baby-stealing high jinks might be fun as a one-off, but 13 episodes of this shtick would be overkill.

Miller's Crossing
Would it work as a series?
Yes. With Boardwalk Empire ending, the TV landscape is in need of some good old-fashioned mobster moxie.

Barton Fink
Would it work as a series?
No. His writers block would make us all lose our minds after a few weeks.

The Hudsucker Proxy
Would it work as a series?
Yes. Who wouldn't want some more Coen-infused screwball hoopla? (Get it?!) We picture it as a much wackier version of Mad Men.

The Big Lebowski
Would it work as a series?
No. The Dude's story started and ended back in Gulf War-era Los Angeles, and shouldn't be tampered with.

O Brother, Where Art thou
Would it work as a series?
No. Look at how badly Prison Break fell apart.

The Man Who Wasn't There
Would it work as a series?
Maybe, but the Coens' mostly forgotten follow-up to O Brother probably wouldn't rustle up too many viewers.

Billy Bob Thorton, FargoFX

Intolerable Cruelty
Would it work as a series?
Yes. Watching a savvy, debonair leading man play a ruthless divorce lawyer already sounds like something that should be a show. Tuesdays on TBS!

The Ladykillers
Would it work as a series?
Yes. A weekly series where a southern dandy tries to charm his way into the high-stakes crime ring definitely could definitely be fun for some laughs.

No Country for Old Men
Would it work as a series?
No. There's only so much "floppy haired serial killer" we can take.

Burn After Reading
Would it work as a series?
Yes. A workplace comedy about the U.S. government and a local gym, and the points at which they intersect, has the makings for great television.

A Serious Man
Would it work as a series?
No. Not even AMC could carry a series that depressing.

True Grit
Would it work as a series?
No. Trying to understand Rooster Cogburn's old west grumble was hard enough in surround sound.

Inside Llewyn Davis
Would it work as a series?
Sure. A TV series about an unlikable main character trying to become a successful artist in New York? It could be like a 1960s version of Girls.

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