An exceptional cast, led by standout Ewan McGregor (“Trainspotting”), is perhaps the new season’s biggest plus.
The Scottish actor, in fact, doubles our pleasure here by playing two roles — brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy — and making us forget all the while that one man is behind both.
The year is 2010, somewhere around Christmas. A tuxedo-jacketed Emmit, who’s known as “The Parking Lot King of Minnesota,” is hosting a fancy anniversary party in his posh colonial-style mansion to celebrate his seemingly perfect life. He toasts his faithful wife of 25 years, their beloved daughter and the wealth and success that define him.
Enter his slightly younger brother Ray, who actually looks a lot older thanks to thinning and scraggly hair, a pot belly and a chip on his shoulder so big it actually causes him to hunch over. He blames his sibling for the comparatively poor hand he has been dealt. A parole officer, Ray barely makes enough to get by.
McGregor didn’t hold back in his descriptions of how hard it was to capture these two distinct personalities, not to mention the Minnesota accent, which he described as “really very, very difficult.”