North Dakota was literally the last state in the union that I had reason to see. I had visited all 49 others. But the chance to cross off the 50th state before a milestone birthday had my always-game little sister and me pulling into Fargo’s squat brick downtown on a spring Friday.
We weren’t sure what lay ahead. We’d deliberately avoided watching “Fargo,” the Coen brothers’ 1996 black comedy that remains many Americans’ only cultural touch point for North Dakota (and its flat accent). Now, though, avoiding that pop-culture reference has gotten even harder. The new FX show “Fargo,” starring Billy Bob Thornton and based on the movie, premiered in April. National curiosity about what’s there has picked up along with it.