Minnesota is a northern state in the Midwestern region in America. It borders Wisconsin to the east, Iowa to the south, North and South Dakota to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario to the north. Often called "The Land of 10,000 Lakes" due to its... well... Lakes. note
The state was founded in 1858 and was the 32nd state to join the United States. It got its name from the Dakota word "Mnisota" which means "clear blue water". The state soon became a popular destination for Scandinavian immigrants; today, over 1.5 million Minnesotans claim Scandinavian ancestry, which (1) is about a full third of the state's population and (2) is more than any other state. This has a profound effect on the state's culture.
Most Minnesotans live in the Twin Cities of St. Paul, Minneapolis, and surrounding suburbs. However, outside of the Twin Cities you have smaller cities like Rochester, Duluth, St. Cloud, Fargo-Moorhead, and Mankato. The rest of the state is either farmland or wilderness.
In terms of politics and culture, Minnesota is a very progressive state, with the majority of voters voting for Democratic candidates. It was the only state that did not vote for Ronald Reagan in 1984,note and the last time it voted for a Republican was in 1972.note Minnesota is known for being more accepting of minority cultures, although racism and bigotry still exist in some places and the wealthier areas are mostly white. Despite this, diversity is growing in certain places like St. Cloud, Willmar, and Worthington. Across the state there are thriving Native American, Hispanic, Black, and Hmong communities, and Minnesota boasts the largest Somali-American population. Minnesotans are also more accepting of LGBT people with support groups and medical centers for trans people at the University of Minnesota.
Minnesota-based media has its fair share of unique tropes. Minnesota Nice is the obvious culprit, but there are other, smaller ones as well. For example, many creators seem to think Minnesota has a lot of mobsters (Fargo being the prime example).
The state also has a small but thriving film industry, and in the 1980s became the first state to offer tax incentives to bring in more film productions.
Minnesota in fiction:
- Artificial showcases popular Duluth landmarks.
- Blood Stripe: The army-veteran protagonist takes a much-needed vacation working at at a bible camp in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota.
- Cold November is a coming-of-age story that explores hunting culture in Minnesota.
- Drop Dead Fred was filmed in Minnesota.
- Drop Dead Gorgeous
- Fargo takes place in Brainerd and the Twin Cities.
- Gleahan and the Knaves of Industry makes a point of showcasing Duluth and exaggerates the "Minnesota Mobster" trope to ridiculous levels.
- Grumpy Old Men features two old Minnesotans and plays with the darker side of Minnesota Nice.
- I Am Not a Serial Killer was filmed on the Iron Range.
- In Winter shows a bleak view of northeastern Minnesota.
- Iron Will was filmed in the state.
- Jennifer's Body is set in the fictional Minnesota town of Devil's Kettle, which was named after the real Devil's Kettle Falls.
- Jingle All the Way takes place in Minneapolis and mentions several landmarks.
- Juno takes place in St. Cloud. Screenwriter Diablo Cody grew up in Minnesota.
- Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is an adaptation of the Urban Legends that say a Japanese woman saw Fargo, thought the money-filled briefcase was real, and traveled to Minnesota (in the winter, no less) to dig it up.
- The Mighty Ducks and its sequel series center around youth hockey teams from Minnesota.
- North Country tells the story of a real-life sexual harrassment lawsuit on the Iron Range and was filmed in Hibbing.
- Purple Rain. Naturally, since Prince was behind it. From the scenes at First Avenue to being "baptized in the waters of Lake Minnetonka," this film oozes Minnesota.
- Solatium uses Duluth as its main backdrop.
- Fargo: Season 1 takes place in Bemidji and Duluth. Season 2 takes place in Luverne (and the Dakotas). Season 3 takes place around St. Cloud. None of these were actually filmed in Minnesota, though.
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show takes place in Minneapolis.
- Stargate SG-1: Jack O'Neill comes from Minnesota and has a cabin there. O'Neill even believes that Minnesota is the only place on Earth that interests the Goa'uld.
- A Prairie Home Companion, and especially the Lake Wobegon segments.
- Rocky and Bullwinkle: Frostbite Falls, a fictional Minnesota town supposedly inspired by the real-life International Falls.