Ozark - Was it Good?


Over the last few years, Netflix has proven itself as a developer of quality content and has since become a creator that rivals existing powerhouses like HBO, FX and Showtime. Ozark is a perfect example of their ability to make an amazing show. Whether or not it was their intention, Ozark fills the void that many Breaking Bad fans have felt since that series ended a few years ago. While the two shows do have some similarities, the overall plot, motivation, and tone are completely different. Ozark is a show about a broken family on the run. The father (Jason Bateman) finds himself in some hot water after his partner screws up an arrangement they had with some very dangerous people and a drug cartel. Bateman makes a plea for his and his families lives, promising that if he they're are spared, he can become an incredibly valuable asset. His cry of mercy is heard but it comes at a price. His family must immediately relocate (to the Ozarks) and come up with an insane amount of cash in a very small amount of time. The Ozarks seem to be a simple land full of promise but the Byrde family can't take any chances as they fight tooth and nail for their survival. Things quickly become complicated though as the family finds themselves struggling to maintain their own relationships as well as their financial interests. 

Ozark, starring Jason Bateman (Martin Byrde), Laura Linney (Wendy Byrde), Julia Garner (Ruth Langmore) and Esai Morales (Del) is an amazingly well done show full of hicks, grifts, and dare I say... murder. Jason Bateman does a great job directing some of the series as well as playing Martin. He is like-able yet slimy but not quite Walter White levels of slime. Martin's decisions are based on necessity whereas Walter White's seemed to act mostly out of ego. Laura Linney is perfect as always. Her character is both the rabbit and the fox and she seems capable of making difficult decisions to help preserve her family. Julie Garner was kind of annoying at first but I really grew to love her character. I personally feel like she has the most interesting arc in the series as you see her grow from spiteful hick to slightly less spiteful hick (you'll see what I mean when you watch it.) This show does a great job of integrating the classic "running from the cartel tropes" like strippers, poison, betrayal, bobcats, real estate, religion, drugs, and money without making them feel cliche. Bill Dubuque, Mark Williams and the rest of the writing staff did an amazing job when creating this series. It's hard to review shows like this without giving away too much. What I will say is my wife and I binged the entire series in a day. After each episode we would agree to just watch one more and then be done. Sure enough, as soon as one ended we had to play the next one. We had to know what was going to happen next. I would highly recommend Ozark just don't pay attention to the people calling this Netflix's Breaking Bad. There are some similarities but they are in no way the same show. At this point I might almost say Ozark is better (in my opinion) but it's only got one season under it's belt. The show has been renewed for a second season and I can't wait!