If Netflix keeps pumping out shows like this, my job is going to get easier and easier. This was another experience that was unlike any I have had before. OZARK was a hell of a ride and easily ended up being a new favorite of mine. I could tell from the jump that I was going to dive deep into this one and I really wanted to make it last. I was sparing it out over the past few weeks, but I finally broke down and binged the last 4 episodes in one sitting. There is a lot to unravel when it comes to the characters and how much shit actually went down in this 10-episode opening season. Overall though, this series was extremely unique, chilling and beautifully structured. Mild spoilers ahead, but it is mostly just me explaining how you have been sleeping if you haven’t found the time to binge this show.
Let me start with what you need to know without spoiling anything. OZARK is an original Netflix series that aired this past year and it follows the story of Marty Byrde and his family. It was created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams, who are responsible for films such as The Accountant, The Judge and many more. Marty Byrde is a financial advisor in Chicago and after years of a dwindling marriage and lack of excitement, accepts the impulsive opportunity to be the official US-based money man for the second largest drug cartel in Mexico. They throw you right into the action in the very first episode, let alone the first 20 minutes, as one fuck up begins the domino effect that is this insane and mind twisting series of events. Marty is secretly forced to move to The Ozarks and wash 50 million dollars for the cartel or else… you guessed it. I wish I could properly prepare you for what you can expect, but this was so uniquely told and creatively shot that it is better left for you to just experience it as it was meant to be.
Jason Bateman plays Marty Byrde and wow, what a perfect fit. I have the impression that Bateman had a big hand in this series as he was a major producer and directed 4 of the 10 thrilling episodes. Hats off to him. Speaking of the directing – fucking brilliant. A lot of the visual aspects and bluish tint was clearly added in post, but you can tell the direction in this series was just near perfect. When the direction/writing is that good, and the actors involved are that talented, then you simply have the recipe for gold. Oh… also… Laury Linney fucking killed it. I know she is a master at what she does, but she was amazing in this and her relationship with Batemans character was the fuel for this entire story. I never expected their relationship to have such an impact on where the story ended up but wow. This was an insightful but twisted look into how broken marriages and relationships can eventually be restructured and built even stronger in spite of the numerous heroine traffickers, FBI Agents or hillbillies that are trying to murder you and your family. But seriously their chemistry and performance was captivating. After you live thru 10 long episodes of this shit with these well-built characters, you become them. You feel for them. You think about them when you are trying to sleep. When you witness story telling like that, it is something to admire and just simply enjoy.
On a side note, The Preacher was my favorite character. He did not necessarily have the biggest role but you will know why I said that after you watch. He was the barrier between faith and reality. He was a voice for “God” and the path of righteousness but in the midst of the worst type of people in our society. For me, that shit is fascinating and I love how religion plays such a confusing role in our daily lives. It is so mysterious and powerful and even the most respected of preachers doubt the word of “God” and whether or not it is something that is holding us back from progressing further as a people. This series explores that and more in a very subtle but powerful way. Even though he may not have his faith in the literal meaning of “God” in the end, he still believes in love and the power of life.
It is insane how I found the love story and the Preacher to be the most impactful aspects of this series, because it is also one of the most bone chilling and entertaining shows that I have ever experienced. There are so many themes and layers to this story, and it shows through every shot and through every piece of dialogue. I cannot recommend this enough, and can’t wait to revisit it again soon as I mentally prepare myself for a second season. Another 5-star show from Netflix…. About time I binge a shitty show for once what do you think….
Listen to listen, not to respond.