TV review: Ozark (2017)

Let me begin by saying that Ozark is one of the best TV binges you can discover this summer. The brilliant writing is fueled by constant plot twists and great acting.

Picture this – Fargo meets Narcos and they binge-watch Breaking Bad together.

Just like Mr White in Breaking BadOzark‘s main character, Marty Byrde, is the kind of man who is willing to go to great lengths so as to provide for his family and keep them safe. Having struck a deal with the devil, or in this case, Del – a key member of the Mexican cartel, he has no choice but to get creative at the face of death, aka, that same member of the Mexican cartel killing his partners in front of him. A conversation he had with his best friend, Bruce, appears in his mind about a place where he suggested him to go on holiday, so he can take his mind off of business.

The Ozark,’ he blurts out, as Del is about to shoot him in the face. ‘The Ozark is where I can wash millions of dollars for you. Just give me time.’ Miraculously, Marty’s innovative thinking on the spot does its magic and, in fact, saves him all throughout the first season.

Marty then moves to the Lake of the Ozarks (which isn’t the actual filming location) with his family and starts laundering money for Del, but every successful step forward arrives with a number of complications. When you mess with the Mexican cartel, of course, there are bound to be some casualties. From the 19-year-old Ruth, who’s a restless rebel well-known to the local police, through Jacob Snell and his drug dealing business, to Del’s recurrent threats, the life of the Byrdes is always on the verge of destruction.

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Yet, in the middle of the chaos, Ozark also tries to work on the love story between Marty and Wendy, whose chemistry proves to be mysteriously captivating, as the two of them struggle to keep all the family members alive.

As with most Netflix series, you have some familiar faces and some fresh ones. Jason Bateman is, undoubtedly, the star of the show. He even directed some of the episodes. Laura Linney’s role brings similarities to her part in The Truman Show, it’s clear that she makes a good liar. As I mentioned above, Jason and Laura have definitely succeeded in building the on-screen chemistry, which further helps to sell the story. Peter Mullan, in the role of Jacob Snell, makes a wonderful addition to the cast, his talent is one that is ever-evolving. Julia Garner, however, gives the most noticeable performance, with her many shifting emotions and motives. I’m definitely curious to see her continue growing as the character of Ruth in season 2.

Netflix is surely on the pursuit of increasing their collection of originals. Even if Ozark‘s first season is only 10 episodes, it’s enough to get you hooked. What’s more, you have plenty of time during the weekend to catch up if you still haven’t seen it.

My rating would be 9/10, because, you know, there’s always room for improvement. That said, Ozark is definitely one of the best shows of 2017 so far.

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