Ozark – Netflix Series Review

Ozark is a series on Netflix- Renewed for season 2 recently.  It is about a financial advisor from Chicago, whose friend “violated code” and forced him to relocate his business from the city of Chicago to the Ozarks in Missouri: (Learn more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozarks)

His job was to wash money for the cartel, at a high level to take dirty money and make it clean, by recognizing it for tax purposes.  A good example of this would be when you go to that New Jersey Pizza shop that is cash only, if they report 3 dollars for every $2 slice, they would effectively be washing the 1 dollars by paying tax on it and recognizing revenue.  

So the main character, Jason Bateman, had to relocate at a minutes notice, with a ridiculous of money, as a trial to prove he can successfully launder money in the Ozarks.  The Ozarks are a vacation destination so it’s a good place where cash influxes happen and that helped justify the move.  He will find out it’s never enough during the story, kind of like your 9-5, and it will intensify the need to hustle.

What this means is that he comes down as an investor, looking to buy into businesses.  But if you have ever been in a town with population fluctuations, you will learn quick how word travels around as the people who live there 365 stay together.  This means Jason Bateman is an intrusive creature, and quickly draws attention.  The first people that notice are perceived as in poverty and lacking education, and looking for a quick come up.  This means that people are trying to rob Jason Bateman (Marty).  He also runs into drug dealers and people with a foothold on the area, and by way of gravity rubs them the wrong way and proposes a threat.

So Marty and his family have the Cartel, the “Rednecks”, and the local non spanish Cartel on his back and he has to navigate them all.  This drives the story because he finds out this isn’t easy pickings like he thought it would be in comparison to Chicago.  They also have to navigate the FBI, but while they attempt to bring them in they do not really make them seem purposeful.

The show does have a side bar between the FBI and one of the groups, and it’s kind of a time waste made to build the true character of the people involved as conflicted with mostly good intentions?  It ended up pretty confusing and possibly filling in white space.

His family has a bunch of issues, he has a daughter who has a lot of emotions and connections which are close to his enemies.  He has a son who looks an awful lot like Baron Trump, and a ton of quirks, possibly like Baron Trump.  His wife had cheated on him in Chicago, and they have their own interpersonal drama.  She also has her own hustles and she’s sharp.  All couples in this show are written in such harmony, it’s like people can become extensions of each other and you might look at your significant other and ask if you could be that.  

They hustle, that’s what they do.  I say this because if you are to appreciate the show you have to appreciate their ability to stay calm under pressure and hustle.  You also will appreciate navigating shady characters and some crazy shit.  This show has its own foggy type of vibe to it and part of that kept me interested.  You want to know what’s going to happen and they do a good job of building stories, but teetering on the too many stories going on that do not end up meaningful that while the show is in its infancy it’s also partially on its last leg.

 

I’m saying this because there is the one business he invests in character, there is the real estate guy, there is the FBI and redneck thing, there is a whole show in Chicago to just prelude to all the shows in Missouri, there are meaningless side stories of Marty’s daughter.  There are somewhat meaningless side stories of of Marty’s son (aka baron trump) but he is creepy enough they are interesting.  The house they move in has a dying man living in it who takes an hour of screen time to end up being a moment.  I tend to see a lot of for little to nothing character development in shows on their 6th season which end in 7, this show has it in its first.  In this review I avoid talking about a number of stories as much as possible, because the time invested was not worth the output.

The actors are good, and it feels real to a degree.  If this was twitter my review would be a quick #mood.  This is a good moody show full of compelling shady things, and has that ominous feeling and a sense of darkness about it.  This alone can carry the show, because they do it so well.  It comes together climatic but oddly timed, but at the same time leaves so many outstanding questions of what the show will be season 2.  I say this because just Show 1 is based solely in Chicago, and Shows 2-10? are based solely in the Ozarks.  Who knows what Season 2 will hold, but I believe with the premise the writing ability and the overall mood that continues, I will like it.

Good

  • Camera
  • Set
  • Acting
  • Story
  • Characters

Bad

  • Side Story excess
  • Confusion about direction
7.5

Good

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