OZARK (2018-2020) – My rating: 8.5/10

Ozark is a television crime drama series created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams for Netflix and produced by Media Rights Capital.  Bateman is a director and executive producer for the series. Ozark is about a married couple who relocate their family to the Ozarks for the purpose of money laundering. It took a minute but I finally fell hard for Ozark, completing binge-watching it in record time.

After a money-laundering scheme for a Mexican drug cartel goes wrong, financial advisor Martin “Marty” Byrde (Jason Bateman) proposes to make amends by offering to set up a bigger laundering operation in the Lake of the Ozarks region of central Missouri. Marty suddenly relocates his family; wife Wendy (Laura Linney), daughter Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz), and their son Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) from the Chicago suburb of Naperville to the remote summer resort community of Osage Beach, Missouri. Thinking Osage Beach is uncorrupt, waiting to be explored and used for their purposes, “Marty” soon finds when they arrive in Missouri, there are local criminals that include the Langmore and Snell families, and later the Kansas City Mafia.

It all started in 2007 when Marty, a self-employed financial advisor based in Chicago and his business partner, Bruce Liddell (Josh Randall) began to launder money for a Mexican drug cartel. Bruce and the trucking company owners who move the cash skimmed $8 million, which alerted the cartel contact Del (Esai Morales) who then kills Bruce, his fiancée, and the father-son trucking company owners. To save his own life, Marty uses a promotional flier Bruce showed him as the inspiration for a spur-of-the-moment claim that the Ozarks are a good potential location for laundering, and that if allowed to live, he would wash $500 million in five years. Partly persuaded, Del gives Marty a few days to replace the $8 million Bruce stole, which he does by liquidating all his personal assets and closing all the company accounts. Del then tells Marty to move his family to the Ozarks and prove his claim by laundering the $8 million in three months. Marty’s wife Wendy is having an affair with Gary “Sugarwood” Silverberg (Bruce Altman). She follows his advice to leave Marty and take their two children and as much money as she can secure, which causes Del to have Silverberg killed as a warning to Wendy to keep the family together.

Ozark is unlike any series I’ve ever seen.  Just the relationship “Marty” and Wendy have with their children will blow you away.  I really thought the family made the worst decisions known to man.  They are confronted with profound problems that include life or death situations.  These writers are very special, as they are either on something or they are just brilliant. The Byrde family is truly special and innovative.  At times, I can hardly breathe.  This jaw-dropping series has me and will have you on the edge of your seat.  Crime is alive and well in the Ozarks, it just depends on who’s the fastest, smartest, and the most treacherous.

Seasons 1 through 3 has 10 episodes each and was renewed for its fourth and final season, which will be 14 episodes split into two parts.  Ozark has received largely positive reviews from critics, with praise towards its tone, acting, directing, and writing. The series has received 32 Primetime Emmy Award nominations including two for Outstanding Drama Series, with Bateman winning for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series in 2019 and Julia Garner winning twice consecutively for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2019 and 2020. Bateman has received two further Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor – Television Series Drama. IMDB has rated Ozark 8.4 out of 10.  There is so much to this series, I couldn’t possibly write about it in its entirety. I enjoyed Ozark despite all the violence and stupidity — Check it Out!

 

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