Do you know that moment when you watch some series on Netflix and you think it’s the best you’ve seen and there won’t be anything as good anytime soon (until the new season of GoT of course)? Yeah, I had that recently after almost every series I saw. After watching Dirk Gently I was sure there won’t be anything as entrancing, a plot so gripping and the story so good I won’t be able to stop watching. Then I’ve started a brand new Netflix series – Ozark.
The series premiered last Friday, and I’ve started to watch it on Sunday evening. I’ve finished yesterday, and it took me entire three days only because I had more things on my mind than I usually do. Otherwise, I would probably just sit a whole night in front of my laptop with a big “wow!” face all the time. Enough about me though, let’s talk about Ozark.
The plot is in some ways similar to other drama series involving crime. We meet Marty Byrde, who is around 40-years old a money advisor in Chicago. He has a wife, Wendy, who is, regrettably, cheating on him. You’re not surprised from the start, as he seems to be a rather boring person, entirely focused on his work. The family consists also of two children – Charlotte and Jonah. During the first minutes of the series, we find out we totally misjudged Marty, as he is not boring whatsoever. Turns out he and his business-partner Bruce have been laundering money for Mexican drug cartel for quite a long time. The other thing we learn is Bruce has not been entirely honest with everyone and… may have stolen around 8 million dollars from the cartel. If there is one thing you’ve learned from all the films and series about the drug industry, it is you DO NOT steal from the drug cartel.
To save his and his family lives, Marty has to pay back the whole stolen amount and he has to move to Ozark, Missouri, to launder even more money for the Mexicans. His family, however not happy about this turn of events, moves along and now they have three months to somehow launder 3 million bucks. Seems impossible? As it appears, Ozark has more shoreline than the entire state of California! Shoreline means yachts. Yachts mean rich people. It may work.
Two of the best things about this series are main characters, Marty and Wendy played by Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. I must say, I was very sceptical when I saw the two, mostly because I associate Bateman with comedy and Linney with romance. I was totally wrong to make any assumptions about their ability to show the drama, as they are really good. Not for a moment have I thought about their previous role and I’m sure they’ll be Marty and Wendy for me for a long time. The complicated relationship between the cheated husband and the neglected wife is shown perfectly and you just can’t stop watching.
In Ozark there is also a group of very interesting people, to start with Ruth, a young, cunning daughter of a murderer who lives with her uncles and cousins, to an ex-FBI agent Roy, who won’t stop until he destroys the cartel. Let’s also not forget about the Snell family, who turns out to be a very important manufacturer in Ozark.
The series is quite dark, although there are comedy moments. Ozark is a beautiful place full of lakes and great views, so it’s nice to look at. It is about criminals, so expect blood when it’s needed, as well as swearing. You can also learn a lot about money laundering from it… ;) The whole picture is completed with a good music. My favourite idea in this series is the opening screen with a big “O” and four icons showing what you can expect from the episode. It’s nice to start wondering about what they mean and then spot them when they appear in the plot. The first episode’s “O” is:
It is an edge of your seat thriller and I can guarantee you will want to know what happens next. Thank Netflix for releasing the whole series at once, so you don’t have to wait. I strongly recommend to watch it if you love drama and crime genres. And of course – let me know if you liked it!