Netflix has established the reputation of releasing very impressive TV shows and movies. When I first saw that Ozark was a “Breaking Bad” type show, I was immediately all in. Breaking Bad is the greatest TV show of all time. I recently finished Ozark and I’m here to say that it is nowhere near the level of Breaking Bad, but it is still a cool show with some really intense moments and solid performances from Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. I’m interested to see where they go with it from here.
“A Chicago-based financial advisor secretly relocates his family to the Missouri Ozarks when his dealings with a drug cartel go awry.”
Ozark has a lot going for it. The characters are interesting and all of the main cast turn in good performances. Jason Bateman really impressed me as Marty Byrde in some scenes, and he directed 4 episodes. The premise of Ozark is interesting, and also familiar. You have a guy who launders money with ties to the Cartel, being forced to relocate his family to launder millions of dollars over 5 years. Once the Byrde family arrives in Ozark, it quickly becomes obvious that the Mexican Cartel isn’t the only thing they have to worry about. Some of the residents in the town they move to become a huge problem throughout the season. The story intrigues the viewer enough to keep watching, but for me it did not grab me intensely like I wanted it to.
Each episode in Ozark adds to the story. Virtually, there is no filler and that is refreshing. So many TV shows have a 10 episode season and 3 episodes or more are filler episodes that do not really propel the story. Ozark does a good job of having each episode build off the last one and most of the characters develop nicely.The biggest problem with Ozark is what a lot of shows suffer from. The first two episodes are fantastic, the middle ones are average, and the last two are fantastic as well. That is what’s going to keep Ozark from being great. The middle episodes had no filler, but there were some pacing issues and it needed 4 or 5 more of those “Wow!” moments. With a show like this, it should thrive off shocking and unexpected moments. Unfortunately, Ozark was very lacking in that department.
There was also some lasted antagonist talent. Esai Morales plays Camino Del Rio in the show. The first episode, he is built up as a ruthless and scary Cartel leader antagonist. As the show goes on, he is barely in it! I was very shocked and disappointed by this. He could have been used in so many ways, but the writers of the show decided to focus on the antagonists in the town the Byrde family lived in. Questionable decision, in my opinion.
Overall, Ozark had an interesting premise and some really intense moments, but it suffered from the lack of shocking moments and under utilization of s few characters. It ultimately aspired to be great, but came up short. I would recommend watching it, but it is not an absolute must watch.