“Ozark” an Original Series that is now streaming. It stars; Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner, Sofia Hublitz and Skylar Gaertner. This story follows Marty Byrde a financial adviser from Chicago who moves his family out to the Missouri Ozarks when his dealings with a dangerous cartel take a turn for the worse. The Byrde’s will adjust to small town life as Marty tries to launch new business ventures to launder millions in drug money.
This is easily one of my favorite shows of the last few years. It has a short run of ten-episodes. The plot and characters are continually advancing and it was great to have no filler episodes. The pace is swift and as a viewer you get on the ride with this small family and it is so compelling as it unfolds. The acting across the board was amazing. Jason Bateman who many may familiarize with comedy, did a fantastic job as the seemingly normal Marty Byrde. There were so many layers to his characters life and personality and Bateman conveys them all with precision.
The dialogue is some of the most well-written material that I have seen in a series for some time. It was natural, eloquent, witty, subtly intense, and the cast delivers it perfectly. In particular Bateman, who has more than a few award worthy moments over the course of the season.
Laura Linney was fantastic as his wife. She also has a lot to do in this season and I really appreciate the layers they gave her character. She could have easily been the common character-type but she is very active in the day-to-day happenings which built some intriguing complexity to their relationship.
The collection of characters is the perfect size and all of the performers bring exactly what their roles required. They collectively build a cast that fits the settings and plot dynamics perfectly to result in some tense, engaging story-telling. None of the plot-lines felt unresolved and it doesn’t force a second season. It was ended perfectly as a closing to a story, or as a foundation to much larger one, and the writing perfectly crafts this versatility.
The subplots all weave together with a seamless flow to keep the pace moving from each episode to the next. There isn’t always the intentional cliffhanger at the end of each show, but the tension and intrigue the story continually builds, will have you wanting to go to the next one immediately. Some of the tropes this story follows does feel similar the common crime-drama. But the script builds the groundwork from a unique angle and fills it in with so much substance throughout it results in a fresh take on money laundering for organized-crime.
Overall this was an excellent show. It was skillfully crafted all-around. The settings were fantastic, the group of directors were on the same page and with amazing writing and cast performances the result is magic. If you don’t have Netflix this show is worth the sign-up. Or at least getting that free 7-day trial in so you can watch this 10-episode run. You will not be disappointed.