Ozark is a Netflix series that first released in 2017 – not particularly new but it is currently trending on the platform, as the first part of its fourth and final season just released. Since it isn’t a new show, I don’t see the point of sharing a review, but I have lived with these characters for the last couple of months (I started watching it from Season 1 last month), and so I feel compelled to share some thoughts! Plus, you know my policy of interspersing sponsored content with non-sponsored content, right? So, this is that compulsory non-sponsored post.
Before we delve into my thoughts on Ozark however, I’d like to explain how I came to watch this show in the first place.
I have a very addictive personality – don’t worry I’m not referring to drugs or alcohol (even though the subject of this post certainly deals with those themes!). In this case, I’m referring to TV shows. If I like something, I cannot stop watching it – life just comes to a standstill till that show has ended. Now as a busy working mom with a large number of professional commitments (go follow my #WriteAPageADay on Twitter to see how much I actually write on a daily basis!), I simply can’t chuck everything and watch TV. This is also the reason I’ve cut down on doing film and TV reviews – because I can never watch them fast enough to review them. Instead, I’ve begun to enjoy shows that I can view one episode of every day, with my husband. The show should be interesting but not crazy with the cliffhangers, relatively new or trending, have long-ish episodes, and it should be nearing its end so we can enjoy all the seasons at once. Ozark fit the bill perfectly.
For those who’ve never seen it – Ozark is about the Byrdes – a white American family chasing their dream of being rich by laundering money for Mexico’s second-largest drug cartel. Before long, things go majorly wrong and the only reason the drug lord doesn’t kill them off is because the protagonist Marty Byrde (who does the actual money-laundering) is something of a genius in financial and business matters and manages to talk his way out of assured death by promising loads more illegal money if he lets him operate from a small-town in Missouri called Ozark.
This may sound relatively simple on the face of it, but there are numerous other complications thrown into the plot. The Byrdes have to contend with murderous rednecks who run a local and rather lucrative heroin business, a cut-throat yet intelligent trailer-trash teen looking to upscale her lifestyle, the local police who are easily bought, a drug addict motel owner seemingly caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, a righteous priest who veers on the edge of insanity, and lots of unscrupulous FBI agents willing to do anything to get what they want (the definition of which is also fluid).
The story takes place over four seasons which represent one year in the life of these characters. A LOT happens in that one year, both in the plot and in the characters’ physical appearance (tremendous changes that would certainly have taken more time IRL!). Large numbers of seemingly important characters are killed off (don’t worry there are no real spoilers here), but the protagonists miraculously survive everything – at least so far!
Like many shows I have loved in the past – think Dexter, Game of Thrones and Dark – the USP of Ozark is that it deliberately puts each of its characters in a grey zone. Are they good? Are they bad? Honestly, like everyone on the planet – they are a little bit of both.
There are many situations in the show you may find appalling. You may even find it hard to believe that people would react to something that way – their behaviour is so evil, it’s almost unrealistic. Yet, one feels sympathy for these characters. Heck, you even like these haughty, entitled, white-collar criminals… at least I did!
Some of the supporting characters also grow beautifully and have the audience completely invested in them, while others are purely evil, and you wouldn’t mind seeing them bumped off!
All in all, the show’s well-developed characters are its biggest asset.
SHOULD YOU WATCH IT?
It depends on what you like watching. If you enjoy crime dramas that question the boundaries of what is right and what isn’t, you’ll enjoy Ozark.
Is it an excellent show? No. It’s a good show but there are better things you can watch before you get to this one.
If, however, you’ve exhausted all your options and are looking for something entertaining, then I recommend Ozark.
With part 2 of the final season set for release in the next few months, now is the best time to watch it – so you’re all caught up with the nitty-gritties of a fast-paced and complicated plot!
Have you seen Ozark? What do you think about it? Also tell me who your favourite character is – mine is Marty Byrde. I also have a real soft corner for Wyatt Langmore!
*This is not a sponsored post.
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