Does your heart beat a little faster at the promise of a mysterious, family secret-filled summer drama? Do you live for the dull-dad-turned-bad storyline? Obvi, I’m referring to the central themes of Bloodline and Breaking Bad, IMO two of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Now don’t get me wrong, while Breaking Bad was a veritable masterpiece, Bloodline suffered majorly from failure to launch after a promising first season gave way to a meh second instalment and a clusterf-ck of a third and final season that left viewers thoroughly unsatisfied.
Enter: Ozark, a new Netflix original series available to stream RN. Chicago financial advisor-cum-money-launderer Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and his wife Wendy (Laura Linney) relocate their family to a backwoods town in the Lake of the Ozarks region in Missouri to continue laundering cash for his client, who just happens to be the second largest drug cartel in Mexico. Sure, Ozark’s core narratives of corruption, family dramz, drug lords and small town malaise are borrowed from its predecessors but nonetheless the result is gripping.
From the moment the trailer seduced my eyeballs, I was besotted with a) Jason Bateman as a morally-conflicted criminal, b) Laura Linney back on TV, and c) all the dark, devious behaviour the 10-part series was promising me. Here are four reasons you’re gonna want to cancel your weekend plans, put your phone on airplane mode and settle in for a good old-fashioned binge fest.
The cast is the freakin’ bomb
You know what’s my fave? When legit movie stars like Laura Linney and Jason Bateman make the move to prestige TV later in their careers. Like Matthew McConaughey (True Detective) and Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) before them, Linney and Bateman built their careers almost exclusively on the big screen—save for Bateman’s unforgettable turn as Michael Bluth on the iconic comedy, Arrested Development and Linney’s role on the short-lived drama, The Big C—before casually sliding into TV projects.
Indie queen Julia Garner is amazing in it. (Did we mention the cast is outstanding?)
Come for Bateman and Linney, stay for Garner because this little wisp of a woman with a halo of blonde curls can act. If you weren’t already captivated by her roles in Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Grandma, you’ll notice her now.
The gangster element
You low-key love classic gangster movies like Scarface and Goodfellas and modern shows about drug bosses like Narcos and Breaking Bad, yes? Well, Ozark’s terrifyingly calm Mexican drug cartel boss (and his goons) will scratch that itch.
The sleepy small-town trope
What’s more delectably entertaining than a normal, boring, Sedan-driving dad secretly committing scandalous crimes? Why, a normal, boring, Sedan-driving dad secretly committing scandalous crimes then moving to a small-ass backwoods town to continue his dirty biz, of course! We could have done without so many middle-American backwoods clichés—surely not everyone in the Ozarks is a hillbilly criminal—but if you can look past it, you’re in for a satisfyingly sinister ride.
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