Ozark Seasons 1 & 2 - Darker than your average.

Back in February I did a ‘my top 5 series so far’ & Ozark was on the list. A lot of time has passed since watching the final episode of season 2, so to say this review is overdue would be an understatement.

Ozark caught my attention strictly based upon it’s name. I saw the thumbnail on Netflix a while back & it simply made me Google what it meant; a region of the USA that includes four different states, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma & Kansas. Having also saw Jason Bateman’s name meant that I now simply had to watch it (yes, I am a fan of his work) & episode 1 of season 1 didn’t necessarily blow me away, but it did deduce a strong willingness to watch the next episode, then the one after that and so on & so forth.

Jason Bateman assumes the role of Marty Byrde who is a financial adviser that relocates his family from Chicago to the Ozarks due to a money laundering scheme gone wrong involving the Mexican drug cartel & thus, has to try and pay off all debts owed. The story is a lot more complex than what I have just described it as being, though, making it all the more entertaining/interesting. I’m putting it lightly when I say that nothing goes smoothly for Marty, nor does it for his family, or the people they come into contact with. You could say that Marty is perpetually inconvenienced/bullied throughout this series, but what Marty does have is his drive and determination to keep his family alive with the added benefit of his intelligence keeping him, not only with his head above the water, but at times, one step ahead.

Season 1 focuses on setting the plot and some story/character development & season 2 is driving the story they have put into place. However, nothing is as straightforward as it may seem and twists and turns are both anticipated & taken by surprise. Moments of pure genius have you nodding in agreement at times, then all of a sudden, a moment of madness takes it all away. Whether directly connected or not, life in the Ozarks for Marty Byrde and his family are harsh with seemingly everything against him/them. Tense moments are everywhere you look, as dark under-tones plague this TV show written by Bill DuBuque. I don’t think I have ever seen a series so bluntly devoid of anything happy/positive for a long time. I appreciate given the circumstances/story that there’s not an awful lot to be happy about, so that already sets the precedent. Although there are still scenes of joy/laughter dotted about, it never lets you forget what you’re watching & why you’re watching it.

Relentless obstacles are the main objectives in Ozark & in a strange way, I like that. Real life is full of obstacles & it’s all about how you tackle them that matters most. Some people fight & some people flee. I suppose that’s just the nature of the beast, as they say, or, the natural reactionary behaviour of humans. This series not only keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish on both seasons, but it also looks at a more raw/realistic aspect of the psychological effect on people going through, not only an extremely difficult situation, but dealing with personal battles a lot of people out there can relate to.

Ozark, for me, is a must watch. As per my title, it is darker than you’re average TV show & relentlessly tarnishes itself with regular ruthlessness. Violence is never far away & peoples sinister ways have you questioning every ones motives, as personal gain strives from selfishness, something that both the real world (at times & in certain places) & the characters in Ozark appear to be riddled with.