Ozark is one helluva addictive thriller. Jason Bateman stars as Marty Byrde, a Chicago financial whiz forced to uproot his family (including Laura Linney as his unfaithful wife) to the Missouri Ozarks — “the Redneck Riviera” — where he launders money to clear a debt owed to a Mexican drug cartel.
As Marty sets up shop there by investing in failing businesses, he inevitably ruffles some feathers with the locals (among them, Peter Mullen’s ruthless heroine kingpin who has no qualms about doing unspeakable things to a pregnant woman). Imagine Michael Bluth conducting shady transactions with the underworld; no jokes, real fatalities.
The morbid ‘fun’ comes from watching Marty trying to crawl out of the hole he’s dug for himself, which gets bigger and deeper; each time that happens (and it happens a lot throughout this twisty 10-parter), he’s forced to redraft his own rules of engagement. It’s easy to write off (accounting pun unintended) Ozark as a Breaking Bad variant (then again, wasn’t Breaking Bad once accused of being a Weeds rip-off?), but two eps in, it becomes its own monster. Photo: Jackson Davis/Netflix