I read a lot of positive comments on Facebook about the Netflix original series “Ozark”. Even though I had no idea what it was about, all the raving sparked my interest, so I decided to check it out. It started out strong due to a couple of things.
First of all, I’m a big Jason Bateman fan and he not only stars in it but also is the Executive Producer. I can pretty much watch him in anything. Secondly, episode one ramps up very quickly and like a train wreck, you cannot look away. We quickly learn that Bateman’s character, Marty, is involved in a massive money laundering scheme with some very bad people. Before his eyes, his partner is executed. In an effort to avoid the same fate, Marty promises that he can launder an unheard of amount of money in the Ozarks. I very quickly had to suspend disbelief as Marty cashes in millions of dollars of his saving and investments, packs up his family and moves to the Ozarks. At the same time, we find out that Marty’s wife is having an affair and her lover is also murdered by the people for who Marty launders.
It became clear to me pretty early that they were going for a “Breaking Bad” feel and I was hopeful that they would succeed. They didn’t. One of the things that made Breaking Bad so intriguing was the character development. It was amazing to watch Walter and the other characters evolve. Rather than spending time on a script that utilizes the amazing cast to show character development, it felt like they focused on figuring out ways to continually shock us. It was one problem after another for Marty to navigate through. I kept watching but episode after episode had me rolling my eyes. Unlike with Walter White, I had trouble empathizing with Marty and it became more and more difficult to believe that Marty and his family could continue to endure the uber stressful things that they endured every day and still be able to sleep at night.
I wanted so badly to like this show but I grew tired of the constant attempts to shock me. As the show progressed, it almost became predictable for me in that I knew that something awful was going to happen several times every episode. If the show went 10 minutes without some shocking misfortune befalling Marty and his family, I would have been shocked. My recommendation is to rewatch Breaking Bad and if you haven’t already watched it, please immediately go do that.