Created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams for Netflix, the first season of Ozark follows financial advisor Marty (Jason Bateman), his wife Wendy (Laura Linney), and their children, who are forced to relocate from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Lake of the Ozarks after a money-laundering scheme for a Mexican drug cartel goes wrong. To make amends, Marty proposes to set up a bigger laundering operation, but they soon become entangled with local criminals and the Kansas City Mafia.
Overall Season Rating:
It’s not often that I’m intrigued by drug-fueled thrillers, but I went into this series knowing little about the plot. I had, however, heard really great reviews, and find myself really drawn to non-comedy roles starring Jason Bateman.
The performances are definitely one of the best things about this series. Bateman leads it brilliantly, alongside Linney who I can’t wait to see get more involved, and Julia Garner who really impresses.
But Bateman also shows that he’s more than capable behind the camera, too, directing the first two and final two episodes of the series, which prove to be the most investing.
It’s a complex story but one that’s easy to follow, heavy on crime but it doesn’t weigh you down with talk of money-laundering or drugs. With rich characters and clever writing, the series is very character-driven and keeps you intrigued with plenty of plot twists and well-paced developments.
I didn’t love the series because there weren’t enough shocking moments, for me, but it did get darker as it went on, and I’m certainly looking forward to the potential of an even better season two.