‘Ozark’ season two review
By Chandler Walter, Contributor
I don’t watch a lot of TV.
I haven’t had cable in years and, while I enjoy binging sitcoms front to back as much as the next person, I’ve run through all the usual suspects too many times to count.
Which is why I was so happy to find Ozark. (Yes, it’s just Ozark, not Ozarks, as I’ve been getting wrong for months now.)
For anyone out of the loop, Ozark is a Netflix original crime/drama/political thriller led (and executively produced) by Jason Bateman, who has managed to do a commendable job of taking a step away from the Straight-Man-In-Comedy-Movie role we’ve so often seen him in.
Marty Byrde (Bateman) is a white-collar criminal. He launders money for a Mexican cartel and gets into a bit of a pickle with his boss. This, along with causing the death of his best friend and business partner (sorry, spoiler alert), causes him to relocate his family to the Ozarks, a group of lakes that are home to a summer resort community. Here he has to keep the laundering going like his life—and his wife’s, and his two kids’—depends on it.
Because it totally does.
The first season does a great job of setting the scene, ironing out all the things that need to be ironed out (like filling his wife in on the whole situation), and introducing a criminal world that continues to find new ways of becoming more and more dangerous.
Season two of Ozark picks up right where season one left off. There are a few new faces to factor in when considering just how Marty will keep his expansive criminal workings afloat, but for the most part the story continues on as if there wasn’t a break at all—which says something about how large and thought-out the plot must have been at the pilot’s inception. Hopefully this means that it will not fall victim to LOST’s make-things-up-as-we-go faults, but only time will tell.
What’s most interesting about Ozark is that characters’ actions will continuously have consequences. Big characters do die, things can (and really, really do) go wrong, and Marty continuously has to think on his feet to get out of stickier and stickier situations.
Both Marty and his wife Wendy (Laura Linney) prove themselves both capable criminals and political schemers, though they continuously walk a razor-thin edge over the toppling deals and lies that they’ve created.
It’s stressful to watch, sure, but it’s also damn good television.
Oh, also Ruth (Julia Garner) is the best. I forgot to say anything about her, but she’s a shining—and often comedic—light in a noticeably dark and colourless show.
It’s definitely worth the watch, and at roughly an hour of story per episode, it feels more like you’re watching short movies than binging an ongoing television show.