From watching Ozark, you get a well-made story that aims to subvert some of the established norms in popular Hollywood anti-hero series and films.
Ozark is the Netflix hit series that first premiered on the paid subscription video-on-demand service in 2017.
The series concluded in 2022 with a fourteen-episode split cour, meaning that it was split into two parts, with seven episodes each. The two parts were released in January 2022 and April 2022.
The series has been compared to Breaking Bad, which was popular when it was released on Netflix.
But in the years since the slow burn received its flowers, Ozark has been lauded for continuing to advance the plot, story arc, feel, and tone of anti-hero narratives. Therefore, the series is considered an advancement of how to tell antihero narratives in Hollywood better.
Jason Bateman bids Ozark farewell
Jason Bateman not only served as the lead actor in Ozark, in the role of Marty Byrde, but he was also one of the executive producers and directed some of the episodes of the series.
These roles earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series in 2019.
Therefore, it was only fitting, when the last seven episodes of the entire series were made available on Netflix, that Bateman bid the series farewell, writing, “Just want to say hi and a sincere thank you to all the nice folks out there that gave Ozark a spot in their lives over these past few years. Thanks for liking what we loved making for y’all!”
What do you get from watching Ozark?
Ozark premiered on Netflix, and its premise is, “A financial advisor drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder money to appease a drug boss.” The series’ premise, admittedly, mirrors that of Breaking Bad as it begins with a man who involves his family in his nefarious dealings.
But since Ozark has grown in popularity, it is understood that Breaking Bad introduced the narrative of the anti-hero into mainstream commercial television, while Ozark advanced how you can present the narrative better without being redundant.
Therefore, the biggest takeaway from Ozark is how to tell a well-made story, specifically an anti-hero story for a contemporary audience.
One of the biggest appeals of Ozark is the fact that the story kicked off from the first episode, unlike redundant anti-hero stories of late that attempt to keep the big secret for as long as possible. Ozark subverted this from the first season.
By the end of the first episode, Wendy, Marty’s wife, was already aware of his involvement with the Navarro Cartel. Moreover, Wendy had already told their children why they had to move, dispelling any possibly held misconceptions.
This catalysed the narrative and developed a rich story without the mystery about when the big secret would be revealed. The slow burn garnered popularity with subsequent seasons due to the plot, characters, and look and feel of the series.
Ozark’s unending plot twists
One of the biggest reasons that Ozark was favoured by fans was because the story continued to surprise fans with unexpected, and sometimes dark plot twists.
This includes the death of surprising and compelling characters, like when Wendy Byrde gave the go ahead to have her brother and fan-favourite character, Ben Davis killed in season three’s finale.
Another unexpected twist was when the series returned for its series final run and propelled the story forward without the focus being on Ben’s death, but the introduction of the flashforward.
Ozark continuously worked at keeping fans at the edge of their seats whether it was with the cliffhangers or the season finales.
Ozark’s compelling characters
Another aspect that Ozark is lauded for is the compelling characters in the show. All of the character arcs make sense and never leave viewers wondering, “How did they make that decision?”
We saw this particularly with how the series managed to turn Wendy Byrde from protective wife and mother to the power-hungry aspiring politician who used her nefarious connections to the Navarro cartel to advance her political aspirations while still attempting to free her family from their clutches.
Another compelling character, Ruth Langmore, won the actress who played her role, Julia Garner, two Emmys for her supporting lead role.
Ozark’s aesthetic choices
Part of creating a well-made story is inventing a world that encapsulates the themes and tone of the series in its overall look. Ozark delivered this from season one to the last.
The series appearance was dark and highly contrasted, which made the greenery of the Ozarks seem ominous rather than welcoming. Moreover, the series has one of the best musical scores of any contemporary series airing currently.
All of the mentioned factors enrich the viewing experience while providing a compelling story overall.