Why is Wendy so annoying in Ozark?

Wendy Byrde from Ozark is considered annoying due to the selfish and sometimes ruthless decisions she makes, which mostly affect her family negatively.

Ozark is the Netflix original crime and espionage drama series that premiered in 2017. With three and half seasons under its belt, the series has become one of the most popular watches on the platform.

One of the series’ most talked about high points is the developments of the characters’ arcs. This as the lead characters are deeply flawed, which the story does not work to redeem, but continues to highlight.

One character in particular who is not well received due to this take by the writers of the show is Wendy Byrde, who is regarded as one of the most unlikable characters in the series.

What is Ozark?

Netflix’s Ozark filled the gap left by the conclusion of its predecessor in terms of Netflix original crime series, Narcos.

Created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams, the premise of the series is, “A financial advisor drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder money to appease a drug boss.”

In the title roles are acclaimed actors Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as married couple, Martin “Marty” and Wendy Byrde.

While Wendy is not the intended antagonist of the series, her actions have led some viewers to believe that she might just be the main antagonist.

Why is Wendy so annoying in Ozark?

When Ozark first began, Wendy Byrde was just Marty’s wife who was dragged along as an accomplice following his association with the Navarro cartel.

However, it did not take viewers long to realise that Wendy was just as complicit in her husband’s crimes as he was.

So much so that as the series continued, viewers watched Wendy turn into a ruthless and sometimes selfish woman who seemed to prioritise her own ambitions over those of her family.

However, the series also worked to prove that Wendy has always been selfish, by including the backstory of her affair with Gary “Sugarwood” Silverberg.

Throughout the series run, she has continued to affirm her unlikability through, on more than one occasion, hampering the plans Marty put in place to ensure their family gets their freedom from the control of the Navarro cartel.

Wendy has interceded and ruined Marty’s plans. Furthermore, Wendy’s main ambition is to build herself a political career.

What is Wendy’s most annoying moment on Ozark?

Throughout the three and half seasons of Ozark so far, Wendy Byrde has had many annoying and unlikable moments, the biggest of which was when she consented to the assassination of her brother at the end of season three.

Yes, the decision was made under pressure and was essentially to ensure hers and her family’s safety, but considering the already long list of selfish decisions she has made in the past, viewers considered this the last nail in the coffin.

This further affirmed why the character stands as one of the most annoying and unlikable characters.

Laura Linney on Wendy Byrde

Laura Linney, who plays the contentious character of Wendy Byrde, explained in an interview with GQ, how she approached the role of the complex character, stating:

“When we first started doing Ozark, the thing I was most interested in examining was the whole issue of identity within a character, within a group of people, within a family, within a state—how people view themselves, what they present and what they are.”

Linney went on to explain that she believes Wendy is reactive and immature.

She shares the character’s arc so far, saying, “She’s worked really hard to be something different than what she came from, for the right reasons, and then when she’s sent back to the Ozarks, she’s put back in a situation that’s too familiar.”

Does Laura Linney like Wendy Byrde?

In the same interview, while Laura Linney highlighted why she enjoys playing the reactive character, she went on to defend the character’s purpose in the overall story arc by stating:

“The challenge is to be able to go as far as you can while hanging onto the humanity of someone. You don’t have to like her (Wendy). I wouldn’t like her (laughs.) I wouldn’t want to have dinner with her. But she has to be a character that helps to move the story and the narrative forward and keep the audience in the story instead of busting them out. People can hate the character all they want to as long as they enjoy the story.”

Final thoughts

Ozark is set to conclude when it returns on Friday, 29 April 2022, with season four, part two’s series finale.

Throughout the seasons so far, all the characters in the series have been deeply flawed, with the protagonists considered versions of anti-heroes.

One in particular is Wendy Byrde, who is considered one of the most unlikable characters due to what is believed to be ruthless and selfish motives.

The actress, Laura Linney, has suggested in an interview that though Wendy is reactive and immature in her actions, her priority has always been keeping her family together.