Sam texted me last week saying he liked Ozark, released on July 21st, and asked if I was watching it. I wasn’t. I honestly had never even heard of it. As I tend to do with shows I like, I watched the 10 episodes over the next few days.
For me to watch 10 episodes over a few days, you’d rightly come to the conclusion that I liked the show. Without going into details that people who haven’t watched the show wouldn’t enjoy, I’m going to evaluate a few of the characters which will have zero impact on the actual plot line. If you haven’t watched the show though, I don’t know why you’d read ahead.
The Characters Who Sucked
Roy Petty – Tongue in cheek title to this selection. It’s not that I necessarily thought he did a poor job acting but his character was too over the top. I felt like most of his interactions were forced and as much as the show wanted to put insight into his life, I didn’t give a shit. What the hell was going on with his mom scenes?
Mason – He’s the preacher. The strange robbery to open episode 5 felt like it was going to lead into some monumental secret, but all it led to was a monumental let down. He was bad. His wife was worse. And they both sucked.
Jordana – I didn’t even know the woman’s name was Jordana which should clue you in on her remembrance factor. I didn’t think she did a poor job and could have easily landed with the “average” characters. I would have liked to see her play a bigger role because she had that attractive sass. Instead, she was just kind of…there. “Marty, Get Out!” Change the record.
Jonah – I understand that he was supposed to have character development that was feeding off of what he was going through, but c’mon, 0-60 in 1 summer season. He’s 12 and he knows more about the economics of drugs than 99% of the population. His passion for guns comes out of nowhere. You could look at it like he wants to protect his family but he’s 12. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t even cook an egg at 12.
Wendy – She has a place in the show it’s just that I didn’t like it. I didn’t buy into her whole spiel. Her scenes felt out of place like that political interview and the real estate bs. She was as calculated as Marty it only felt softer and worse. She was along for the ride when she needed to be in the captain’s chair with Marty. I’m sure people would disagree with her overall competency, but she left me with a boredom factor most scenes she was in. Perhaps this was because I was rooting for Marty and she was my Skyler.
Charlotte – All I have to write is the boat scene where she gave it up. What on Earth was that doing in this series? Unless they plan on coming back for season 2, that was so out of character and you can argue “rebellion”, but she’s fucking 15. That swim scene at the end of episode 8 was bizarre too. Good looking girl though (actually 18) who played her role well. She just had nothing pivotal to add except asking questions to her parents which were always answered by, “Charlotte, for one time in your life, do as I say.”
Buddy – I liked the idea that he was terminally ill because it gave some intrigue to his situation. I must ask, what was the purpose of him walking around naked? To show he doesn’t give a fuck? He can still not give a fuck and put on pants. He provided a bit of comic relief, and was an integral part, but he didn’t blow me away. Do I remember him as the lawyer in Scarface who says “Tony, baby, when you’re caught with millions, it’s hard to prove you found it in a cab?
Russ & Boyd – I’ll combine these two numnuts. If you’ve watched, Russ’s character was so out of the blue that this is what makes bad shows. It’s just not believable that a poor, drunk, redneck will get involved in some gay relationship with his fishing buddy. Just don’t get it. Plus how dumb can he be with that Ruth shit? Boyd could have easily been a chair and I wouldn’t have noticed a difference in the show.
Who Made the Show Above Average
Wyatt – I liked Wyatt tremendously. He looked the part which was extremely important for a show of this caliber. I had to believe that he was some hillbilly that had intellect and he did a good job for me. His love interest with Charlotte was respectful and went nowhere which is believable. I liked the arc of his character and hope he comes back in season 2.
Del – Ruthless. Calculated. Meticulous. Del was an amazing villain. You were scared when he was on screen because you knew his character was unpredictable. He is the reason I would say I watched onward from episode 1. He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and as the season went on you got a sense of the type of person he was. For example interviewing all the financial analysts to pick his new launderer. Cool stuff.
Ruth – Give this woman an award. Captivating when she was on screen. She had that wild hillbilly look combined with the sophistication of a mastermind. I enjoyed her performance and would say she was a HUGE reason to watch this show if it wasn’t for my #1 below. She was tough as nails. Didn’t take shit. You knew she was capable of murder which made her wickedly fun to watch. Plus her whole look was perfect. Great, great, great, character.
Marty – I’ve ragged on Jason Bateman in the past for a stretch of movies that included Extract, Couples Retreat, Horrible Bosses, The Change-Up, and some shitty movie with Mellisa McCarthy called Identity Thief. I’m sure it’s the same character in each movie as the lovable loser. I also felt he was the character who kept Arrested Development moving without adding nearly as much as the supporting cast. However, I watched Bad Words and this is a similar character as Marty Byrde who I absolutely love.
Literally I would get excited whenever other characters used the name “Marty Byrde”. He is untouchable. He’s got a plan. He’ll make it work. His emotional range is on a short spectrum for this show and that’s exactly where it should be for his situation. His remarks were clever and you got the feeling that he could talk his way out of anything. He always had his family in mind which was fun to watch. Bateman was the super star of this show and I would watch season 2 strictly for his performance.
My Opinion on Ozark
I’m going to place all the spoilers here so stop reading.
This was no Fargo. The FBI agent being gay with Boyd was straight up bizarre. Your telling me they couldn’t come up with any other angle other than the two of them being gay? So 2017. Charlotte’s entire scope was worthless to me. Jonah being the protector seemed off to me. The show would have gotten so much better if Ruth’s dad got involved but I guess there is always season 2. The Snell’s came out of the blue as the central opposition to the cartel which was ho hum in my mind. I liked Marty and the Cartel so much more without the Snell’s. I’ll give props to Jacob’s wife Darlene for making me believe she was a psychopath (and delivering). The money aspect for the Snell’s didn’t make a lot of sense to me. You’re in bumblefuck Missouri and you just got 700k from Marty and you do what with it? Buy some land to make moves on the power plant? The fuck is that.
It was a good show. I put it on par with Stranger Things but that still wasn’t elite. Show’s sometimes force too many storylines and unless everyone is first rate, it detracts from the show. Like Wendy and the real estate bullshit. Think up something better for her. Other than that though, diabolical characters like Bateman who weave their way through other characters is entertaining. Stay focused on what works and this could have been up there.