As an on again off again watcher of the TV series Ozark, I’ve resisted the urge to write about the show until now mainly because I was waiting to see what happened?
And, after four seasons and 44 x 60-minute episodes, I can report that Ozark has finally come to an end, but possibly not the big ending that everyone was expecting.
Without giving too much away, the door remains well and truly open for another season, if that’s what the producers are considering.
Ozark is about the Byrde family — Marty, his wife Wendy, and their two children, Charlotte and Jonah — and what befalls them after they are forced to move from Chicago to the lakes area of the Ozarks in Missouri.
Marty and partner Bruce are big city financial advisers who secretly launder money for a murderous Mexican drug cartel.
When Bruce gets greedy and skims $8 million from the profits, it’s lights out for him and fiancee Liz, and very nearly Marty too, save for some quick talking.
With the gun pointed at his head, he strikes a deal to pay back the money and “wash” another $500 million for the cartel down in the Ozarks which he suggests is ripe for the picking.
“That’s better than getting nothing back if you kill me, isn’t it?” he asks.
Marty is given a few days to come up with the missing 8 mill which he does by liquidating his personal assets and closing down all of his company accounts.
The cartel’s enforcer Del orders Marty to move his family to the Ozarks as part of the plan where he must prove himself by laundering the $8 million in three months.
To do so, he has to find legitimate businesses in which he can invest, in an area described tongue-in-cheek as the ‘Redneck Riviera’.
Underlying the cartel’s demands is the ever-present threat — either you do it or you die.
We learn Wendy, meanwhile, has been having an affair and decides to leave Marty and take their two children and as much money as she can lay her hands on with her.
Unfortunately, this plan leads to the abrupt death of lover Del, as a warning from the cartel to keep the family together.
They’re both certifiably crazy. Darlene is an absolute psychopath.
Bateman also serves as a director and executive producer for the series.
Although supposedly set in the Ozarks, most of the shooting locations are actually in the Atlanta area at Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier, reportedly because of tax breaks offered by the state of Georgia.
Ozark received a total of thirty-two Primetime Emmy Award nominations including two for Outstanding Drama Series, with Bateman winning for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series in 2019 and Garner winning twice consecutively for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2019 and 2020.
Bateman has received two further Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor – Television Series Drama.
You can catch all four seasons of Ozark on Netflix.