Netflix's latest gem is called Ozark, and it is possibly the most gripping, nerve-racking, and overall well-conceived series the network has introduced since Narcos - and Narcos is based on actual f**king events.
There is one glaring theme both shows have in common that makes Ozark as hard-hitting as Narcos: the human condition, especially when there is money involved.
The story revolves around the Byrdes--Marty and Wendy with their two kids, Charlotte and Jonah. They appear as the most ordinary and charming American family on paper, excluding their very annoying and stereotypical teenage daughter who thinks she can call an uber in the Ozarks. But in fact, there's very little that is ordinary about this family.
Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) is a genius with money and people, which is why he is not only a sought-after financial advisor but also a money launderer for one of the largest Mexican drug cartels.
Of course, regardless of how cunning and clever you are, all hell eventually breaks loose when you're in business with drug cartels and psychopaths, and when it does, Marty winds up having to uproot his life and family and move to the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.
Moving from Chicago to the Ozarks turns out to be a bit of a culture shock to the entire family. Their adjustment period begins to take its toll on the whole family as Marty continuously finds himself in insanely precarious situations that make you scared even to ask, "what would I do if I were Marty?"
Jason Bateman's performance is absolutely top-notch. Laura Linney (Mystic River, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) as Wendy is outstanding, but with Linney, outstanding is what you get. Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) is another standout character that is so frighteningly conniving and complex that it goes to show that you really shouldn't judge a book by its cover and you really ought to be afraid of everyone. The unbelievably well-developed characters make the series all the more intriguing and captivating.
Netflix has been on such a roll that it is pretty much competing against itself with its original content at this point, so Ozark's quality is not at all surprising. While I don't want to compare two very different shows, if you enjoyed Breaking Bad, Ozark is definitely the next Netflix original you should be binge-watching.