The Monday TV Show: OZARK

When Netflix is pushing something, I tend to shy away from it, but I had two crochet projects due within a week, and Missouri is one of my favorite parts of America. So….

Portlandia meets Escobar, this show. Quirky, really great writing and acting, really funny moments with really human moments with some serious “mess-with-your-head” moments. The writing is so well done it encourages you to examine your own preconceptions of who is bad and who is good.

Yeah, this show is like a morality tale in Wonderland. The premise is a guy who winds up laundering money in a nice respectable illegal way in Chicago has to run for it to the Ozarks and do the same for his crime boss, or he’s gonna get it like his partner did – him and his family.

But when they get there, the place is lousy with people already either running drugs or laundering money, sometimes both. As one of the characters says, “People who weren’t born here only come here if they’re running from something scarier than living here.”

The ten-season show has a lot of violence, and the fact that one of the laundering schemes is in a strip dance club certainly won’t have hurt the ratings with certain demographics. But the interaction between urban and rural (two families wind up being the focus, the Chicago transplants and the local petty crime trailer dwellers) and the family dynamics (these people are more dysfunctional than the Munsters) invite lovely comparisons.

In short, the whole thing is one big morality play, along the lines of Breaking Bad but not so sure-footed. The scene where the nice husband and wife first discuss whether to launder money, and how it might affect their lives, is wonderful. The scene where the husband realizes what kind of mistake that might have been is brutal.

My only regret in investing time to binge-watch these ten episodes is that I was making a marriage afghan and a baby swaddler. Hopefully the vibes won’t scar the recipients for life. (Hi, Olivia and Alex!)

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Monday TV Show: OZARK

  1. Kerri

    I watched all ten episodes in one rainy weekend–completely hooked. And it stayed in my head–the whole atmosphere–for days. The actress who played Ruth deserves some awards.

  2. Sally Wiggins

    I passed on it, as I’d heard a scathing review, but was looking for a good series and then I read your blog. Now I’m up to Episode 3 and am hooked. Thank you for recommending it. I’m doing the same for others.

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