A visit to Lake Ozark for Christmas?

It’s that time of year again, a month off to sit back, relax and gorge yourself on food during the festive period. As well as this, it’s a decent chunk of time to get stuck into binging a new series. But which? With so much choice it's often hard to decide on what to pick! With shows such as Stranger Things, Peaky Blinders, The Walking Dead, other shows of equal quality can get drowned out. Whilst knowing these shows exist, I’d like to point you towards the Netflix original show, Ozark.

Yet another addition to the fantastic collection of Netflix original shows. Crime drama-thriller Ozark is probably the pick of the bunch for 2017. Ozark follows the lives of accountant Marty Byrde, played by Jason Bateman, and his family. They are confronted with the harrowing scenario of moving from Chicago to Missouri to launder money for a Mexican drug lord. Right from episode one, Ozark surprised me, and I was glad it did. Knowing that Jason Bateman was the lead and having experienced his previous work in Arrested Development, Hancock and Horrible Bosses, amongst other shows I wasn’t sure what to expect from him in such a serious role. But he swiftly put any doubt I had to rest with an assured and inspiring performance, expressing exquisitely a man torn between keeping his family safe and trying to build some form of life for himself.

In fact, it is a theme found throughout the show, one of effortlessly incredible performances. Particularly, I may add, from both Laura Linney, who portrays Marty Byrde’s wife, Wendy, alongside Julia Garner, who portrays nineteen-year- old Ruth and who, for me, stands out as putting in the most inspiring performance of them all. Ozark’s character’s feed into the shows aura of overwhelming bleakness, highlighting just how perilous life can be for those on both sides of the coin, no matter the circumstances. Ozark manages to highlight for the viewer the struggles not only of the Byrde’s but everyone in the Ozarks, merging many of these struggles together to create such an intense storyline and always had me on tenterhooks.

Ozark impressed me in just how dark it could get. Creators Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams have done an amazing job in creating a bleak visual display for the audience, and rolling with it throughout the series, cementing in both visually and in its dialogue, the gritty nature of the show and allowing for this gritty and desolate reality to bring characters together who you wouldn’t exactly assume to be compatible.

Truly gripping, it is Ozark that stands out for me as the show that you need to binge watch. Whilst its ten episodes are more than enough to quench the thirst of its viewers, being greedy we always want more. I guarantee that after you take in this amazing show, you’ll be desperate for a second season, it really is that good. I hope you do pay a visit to Lake Ozark this Christmas, I know if you do, you’ll probably end up staying a while.

Alex Harris Hero image source

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