Martin Byrde (Jason Bateman) is a successful financial whiz who launders money for a Mexican drug cartel. This is the worst kept secret on the Netflix series “OZARK”. But that’s the brilliant thing about this show, the thing no one is supposed to know is the thing almost everyone knows and it helps move the characters and plots along into more interesting and often times surprising stories.

There’s a lot of dark comedy in “OZARK” which lends itself to the brand Bateman had developed for himself on the big screen. He aptly introduces us into this world and navigates us through all of its insanity. Bateman is well deserving of his Best Lead Actor Emmy nomination, but the academy overlooked other cast members and it should have scored a Best Drama Series nod.

The Byrde family is dealing with criminal hillbillies, a rogue FBI agent, the cartel, and a local crime family that really only consists of a husband and wife, but deadly nonetheless.

Many men populate the world of “OZARK” but it’s truly the women who make things happen. Laura Linney plays Wendy, Martin’s wife. As the drama unfolds throughout seasons 1 & 2 we get to see more of what Wendy is made of and learn that at the end of the day, her family’s survival rests in her more than capable hands.

My other favorite is Janet McTeer who plays Helen Pierce, lawyer to the Mexican cartel. Although she only appears five episodes, her presence can be felt looming over the Byrde’s and their Ozark rivals. There’s really not a weak link in the cast. Sofia Hublitz (Charlotte Byrde) and Julie Garner (Ruth Langmore) are amazing young talents. Esai Morales does more with his limited role as cartel associate “Del” than some actors do in a full season of episodes.

I don’t want to spoil the fun of watching the plot unfold, so this post will be light on plot points, but I will say that I’ve watched a lot of tv shows and so I can generally see plot “twists” coming, but in “OZARK” the writers and directors anticipate the tropes we expect and 99% of the time I was surprised at routes taken with the stories.

Netflix has a keeper in “OZARK” and I can’t wait to see where season three takes the surviving characters. That’s right, just like with shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Sons of Anarchy” don’t get too attached to any character because you never know what fate awaits them.

“OZARK” seasons one and two are streaming now on Netflix.

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