Well, this time my Facebook was blocked because of some dumb error with my young son accidentally changing my birth date on the site. My fucking…birth date (I didn’t have another meltdown so no worries, just if you are close to me, text me). So I’ve had to send Facebook a picture of my government ID and they had a COVID-19 warning saying there are less people being able to confirm ID’s so mine might not be looked at for some time or not at all until this is over. Fan-fucking-tastic. Well, I’m not going to let something small like that prevent me from writing my reviews. But with this whole end of the world thing happening, new movies are going to be scarcer and scarcer to come by in the coming months. Who knows when theaters will reopen…so it’s down to new 2020 movies that I haven’t seen yet that came out earlier this year (and I didn’t see them because they looked like shit), straight to video on demand shit, and TV Bingeing shit. Fuck, I’ve even gotten to episode 3 of Tiger King, eventually reviewing that massive train wreck to my constant readers just to fill my review writin’ void. But for right now, let me review the exact opposite of a train wreck…well in terms of quality at least…OZARK SEASON 3 on Netflix. If you are in a small corner of television binge watching and have never heard of this television series before, it stars Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, and it’s basically a much more dark and depressing version of Breaking Bad, except not as masterful as that show (but I mean, it’s still pretty good, just nothing will probably ever beat Walter White or Jesse Pinkman for me). And while Breaking Bad is a nice and slow burn for how much shit all the characters have to go through, Ozark puts their characters fast and furious through a blender several times in just a one hour episode. It’s ten episodes of all the characters digging deeper holes for themselves a dozen times in the span of sixty minutes. And I fucking love every second of it.
The whole series itself is about a family that has to relocate their family to the Ozarks to launder money for a Mexican drug cartel. Yeah there are a bunch of different plot threads over the first two seasons, but I’m not going to get into those because it will take all day. For a quick little summary of what starts this season, Jason Bateman and Laura Linney successfully opened a casino on the lake, basically another front to launder more drug money for the cartel. The casino is mainly run by their curly haired sailor mouth named Ruth (one of the highlights of the entire series, the actress, Julia Garner, just won an Emmy last year), and when we start season 3, the casino is running smoothly…until the FBI starts doing an audit of their enterprise. That’s basically all you need to know and that a new character enters the game, Laura Linney’s character has a brother named Ben Davis, that causes some problems, even though he’s a good character at heart. But you’ve heard of the road to hell being paved with the best intentions right? Anyway, shitty thing after shitty thing begins happening to a lot of these characters, and they either die, or come up with some elaborate fucking way to narrowly escape their predicaments. It’s fantastic television to say the least. The direction is great (Jason Bateman always directs the first two episodes, I wish he did them all, he won an Emmy last year for one of his directorial efforts), the cinematography is dark, blue, and moody, the acting is top notch, and the story is fast paced and tense as hell. If you love shit like that, you’ll love this series, and you should start from the beginning if you haven’t already.
But if you are an Ozarkian like myself and was already caught up before Season 3 premiered all ten episodes last week, you are in for a treat. Now, the question that everyone asks is, is this the best season so far? I’d say that this and the first season are pretty on par for how great they are. Season Two lost a little bit of quality from the first, but not that much, all three are very tight pieces of solid entertainment. The most valuable player this season isn’t Ruth, but the new character, Ben Davis, played by Tom Phlphrey (Iron Fist season 1 and 2). He’s excellent as a bi polar family member that tries to do good, but just ends up making things worse. Episodes 8 and 9 will probably win him a best supporting actor Emmy this next award season. He’s really that good. In the end, I love this series, and hope it gets picked up for Season 4, as Season 3 ends in a literal bang, one that made me jump out of my seat it was so unexpected. Season one of Ozark took my about a week to get thru, Season two I finished over a weekend and regretted it (just because it felt like I did nothing of use that weekend), this one I finished in 5 days. That’s how good it is. If I’m going to revisit television shows in the future, it will always first be Breaking Bad, followed by Better Call Saul, 24, Lost…and depending on how it ultimately ends, probably somewhere in between, Ozark. It keeps pulling you in, and you let it, because the white knuckle ride is worth it.