Sometimes I’m a creature of habit. I complain that there is nothing new to watch and then when something does pop up I start rambling lines like “that looks sh*t” or the old classic “that’s just a rip off of such and such.”
I am without a doubt the worst type of human being.
So when Ozark appeared on my Netflix home page I went straight for old faithful and spouted “That just looks like a Breaking Bad clone!”
Again, I am thee worst type of human being.
I looked back on Breaking Bad and remembered the good times. Jesse getting his face burst open. Walt’s big beautiful evil brain. Saul’s shady antics and then it hit me…
There was a point in my life that I had never seen Breaking Bad. I seen it advertised in between other shows and thought that actually looked none too shabby. After I had dissected the first couple of episodes I saddled up my high horse and set out to preach to the world about how good this show was. At this point It wasn’t quite the prolific piece of television it is now and I distinctly remember having conversations with friends and family about a science teacher who cooks meth only to be met with a blank stare and the rebuttal of “You mean the dad from Malcom in the Middle?” The uncultured pig swine could not see this masterpiece in the making. However…
time went on and Breaking Bad picked up a die hard following. Walter became Heisenberg and all everyone could ever talk about was how good the series was and I had that smug sense that I was the one who watched it first. I was the one that told them all to set a reminder for Channel 5 so they could watch it. I was the one who told them all about the RV and Bryan Cranston and Jesse and Meth and Krazy 8 and all of that stuff. Me! No one else! Then it dawned on me…
What if Ozark is another Breaking Bad and I’ve dismissed it. What if someone else watches it first and steals the smug feeling away from me? I couldn’t live in a world like that so I pressed play and starting watching this Breaking Bad clone only to be met with a different beast altogether…and so concludes the longest introduction to a review in history. I just had to get that off my chest.
There is no denying that if you look closely enough you will find some similarities between Ozark and Breaking Bad Then again you could say that wasps are just pissed off bees and dolphins and merely happy sharks but you would be wrong. Sure on the surface they both involve the Mexican Drug Cartel, they both portray a struggling marriage, they both involved a lot of cash but deep down they are totally different. I’m not spoiling anything by mentioning these things you can read it in the Netflix description and on the surface there are some similarities. These are purely superficial.
This leads us onto the section of the review when I am going to talk about some of the characters in Ozark so if you don’t want to know anything deeper than what I have already said. I’m giving it 9 out of 10 and stop reading now.
The main difference I can see between the two entities is as follows: In Breaking Bad we see Walt adopt a life of crime and finally becoming a criminal after he runs out of justifications but Marty Byrde has been a successful money launder for several years before we are even introduced to him or his family. He has chosen this path and only now after some horrific events and circumstances (some would argue were outside of his control) we see Marty struggle to keep his head above water. He has been living comfortably for several years.
In the early seasons of Breaking Bad we see the White family rally around Walter and his cancer and you could say that the family has been made somewhat stronger before Walt’s actions ultimately tear them apart. The Byrde family is on the rocks and have been struggling for quite some time, that is with all the money they could ever dream off and we see the Byrde grow more and more distant as the story progresses.
Walter and Marty are too different characters. Walt is driven by anger of never being given what he thinks he is due and life not living up to his expectations given his seemingly infinite potential. While on the outside it seems to me as if Marty Byrdes motives are purer than Heisenberg’s, they are driven by fear and that’s what made Ozarks so riveting in my opinion. It’s still early days for Jason Bateman’s series so it would be a bold move to say that it is better than Breaking Bad and I’m not saying that in the slightest. I do however think that we could be looking at something on par.
The entire first seasons of Ozarks captivated me. It kept me wanting more and wondering how things were going to resolve or are the Byrdes in too far. It has now come to light that Netflix are planning a second season and all i am going to say is I hope they don’t rush it. Take your time and build on what you have got here. I’ll be as patient humanly possible.
It builds more than it’s fair share of tension and the only thing I can equate it to is Frasier. Now you have spat out your coffee, ranted internally and ridiculed me to my friends, let me explain. I never could watch Frasier because it would stress me out. Nothing would ever go right and if Dr Frasier Crane would just spend two seconds, take a deep breathe and think about his situation logically he would just tell the truth ten minutes in and we could all get on with our God damn day! I understand that’s not how sitcoms work but Frasier plays havoc with my Feng Shui. Ozarks had the same effect on me. Nothing goes right. Just when you think Marty has managed to straighten one of his problems out something else falls apart and several times I found myself shouting at the television. That’s just how much it pulled me in.
I couldn’t give this anything less than five stars. It made me stop thinking about Game of Thrones and so much so that I didn’t watch Season 7 Episode 3 the day it came out to finish Ozarks. I have had to switch off my phone, delete facebook and live in a cave so I don’t see any spoilers but it was totally worth it. Go watch Ozarks now.