Ozark

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Proceed with caution. I just finished the first season--I enjoyed it (and will start the second season tonight), but I'm sure there'll be some ridicule on this thread, with which I won't argue too strenuously. Throw plausibility out the window--I liked the general atmosphere and the performances (some of which, like the villainous head hillbilly, are quite over the top--in that instance, it's like over-the-top underplaying). It's basically one big gloss on Breaking Bad, except Jason Bateman's character out-Walters Walter White in his ability to talk himself out of the most perilous situations.

One thing I really liked near the end of the finale is the way it directly comments on the Tony Soprano-Don Draper-Walter White lineage of lead men who, without meaning to, often ruin the lives of those around them--family, business associates, casual acquaintances, everyone. (Stop reading here if you plan to watch.) A preacher who's wavering in his faith after his wife is murdered (thanks to events set in motion by Bateman's character) says he knows there must be a god, though, because (looking at Bateman) "If the devil exists then God exists, and you're the devil."

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 00:12 (one year ago) link

I'm halfway through the second season. It's pretty meh. Ruth is the only good character left.

Yerac, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 00:34 (one year ago) link

By the way, I know I shouldn't be using "hillbilly"--what is the more acceptable term right now (I honestly don't know--it's not a big issue in Canada)? One of the show's strengths, actually, is that the Ozark locals are anything but what the stereotype is (and how Bateman treats them, albeit solicitously)--Ruth Langmore and the Snells play Bateman more than he plays them, and Wyatt Langmore seems like more of an authentic intellectual than Bateman's daughter.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 00:40 (one year ago) link

I think because I watched the new Arrested Development recently, I'm kind of over Bateman's schtick (who I used to like as an actor) and even think Laura Linney is bad this season. I want to bail on the second season. I dunno yet. I might also be mad that they killed off the one other interesting character.

Yerac, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 00:46 (one year ago) link

I thought Linney was great as always the first season; also liked the FBI agent, their downstairs neighbor, Ruth, Wyatt, and Rachel (Jordana Spiro--she reminds me of Pamela Reed). And the son fits in well with all the odd, spacey kids his age that have populated movies and TV the past couple of decades: The Ice Storm, The Squid & the Whale, Glen Bishop from Mad Men, there are a bunch of them.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 01:03 (one year ago) link

I liked Jordana Spiro in that weird show she used to be on (My Boys?), but she is also grating Season 2.

Yerac, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 02:34 (one year ago) link

why is the cinematography all SO DARK tho. can’t watch this in the day time

single bed mentality (||||||||), Tuesday, 20 November 2018 07:54 (one year ago) link

You wanted a better look at Bateman Butt?

Yerac, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 12:44 (one year ago) link

Yerac: felt it starting to slip away in the second episode. Wendy's extortion of the senator's husband was too hokey even for House of Cards, and when Rachel reappears, she's someone who barely resembles her former self (with no indication in the first season that any of this was within her--she seemed quite solid). Something that had to happen sooner or later in season 1: the Ozark Mountain Daredevils on the soundtrack.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 12:48 (one year ago) link

Yeah, when Rachel showed up I was like "when did that happen?" I think we are on episode 5 right now. You like the FBI guy, I find him annoying too. Why am I watching this show!?!

Yerac, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 12:51 (one year ago) link

This looked so ugly that I didn't make it past the first episode.

adam the (abanana), Wednesday, 21 November 2018 01:01 (one year ago) link

I stuck with it, and while I could fill a few screens with implausibilities and problems--the biggest, for me, being that it seemed at times like the same endless argument between Bateman and Linney, each one taking turns one-upping the other--I'm glad I did. The performances stayed generally strong, though the FBI guy lapsed into a cartoon villain, Julia Garner went over-the-top occasionally, and I probably had more tolerance for Bateman than almost anybody else would. Prediction, not a spoiler: the Helen Mirren-like lawyer who is forever making reference to her shadowy client actually is the cartel (she was sinister at first--she's less good the more they try to soften her). I was wondering if there was going to be a third season; there is.

Not sure, but I think the first movie or TV show I've ever seen that used "Wichita Lineman." Fantastically, of course.

clemenza, Sunday, 25 November 2018 17:53 (one year ago) link

The lawyer was also on season 2 of Jessica Jones as more or less the same type of character. It's weird, I assumed they have used Wichita Lineman a lot in shows/movies but I can't think of any off the top of my head. So many versions probably make me think that.

Yerac, Sunday, 25 November 2018 19:14 (one year ago) link

six months pass...

I'm 3 eps into this and kinda debating whether or not to continue...indeed there are some intriguing & fun parts but it's kind of difficult to get past the overt similarities to Breaking Bad and moments like, y'know, the part where Bateman is about to kill himself, but his son just so happens to mention the Blue Cat Lodge, and how nobody goes there, blah blah blah, and he just happens to be at a crossroads, and look there's the Blue Cat Lodge...not to mention the gay FBI agent subplot...not to mention the lack of any interesting characters whatsoever (all I can see is Michael Bluth)...but still...its kinda alright? Does this show get better?

frogbs, Monday, 10 June 2019 16:51 (eleven months ago) link

nah not really
every episode I debate the same

kinder, Monday, 10 June 2019 20:58 (eleven months ago) link

it gets worse as it goes on, watch something else imo

forensic plumber (harbl), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 01:34 (eleven months ago) link

nine months pass...

I find it so hard to go back to these shows 18 months later (and I'm not going to rewatch the first two seasons). Season 3's up now; going into the first episode, all I really remembered was that Bateman and his family slithered out of some calamitous situation, and they decided to stay in the Ozarks and run the riverboat casino. So I'm watching, and I remember the family and Ruth and Darlene, but lots of people are missing: the old man who lived with them, the preacher, the gay FBI agent, Darlene's husband, etc. I remember Darlene's husband getting killed, and I think the old man died of natural causes, the others, I draw a blank. And I had no idea what was happening at the end of the first episode, as the Radiohead song played.

clemenza, Saturday, 28 March 2020 03:56 (one month ago) link

I came to this show late, so only watched seasons 1 and 2 a couple of months ago. Watched the season 3 premiere last night and enjoyed it basically just enough to keep going.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 28 March 2020 10:35 (one month ago) link

I have a feeling I will end up watching season three now. Damn you lockdown !

Ok. I think this show got laughably bad... But it won so many awards for the last season!

Yerac, Saturday, 28 March 2020 12:27 (one month ago) link

The lead actors probably deserve awards for pulling it all off with a straight face, but that is a surprise. Like unperson, I enjoy it in spite of itself.

clemenza, Saturday, 28 March 2020 15:14 (one month ago) link

Second episode was good!

That pre-credit sequence was just wow (and trying to figure out how it connected to anything just added to it). Wendy's brother looks like a great character. Laura Linney's "Okay" when he said Ruth was cute was priceless.

I'm still trying to piece together stuff I've forgotten. "Zeke? Oh yeah, I think remember something about that..." "Uh, Ruth and Helen clearly know each other..." I don't quite remember Ruth being quite so Andrew Dice Clay-ish the first two seasons.

It helps, as always, to turn your brain off. Wendy's scheme at the end is quite preposterous.

clemenza, Sunday, 29 March 2020 06:10 (one month ago) link

It's quite important that I stop overusing certain words.

clemenza, Sunday, 29 March 2020 17:01 (one month ago) link

I think my season three summary would be: Everyone's life gets progressively worse!

mh, Sunday, 29 March 2020 19:49 (one month ago) link

You watched the whole thing already?

clemenza, Sunday, 29 March 2020 19:54 (one month ago) link

No comment

(Yes)

mh, Sunday, 29 March 2020 19:55 (one month ago) link

I've liked the first three episodes enough that I expect I'll be finished in a few days. I will say that I'm surprised by Jason Bateman's direction (can't remember if he directed episodes previous to this season)--quite solid.

clemenza, Sunday, 29 March 2020 19:57 (one month ago) link

The plot with Wendy's brother becomes the source of much stress once you find out what's really going on

Agreed, his direction was good

mh, Sunday, 29 March 2020 19:58 (one month ago) link

Ben reminds me of Jason Lee in Almost Famous. The REO Speedwagon stuff in episode 3 cracked me up. "Are there any dentists out there?!"--right out of a Simpsons episode. The metal torture in episode 4 was a nice reference back to Noriega. Didn't find the scene in episode 4 where Maya visits Wendy at home all that credible (I mean even within the incredible world of the show). She's sharp enough that surely she must know Wendy's deeply involved in everything.

clemenza, Monday, 30 March 2020 04:01 (one month ago) link

One of the first concerts I saw as a kid was REO Speedwagon at a large outdoor event in 1991!

They might have had one of the shortest "few minor hits transitioning to playing primarily community events and conferences" careers.

I cracked up at "Hey, this guy is wondering if we could do some money laundering.." as if it was a normal ask for their booking

mh, Monday, 30 March 2020 14:42 (one month ago) link

Yeah, that was great. Deep somewhere in the Ozarks, no less.

clemenza, Monday, 30 March 2020 15:22 (one month ago) link

also shows how completely obvious "hey, we could have some of our employees run the merch booth.." and other questions are to anyone who has any idea about what money laundering looks like

mh, Monday, 30 March 2020 15:25 (one month ago) link

Episode 5: the guy Wendy goes to about intentionally losing money at the casino in exchange for a 6% kickback--I have no recollection whatsoever of who he is. Zero.

clemenza, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 15:21 (one month ago) link

Sue the therapist is a great character, so is the guy Wendy keeps calling, Damian Young from House of Cards.

clemenza, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 05:22 (one month ago) link

Who’s watchin OZARK..? I just started. This MFs got serious PROBLEMS. But he can Talk his Fn ass off!

— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) April 2, 2020

mh, Thursday, 2 April 2020 21:31 (one month ago) link

Sue the therapist rolling up Goodfellas-style in her flashy new sports car killed me. "Mar-ty...trust the process."

So long, Sue.

clemenza, Friday, 3 April 2020 13:12 (one month ago) link

Helen Pierce is scary. (Ben's commitment was a bit much, though.)

clemenza, Saturday, 4 April 2020 02:14 (one month ago) link

The episode that starts with Ben's monologue in the taxi and ends him in the restaurant--first episode I didn't like at all. He was a great addition early on, by this point he's a simpering annoyance who gets way too much screen time. I wanted Mike Ehrmantraut to show up and say "Shut up, Ben" before plugging him.

clemenza, Saturday, 4 April 2020 16:04 (one month ago) link

"ends with him"

clemenza, Saturday, 4 April 2020 16:05 (one month ago) link

so what you're saying is his plot arc is becoming clear

mh, Saturday, 4 April 2020 18:46 (one month ago) link

Unfortunate spoiler typo...

clemenza, Saturday, 4 April 2020 18:48 (one month ago) link

For what it's worth--I'm sure you did too--it was easy to guess where the episode was heading halfway through in the light of how they present Wendy this season. She's well into Lady Macbeth territory by now.

clemenza, Saturday, 4 April 2020 18:59 (one month ago) link

"She wants me to meet her mom."

That ending to episode 10 was incredible.

clemenza, Sunday, 5 April 2020 01:40 (one month ago) link

I didn't even realize that was the season closer till I went to read up on it now...

clemenza, Sunday, 5 April 2020 01:44 (one month ago) link

I liked s3, which I didn't expect as I really didn't like the first series. The writing isn't great but it's not awful. I recently tried to watch the first series of Mexico Narcos and it was appalling, such cornball no-nuance 80s soap opera with a big budget For Blokes trash.

So now I'm looking for something else to fill that Sopranos-style hole - latest series of Mr Robot is waiting but I just know I'll spend the first 3 or 4 episodes utterly clueless as to what is going on (why can't production companies cobble together a 10 minute recap at the start of each new season? WHY?). S3 and 4 of Billions is there but I get the feeling it's going to take a turn for the ludicrous.

What else is there that I've missed? I'm waiting until next week before I binge the latest Better Call Saul, but have I missed any great well-written HBO/Netflix dramas in the crimey non-fantasy realm?

NI, Monday, 6 April 2020 13:36 (one month ago) link

Highly recommend the second season of Fargo--which, except for one connection (fascinating but not crucial) can be watched as a standalone, independent of the first season.

clemenza, Monday, 6 April 2020 13:45 (one month ago) link

S1 of The Sinner is good. Unbelievable is a fine one and doner.

Would like to anti-recommend Fargo.

brechtian social distancing (Simon H.), Monday, 6 April 2020 13:51 (one month ago) link

oh, i like all seasons of Fargo.

Yerac, Monday, 6 April 2020 13:54 (one month ago) link

Will check The Sinner, thank you. Loved all of Fargo, really loved it

NI, Monday, 6 April 2020 13:58 (one month ago) link

I don't know if it's a consequence of being stuck inside so much but life on the Redneck Riviera seems pretty ideal.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 02:23 (one month ago) link

I've liked the first three episodes enough that I expect I'll be finished in a few days. I will say that I'm surprised by Jason Bateman's direction (can't remember if he directed episodes previous to this season)--quite solid.

He directed quite a few episodes of The Outsider and they were good too

groovypanda, Thursday, 9 April 2020 20:03 (one month ago) link


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