Ozark returns for much-anticipated fourth season

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Timur Markowitz

Ozark wants to be Breaking Bad, but it’s just not as good as the AMC classic.

 One of Netflix’s most memorable shows, Ozark, has returned for the first half of its fourth and final season. About a money launderer located in the Ozarks, a Missouri region of lakes, the show gained acclaim and popularity after its third season, and its fourth season has also received positive reviews. Ozark is a show that was always incredibly dependent on its performances and actors, which still remains true in its fourth outing. Jason Bateman and Laura Linney each give excellent performances that are extremely memorable as Marty and Wendy Byrde, and Julia Garner gives another passionate performance as Ruth Langmore. 

  However, the show still lives under the shadow of greater shows, namely Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, which Ozark seems to constantly imitate, and due to lackluster characters and a lack of subtle growth, the show is just one more post-2000 show about a family enveloped in crime. It fails to show true originality, and brings nothing new to the table that wasn’t in Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad. Though it attempts to duplicate aspects of each of these shows, it fails to compete with either, living in the shadows due to a lack of originality. 

  Peaky Blinders provided a new time period; Breaking Bad was one of the first shows that showed a family’s descent into crime. The Sopranos was the first major crime drama broadcast, and Better Call Saul won fans through unique pacing and excellent, nuanced character development. Yet Ozark has none of these, and is carried by strong performances despite writing that, while good, is not unique and fails to reach a point of excellence. 

  The show is well-paced and enjoyable, however it is quite far from greatness. Certain plotlines reach the point of ridiculousness when Wendy tries to start paying off senators, and one has to think that it has lost sight of the smaller but more focused crime story that it once was. Nonetheless, it is a well-plotted drama, for the most part, with interesting twists and turns and incredible performances despite what seems like a rushed storyline, mediocre characters, and unoriginality. 

  Ozark is a good show that is worth watching, but its writers desperately want it to be compared to Breaking Bad. Unfortunately for the writers, it has not lived up to the quality of vastly superior shows.

 

Final rating: 3.7/5