Netflix dives into the ‘Ozark’ crime scene


Netflix tries hard to make the next “Breaking Bad” with its latest crime drama, “Ozark,” and while the network does swing for the fences, the ball lands just short of making it over. That’s not to say that “Ozark” is a bad show. No, in fact, it’s an addicting, bingeworthy drama, but a few missteps over its short and sweet 10-episode keeps it from becoming an instant classic like the aforementioned “Breaking Bad.” However, I’m more than excited for the creative team to step up to the plate and take another swing at it. I think with the groundwork laid by the writers and a great cast, the next season has everything it needs to go from a good show to a great one.

Being from the Ozarks (a place that I’ve lived all my life), I was both excited and apprehensive when I heard Netflix was setting its sights on Central Missouri for a crime drama. Excited because a show was being made about a place that is basically in Lebanon’s backyard and also one that I’ve been to dozens of times throughout my life. Apprehensive because I know Hollywood’s track record when it comes to portraying Missouri. After watching the show, I have to say that the creators (one of whom is from St. Louis) aren’t as harsh to the inhabitants of Camden County as I thought they would be, but there are still a few laughable stereotypes, including some very deep southern accents. And, unfortunately, aside from a handful of characters, there aren’t many shining examples of good citizens to be found, but what did you expect in a crime show? They’re not exactly going to focus on the Lake’s Chamber of Commerce. Fortunately, the story is good enough to look over the faults of a few of the more cardboard characters that fill the extended cast.

One thing I will give “Ozark” is that although it’s obviously trying to tap into this recent trend of anti-heroes in television, it still tries to blaze its own path. In recent years, the most famous anti-heroes have been mostly good at one point and forced to become bad. Walter White was a teacher forced into making drugs. Jax Teller is trying to set things right and leave his deceased father’s biker gang, but the bad stuff keeps pulling him back in. In “Ozark,” our hero, Marty (Jason Bateman) is Walter White at least a whole season into the series.

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