Ozark | Trailer Park | Film News, Buzz & Ru­mours

Exclaim! - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Josiah Hughes

NET­FLIX’S UNFLINCHINGLY BLEAK CRIME DRAMA OZARK is re­turn­ing for a sec­ond sea­son, and with it comes more white-knuckle ten­sion as we watch money laun­derer Marty Byrde and his fam­ily try to sur­vive as white-col­lar crim­i­nals in the midst of the Mis­souri wilder­ness.

Jason Bate­man stars as Byrde, but he’s also an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer and di­rected six episodes. That said, the show’s tone — which in­ge­niously pairs vi­o­lence and may­hem with nu­anced fam­ily drama — is a group ef­fort. “I have an ap­petite for fol­low­ing the money, fol­low­ing the gun — I’m a typ­i­cal cave­man,” Bate­man says. “I think more tra­di­tion­ally, the other sex will tol­er­ate more heart and more char­ac­ter con­nec­tion, and I kind of go numb to that stuff. But our head writer Chris Mundy is very dis­ci­plined about go­ing, ‘You’re not re­ally go­ing to care who that gun kills if you don’t have a con­nec­tion to that char­ac­ter and there isn’t an emo­tional in­vest­ment made.’”

Laura Lin­ney sees Ozark as a sand­box to ex­plore the emo­tional depths of Marty’s wife Wendy. “She’s not a ter­ri­bly ma­ture hu­man be­ing,” she says. “She’s smart and she’s shrewd, but she’s re­ac­tive. And she’s im­pul­sive. And she has very lit­tle con­trol of her­self…. And that’s fun to play.”

Al­though it’s not overtly po­lit­i­cal, Ozark ex­ists in an era when many are re­con­sid­er­ing the so-called “fly­over states” of Amer­ica. “Marty Byrde came to the Ozarks from Chicago think­ing he was go­ing to ‘big city’ these guys, and he dan­ger­ously un­der­es­ti­mated them,” Bate­man says. “There is a par­al­lel to that in our po­lit­i­cal cli­mate right now.”

“I think how our coun­try has shifted so dras­ti­cally, po­lit­i­cally, and the is­sues that have come up with peo­ple mis­un­der­stand­ing each other, and an ad­ver­sar­ial sense of this coun­try in a much more bla­tant way than it has been be­fore, and how it’s used against each other as a weapon,” Lin­ney adds. “I think it gives a dif­fer­ent sort of lens through which to see the show.”

Ul­ti­mately, that lens in­forms how Lin­ney views her char­ac­ter. “I can tell you what I’m in­ter­ested in, and what’s in the zeit­geist and what I’ve been think­ing about, is the ques­tion for Amer­i­cans — who are you? Who are we? Re­ally, who are we? What do we be­lieve, how do we be­have, what are we ca­pa­ble of?”

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