Ozark proves that nothing brings people together like secrets
…except maybe watching them on TV
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Hello, I’m Joseph Lew, and I’ve got a bittersweet announcement to make: This will be the final Netflix Pause newsletter. It’s been a hell of a journey with you all – we’ve found (very) unexpected relatability in Selling Sunset, been charmed by Midnight Mass’ enigmatic new priest, and fallen in love with the messy queen that is Sexy Beasts.
But wipe away your tears and pick yourself off the floor, this isn’t the end of the road for you and I. We’ve got something exciting in the works, and I promise you we’ll be back bigger and better than ever. Keep an eye on your inboxes to be the first to know what surprises lie in store, and in the meantime, check out Tudum for all your editorial needs.
Given the end of this chapter of our lives, I couldn’t think of a better way to say adieu than with Ozark, which enters Part 1 of its final season this evening. There’s something about conclusions that gets me weepy, especially in this instance – the culmination of a journey that started all the way back in 2017.
Ozark S4 Part 1
Do you remember in primary school when you’d make pinkie promises on the playground, swearing not to tell anyone about art cupboard raids, embarrassing crushes on shaggy-haired boys, and your fanatic obsessions with Hannah Montana? Those nasty spit-shakes you used to replicate from television – a pact not to tattle on each other after climbing over the school fence to go play basketball during recess. There’s something so binding about a shared secret, whether that’s after robbing a grocery store together like in Good Girls, or laundering millions of dollars for a dangerous cartel like in Ozark.
Secrets are the glue that holds the characters of Ozark together. It binds the Byrde family – comprised of ex-financial advisor Marty (Jason Bateman), his cold-hearted wife Wendy (Laura Linney), teenage money-laundering genius Jonah (Skylar Gaertner), and his conflicted sister Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) – to one another, as they attempt to expand their money laundering operations all the while competing with former associate Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) and her new boss, violently deranged popper farmer Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery).
With secretive FBI deals, pesky private investigators, organic heroin, and more murderous hillbillies, this latest season continues to be as mind-bogglingly unpredictable as the previous ones. If I had a dollar for every time I finished an episode only to stare blankly at my screen asking myself if that really happened, I’d have more money than the Navarro cartel. But it’s this chaos that makes Ozark ripe for sharing. It’s one of those series that one can’t quite process alone, where you have SO! MANY! EMOTIONS! that you need to find someone else to revel in them with you. I’ll find myself pulling up a Reddit thread after every episode to read other people’s reactions (okay WHAT was that Season 3 finale?!?), or messaging my friend after a synchronised viewing session only for us to spam “wtf wtf wtf wtf wtf” at each other.
There’s no denying that this is a series founded on deception, lies, and secrets. They form the bedrock for every interaction, to the point where you’re stumped with just how the characters keep track of every fib. But beneath the stirring storytelling and gritty melodrama, Ozark is also a reminder that while secrets might bring people closer, it’s the sharing of an experience that keeps them together – something we fans know all too well.
Ozark: Season 4 Part 1 is streaming tonight from 7PM AEDT.
Watch these too:
Bloodline, for another family drama. This dark series asks whether blood is really thicker than water when a black-sheep brother (played by Aussie Ben Mendelsohn) returns home and pushes family secrets to the surface.
Queen of the South. Based on Arturo Pérez-Reverte's best-seller, the series is centred around Teresa Mendoza, a woman who is forced to work for a cartel after the murder of her drug-runner boyfriend.
Good Girls for more money laundering suburbanites. In trying to escape financial ruin, three mothers orchestrate a grocery store heist only to find themselves in hot water with a local gang.
Peaky Blinders, if you’re aching for another family criminal enterprise. Centred around notorious gang-lord Tommy Shelby, the gritty series documents the rise of his vast criminal empire.
I can’t stop thinking about:
The nominations for the 33rd annual GLAAD Media Awards, a celebration of diverse and accurate representation for queer people on screen. Netflix scored 17 nominations, including Sex Education and Special for Outstanding Comedy Series, and my new favourite cheesy romcom, Single All The Way for Outstanding TV Movie.
Ozark’s own Julia Garner’s eccentric accent in the trailer for Inventing Anna. In a profile for Town & Country Magazine, the actor speaks to meeting Anna Delvey who was surprisingly “really sweet” and how in preparing for the role, she even started sleep-talking like the conwoman.
The absolute QUEEN that is Dolly Parton who absolutely served for her 76th birthday. Iconic.