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Parents' Guide to


By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Dark drama has loads of drugs, violence, sex, cartel crime.

TV Netflix Drama 2017
Ozark Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 28 parent reviews

age 18+

Marginalization and ridicule of mountain folk to wag the dog. Tired tropes and filth.

Gratuitous in every way. Drug cartels are not exactly a cheerful subject, but this show uses it as an excuse to mitigate and highlight dismal and depressing content from start to finish. Filthy language, murder, mayhem, and sex paired with lazy writing is the order of the day. Much of the dialogue touted as being provincially representative in the story is completely incorrect. Sometimes the writers include words in the order in which they are used by real people in the region the story is set in. But they frequently get the meaning or inferences dead wrong. Further laziness is evidenced by the fact that the show purports to wag the dog by telling the story of how very modern violent gangster-movie things are happening in a backwards country setting by drug-dealing gangster hillbillies. It uses the fact that nowadays small towns are often the setting of such things, things that are paradigmatically big-city things. Modern tragedy and a modicum of situational truth is exploited to feign gravitas while the most rank stereotypes and trite, tired tropes are used to tell the story. The tried-and-true (not to mention old and overly used) method of marginalizing and ridiculing mountain people in the story who do most of the suffering, living, dying, working, and providing of the story is ironic due to the fact that the trope of the laziness of mountain folk is only true in this case of the people in charge of producing this terrible product.
age 18+

Made for sociopaths and narcissists

Nothing worth watching unless you’re into watching nothing but a bunch of druggie sociopaths and narcissists.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (28 ):
Kids say (21 ):

Alas, this show is a bit of a grim slog, clearly hoping to borrow a little of the shimmer of Breaking Bad, but lacking that show's spark and quirky characters. Bateman, who oozes charm in just about every role he's ever played, is curiously opaque in Ozark, hard to relate to. Unlike Breaking Bad's Walter, a righteously furious man who makes the wrong choices for the right reasons (at least at first), Bateman's Marty already broke bad, a decade ago. This makes him a lot tougher to relate to, which muddies the central conflict: It's not as much fun to watch a creep wiggle through a tough situation as it is to see a good guy caught in the grip of something bad.

Linney's huffy, knowing Wendy is more interesting to watch as the Byrdes settle in to their new home and start questing for the next great money-laundering scheme. Will it be a strip club? A tourist resort? A local evangelical church? And how soon before the local lowlifes come crawling out of the woodwork to start creating their own complications? As the twists start piling up, viewers may find themselves pulled into the drama, despite the script's tendency to have its characters pause to make stentorian speeches about the American work ethic or the criminal activities of immigrants. Fans of Netflix's serious dramas should give this one a try, but the unconverted are unlikely to stick around.

TV Details

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