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OZARK Return of moreish crime drama with Laura Linney and Jason Bateman
When last we met the Byrde family, their plans to ﬁ nally escape a 20-episode nightmare and head for safety and solitude in Australia had been thwarted at the last gasp. With the ﬁ nal credits rolling to the sound of Dion’s ‘Drip Drop’ (opening line: ‘Hey, the roof is leakin’ and the rain’s fallin’ on my head, it won’t stop’), it seems a clear message that their problems, far from disappearing, are all set to accelerate in this new third season. Ozark stars Laura Linney and Jason Bateman as an unhappily married couple on the brink of splitting up until a business deal goes horribly wrong forcing them (and their two understandably bafﬂ ed and justiﬁ ably angry teenage children) to leave Chicago in a hurry and land in a summer community in Missouri. There they are tracked down by a vengeful Mexican drug cartel while being made to feel distinctly unwelcome by a variety of nasty local gangsters.
Each episode is a masterclass in nail-biting tension as the Byrdes somehow keep escaping ultimate disaster by the skin of their teeth. But in Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams’ Emmy-winning drama, there’s also plenty room for complex character development, wrestling with moral quandaries and sumptuous cinematography which has led some commentators to brand the show as a merger of The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. But Ozark is its own boss, and features terriﬁ c performances from Linney, Bateman and a strong supporting cast including Janet McTeer and Julia Garner. Time to strap in, people. (Brian Donaldson) ■ Ozark is available on Netﬂ ix, Fri 27 Mar.
1 Feb–31 Mar 2020 THE LIST 97