The first part of the final season of Ozark is now available, but we have yet to wait for the second. What to watch to make the time until Marty's final reunion go by faster?
10 series similar to 'Ozark'. What to watch while waiting for the final episodes
As I'm sure you know, the fourth season of Ozark, which is the final season, has been split into two parts of seven episodes each. Part one is now available to watch on Netflix, so if you haven't had a chance yet, be sure to check out the uplifting review first. What should you do if you've watched it? In this case, the first thing to do is to be patient, as the final episodes don't have a release date yet. If, on the other hand, you want to ease the wait, I recommend series that you might also enjoy.
Breaking Bad (available on Netflix)
There's no other way to start than with Breaking Bad, to which Ozark is most often compared, and it's not a baseless comparison. You can find commonalities between the two titles, from the anti-heroes through the carefully constructed story to the drugs playing a key role in it. More important, however, is showing the transformation that the most important characters undergo against a family backdrop.
"Breaking Bad" tells the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher from Albuquerque, who starts producing and selling methamphetamine. Initially to provide financial security for the family, but as the business grows, it increasingly attracts the hero, who crosses yet another previously impossible limit.
When Ozark debuted in 2017, reviews often said it was a mix of Breaking Bad and Justice. All because Bird chose the Midwest as his crime scene and encountered groups of criminals very similar to those encountered by law enforcement officer Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant).
The unmistakable atmosphere of provincial Kansas, the colourful bullshit characters living by their own rules (led by the eloquent Boyd Crowder played by Walton Goggins), the phenomenal dialogue and Emmy-worthy performances (Margot Martindale as the head of the crime family) are all enough to dive into the world of "Justice" years later and see Langmore or Snell predecessors. An additional argument? The series should return in a sequel that takes place in Seattle.
A family of four give up their current lives, starting an escape in which they are threatened by the judiciary and a Mexican cartel, among others. Sound familiar? Absolutely, but this time it's not about Bird, but a man called Ellie Fox (Justin Theroux), an inventor with an obscure past, who leaves home for the States with his wife Margot (Melissa George) and two children for a trip down south.
"Mosquito Coast," which is an adaptation of Paul Theroux's novel (the coincidence of the titles is no coincidence), is just getting started, but the second season should explain more. And watching the characters get rid of all sorts of dangers as they try to stick together is already rewarding.
While True Detective is a detective story in a much more traditional formulation than Ozark, the similarities are not hard to find. And not just with the third season of the HBO series, which also takes place in the Ozarks.
Nick Pizzolatto's anthology offers, above all, a relatively dark atmosphere and complex characters (different in each season) whose experiences are as important as the rest of the plot. There are crimes committed by ordinary people for frivolous reasons or not at all, the stuffy atmosphere of provincial America – from California to Louisiana – and superb acting, including Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and Mahershali Ali.
You don't have to go far for the similarities in this one – just look at the title. You might enjoy Narco (as well as its spin-off), especially if you like the drug cartel themes in Ozark.
Here the story focuses only on them, showing the development of the criminal business in Colombia and Mexico in the 1980s, as well as the rise of the cocaine empires of Pablo Escobar and the Cali cartel. The series is based on real events, presenting the next stages of the war between criminals and the Drug Enforcement Agency, but thanks to the appropriate colouring of the plot it is primarily a spectacular mix of strong drama with brutal action.
The hero, haunted by the mistakes of the past, tries to get out of trouble, but each step he takes further complicates an increasingly complicated situation. This is how you could describe the fate of Marty Bird, or you could describe the fate of one Marius Josipovic (Giovanni Ribisi), a talented trickster who gets involved with very dangerous people and tries to save himself by posing as a fellow inmate.
All this in order to get money and pay off his family's debts. Absurd? Yes, Sneaky Pete often stumbles over it, but the creators deftly navigate between the twists and turns, creating a very engaging story that will give you both pleasure and excitement.
The first thing it has in common with The Ozarks is Jason Bateman, who executive produced it, directed the first two episodes, and played one of the supporting roles.
That's not the end of it, however, as based on Stephen King's novel Outsider, which artfully weaves supernatural elements into a crime mystery, is a story based largely on a dark and stuffy atmosphere, gradual mood-building and perfect execution. Add to that multifaceted characters such as the investigative duo played by Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo investigating the mysterious murder case of an 11-year-old boy, and we get a series with an atmosphere so dense that it's a knife cutter.
Mair of Easttown.
Is there anything more depressing on TV than small American towns? If you only follow the show, you'd think that poverty, crime and lack of prospects ruled every one of them, among which it's impossible to look for many reasons to be optimistic.
This kind of approach to American reality undoubtedly ties "Ozark" and "Mair of Easttown" together, where the familiar plot of a mysterious crime and a tired detective (played by Kate Winslet) hides something much deeper. The main thing here, of course, is the clever and engaging plot, but the bleak picture of the world and human nature is no less impressive – all the more troublesome because the darkness here doesn't carry an ounce of artificiality.
Queen of the South
Another "from zero to drug lord" story, telling the story of a woman's criminal career for a change – Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga).
The protagonist of Queen of the South begins as a poor girl from Sinaloa, Mexico, who falls in love with a member of a drug cartel only to find herself in the crosshairs after his untimely death and is forced to flee to the States. Forced to rethink her life, Teresa rises through the ranks of the criminal hierarchy, gaining more and more power and money, which brings her new problems. Interestingly, the series is an adaptation of a soap opera, and you have to admit that this pedigree is apparent here.
A grim Florida family story, an incredibly heavy atmosphere and a phenomenal cast. "Pedigree" is one of Netflix's first series, somewhat forgotten almost seven years after its premiere.
Part dark thriller, part gripping psychological drama, part moral conundrum. The action begins when Danny, the eldest son, whom the Rayburn family considers to be the black sheep, returns home. The series delights with original storytelling, tight atmosphere, excellent camerawork and superb acting – the cast includes Ben Mendelsohn, Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, Linda Cardellini and Chloe Sevigny.
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