Too much hype is given to shows when nothing but positive reviews are the norm. Building up any series is really like ringing the bell for the final death knell before the story even gets going. That’s why it’s important to ignore critics sometimes and, if you have to listen to anyone, listen to the people that have actually seen the show and can give you and honest, blow by blow recap of the series. With Ozark you would still have to watch the show to really get the intent and feel of the series.
It’s not another fix for Breaking Bad, let’s get that straight right now. If anyone needs a look at how Breaking Bad came to be then go watch Better Call Saul. Every series is going to be great, horrible, or mediocre depending upon the standards of those watching it. Ozark is unlike Breaking Bad in many ways despite the comparisons. For one the White family didn’t just up and move out of their home. The Byrd’s had to leave Chicago in order to get started on their business. We don’t even get to see why this all came about until later in the first season. Second, Byrd and White are in two very different businesses. Drugs are involved in both, but Byrd isn’t making them, he isn’t selling them, and he’s not doing them. Marty is instead laundering the money that is generated as a result of the drug trade.
So really, Ozark is miles apart from Breaking Bad, and the reviews need to reflect this if there’s going to be any type of fairness when it comes to how the series is run and how popular it can really become. It’s not an overnight success by any means, but neither is it a series in which you have to watch and wait for every little nuance to be revealed. Ozark slaps you in the face front and center with its premise and holds it there like a dirty dish cloth for nearly the whole series. Only when it finally explains just why things are the way they are do you get a glimpse behind that cloth, and then you actually WANT more.
Comparing it to Breaking Bad is like comparing an orange to a grapefruit. They have roughly the same shape and appearance, but one is definitely not like the other. This is what critics need to think about when comparing the two.
And the positive reviews that continually hype it up need to stop. It’s a young show with promise but it has yet to really get rolling. The stuff didn’t really hit the fan until the end of season one when Del got shot, and even then it kind of halted for a moment as though for a moment of shocked introspection. Marty knows trouble is coming, the Snell’s don’t care, and the audience know that in season 2 something is about to pop off in a big way, they just don’t know how yet.
The hype is bound to be the most damaging thing for the show because it promises too much without a firm and unyielding promise that the show can deliver just yet.