Netflix Crime Thriller Among The Best Shows Of All Time

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Today, if you read “Netflix Original Series,” you might roll your eyes, but some of the best shows of all time are exclusive to the streaming service. Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, Wednesday, and The Crown are all originals, as is one of the best but overlooked crime dramas, Ozark. Starring Jason Bateman at the height of his comedy movie star power, the dark crime series is perfect for anyone who’s finished Breaking Bad and The Sopranos.

Ozark Ramps The Tension With Each Episode


Jason Bateman leads the cast as Martin “Marty” Byrde, a Chicago financial advisor (so he claims) who skims money from the Mexican Cartel. To save his life, he moves his family, including his wife Wendy (Laura Linney), daughter Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz), and son Jonah (Skylar Gaertner), to the Ozarks, specifically, Osage Beach, Missouri. The goal that fuels Ozark Season 1 is to launder $8 million in only three months, but in true crime drama style, the series expands far beyond its humble beginnings.

One Of The Best Characters On TV

Soon after arriving in the Ozarks, the Byrd family runs across the Langmore crime family, including Ruth (Julia Garner), arguably the best character in the series. Ruth helps run the local mafia in Osage Beach, attempts to kill Marty a few times, and can be compared to the fantastic Boyd Crowder of Justified, played perfectly by Walter Goggins, in how the audience perceives her. Sure, she’s a criminal, but she isn’t completely bad, or is she?

It’s About Breaking Bad

Taking a cue from Breaking Bad, Ozark slowly makes the world of Osage Beach darker and more dangerous as the Byrds find themselves in over their heads. There’s a reason that Season 3 is the highest rated, at 98% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Marty and Wendy may not start as innocently as Bryan Cranston’s famous high school teacher did, but they quickly find a way to navigate the seedy underbelly of Missouri.

An Award-Winning Ensemble

There’s something about dark crime shows that appeals to critics and fans alike, as the cast of Ozark, following in the footsteps of similar shows, was nominated for major awards yearly. Julia Garner won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series twice, among her four nominations. At the same time, Jason Bateman and Laura Linney were nominated as leads for all four seasons.

The three leads may carry the show, and the ensemble widens each season as the world expands, but the tense writing and deadly stakes remain constant throughout its four-season run.

One Of The Best Crime Dramas

There’s been a run of fantastic crime series over the last 15 years, from The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Justified, to Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and Ozark, against all odds, deserves to stand among them. While there may be no standout episode on the level of “College,” “Say My Name,” or “Bagman,” the Season 3 finale, “All In,” is the best of the show’s run and perfectly captures what the show is all about.

Don’t Judge Ozark For Being A Netflix Original

Unlike other Netflix shows that have a great start but get canceled too soon, such as Santa Clarita Diet, Warrior Nun, and hundreds of others, Ozark tells a complete story. The twisting tale of the Byrd family may be a slow burn, but it’s worth it for those who need another crime drama in their streaming rotation. All four seasons of Ozark can be streamed now on Netflix.