‘Ozark’ Is Not Near Trashy Enough

‘Ozark’ Is Not Near Trashy Enough

01 Apr 2020 (PT)
OZARK

As a kid, one of my favorite sitcoms was a short-lived series about this young rapscallion named Matthew Burton, played by Jason Bateman, who was always getting involved in some sort of hare-brained scheme. In one episode, Matt tries to sell answers to an upcoming exam. In another, to make money, Matt creates a fictitious rock band. When they become too popular, jeopardizing his scheme, he then kills them off. It's Your Move only lasted 18 episodes but I was transfixed. Here's this cool coastal California kid, hustling his way through life, while I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, in a small Missouri town named Eldon — which was and still is located 10 miles from Lake of the Ozarks.

So, yes, it kind of blows my mind. Not just that Jason Bateman stars in a popular television series set at Lake of the Ozarks, but just that any television show would ever be set there. And not just that, but another show where Bateman is scheming his way through the series, trying to make a dishonest buck.

Now, I don't want to sound harsh, because I have pretty fond memories of that area. My parents moved there from St. Louis right before I started second grade then we moved away when I was in the middle of sixth grade and it was a perfectly pleasant place to live when you're around that age and the year happened to coincide with Mr. Mister songs playing on the radio. My father's mother actually lived on the Bagnell Dam strip which, surprisingly, doesn't get mentioned much on Ozark, where I'd spend a lot of my time during the summer. At the time, the strip seemed perfect for someone my age: nonstop arcades, bumper cars, bumper boats, and then more arcades. Though, in retrospect, it was certainly not “perfect”: One of the arcades we frequented was called The Rebel Arcade, which at the time I associated with Star Wars. Yeah, it turns out I was wrong about that and it had nothing to do with Star Wars.

Anyway, I have now watched three full seasons of Ozark. It's a show I like quite a bit and this third season is the best season so far, but I have one little quibble. So it turns out Ozark is actually filmed in Georgia — which, yes, I get, because the Missouri government is not smart enough to offer tax breaks to encourage filming there. But this creates a problem when trying to depict Lake of the Ozarks in a series — because what we see in Ozark isn't near trashy enough to pass for Lake of the Ozarks.

Here's a good example: Me and a couple of my friends were playing “king of the hill” on a huge pile of dirt on a farm next to our subdivision. The owner of the farm came out to tell us that wasn't dirt, it was manure. We kept playing. Ah, Lake Ozark.

My father lived at the Lake when he was a kid which is why he wanted to move back there when I was a kid and that's where he wound up dying a couple of years ago. It's a bittersweet area for me, one I last visited in the summer of 2018, shortly after my father's death. I mention this because my dad knew this whole strange cast of characters who frequented the area — which Ozark does a fairly good job of recreating. Now, I don't know anything about Mexican cartels being active in that area, but there were hillbilly kingpins that were “just better off left alone.” Basically, as far as I could tell, these were yokels who were, as my dad would call them, “ornery.” I also remember being at Walmart one day and being introduced to “Grizzly Adams.” I remember in the parking lot I said, “Wow, dad, that's the guy from TV?” He replied, “No, he just lives in the woods.”

Have you ever seen a map of Lake of the Ozarks? I should clarify, “Lake of the Ozarks” is the actual lake. “Lake Ozark” is a very small city near the lake that not many people actually live in. Most people who live near the lake actually live in a city called Osage Beach, which has been mentioned on the show from time to time. The reason I ask this is because it is not your normal lake. It is not just a large body of water. It's almost a large, massive river that snakes around an enormous amount of land, which is why you hear things on the show like it has more waterfront property than California. I mean, look at this weird thing:

‘Ozark’ Is Not Near Trashy EnoughGoogle

It is not this beautiful, serene lake that we see on Ozark. First, you can literally get lost. And the lake they film at in Georgia is way too cinematic. The area surrounding Lake of the Ozarks is either t-shirt shops, tattoo parlors, outlet malls, or lots filled with mud though, maybe it's manure. In Ozark, we sometimes hear about “party cove.” Yes, this is a real thing. In the show, it's a few boats all out in the water, with people having a good time. In reality, oh, it's a nightmare.

It's funny, I had watched the first season of Ozark and kind of got used to its somewhat peaceful surroundings before I actually had to go to the real one back in 2018. When I returned, instead of green trees and lush surroundings, I was greeted by about 15 wasps divebombing my head. Oh, there are not near enough wasps in Ozark. For season four they really should call in a wasp wrangler, or whatever. Also, the accents are fine, but the show really needs a lot more people who pronounce the word “wash” with an “r.” Also, in that area of Missouri, it's not pronounced “Missouri.” It's, “Missour-uh.” Which, to me, is nails on a chalkboard every time I hear it, but that's how people pronounce it there. The worst part is, people not even originally from the area will pronounce it with an “uh” and it drives me nuts. They will talk with no accent whatsoever, but use the “uh” pronunciation just because they hear so many other people use it. In season four, Marty and Wendy need to start saying, “Missour-uh.”

Now, I know most people feel this way about any movie or television series set in a place they know very well. I get also get this way about New York City, in an annoying, “Um, there's no way they could have gotten from here to there using the F train. It's just not believable,” kind of way. But we expect things to take place in New York City. I never in my wildest dreams expected there to be a hit television series about Lake of the Ozarks. Because, why on Earth would there be? But, I'm glad it exists. It's nice to get all the little references. In this season Lee's Summit is mentioned a suburb of Kansas City, Webster Groves is mentioned a suburb of St. Louis. There's even a clever line about the St. Louis Cardinals playing the Milwaukee Brewers, which would have been true the day I was watching that episode had sports not been indefinitely delayed. It gets a lot of the references right and a lot of the characters of the area right.

But, for the fourth season, I'm pleading with Ozark: please, trash the place up a bit.

OZARK
Weekend of July 31 - August 2, 2020 (IMDb)
The Rental
1.
The Rental
Net: $0.3M Grs: $0.9M
Weeks: 2
The Goonies
2.
The Goonies
Net: $0.2M Grs: $0.4M
Weeks: 4
Jurassic Park
3.
Jurassic Park
Net: $0.1M Grs: $0.9M
Weeks: 7
Back to the Future
4.
Back to the Future
Net: $0.1M Grs: $0.1M
Weeks: 1
Grease
5.
Grease
Net: $0.1M Grs: $0.1M
Weeks: 1
The Big Ugly
6.
The Big Ugly
Net: $0.1M Grs: $0.3M
Weeks: 2
Summerland
7.
Summerland
Net: $0.0M Grs: $0.0M
Weeks: 1
The Wretched
8.
The Wretched
Net: $0.0M Grs: $1.8M
Weeks: 14
Relic
9.
Relic
Net: $0.0M Grs: $1.0M
Weeks: 5
The Grizzlies
10.
The Grizzlies
Net: $0.0M Grs: $0.0M
Weeks: 1
‘Ozark’ Is Not Near Trashy Enough
Movie News | Entertainment News | TV shows | Trailers | Videos | Movier.net for movie lovers
Copyright - www.movier.net - Email: [email protected]
Movier.net just now