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Many who saw the high-intensity trailer for Jason Bateman's dramatic endeavor Ozark were pretty impressed, with some drawing parallels to another show where a normal man and his family are injected into a life of crime: Breaking Bad. Jason Bateman is aware of the comparisons his new crime drama is earning, and assures potential audiences that the Netflix series will not be that similar to Vince Gilligan's beloved drama.
We were very, very conscious not to do the beautiful work that Breaking Bad did. That's not the direction that [Ozark's Marty Byrde) goes. But there's an education and an emancipation that happens.
Just looking at the plot of Ozark, some broad differences can be spotted right out of the gate. For example, the story begins with Jason Bateman's character Marty Byrde already caught up in the criminal world. He's a money launderer for a high profile drug lord who accuses him of stealing. If one was to make a direct comparison to Breaking Bad, this story seems to be a pocket equivalent of Walter convincing Skylar and the kids to flee with him and attempting to escape, as opposed to abandoning them to take on the Neo-Nazis.
The route Ozark's Marty Byrde is taking sounds, believe it or not, somewhat harder than Walter White's in Breaking Bad. Jason Bateman's Byrde appears to arrive in the Ozarks only to get himself in deeper with the criminal world that forced his family into hiding, and he doesn't sound like someone with any intentions of attaining a Heisenberg persona. Bateman shared some additional plot points with EW, giving audiences a better idea of what they can expect from the show.
Things go sideways when he tries to 'big-city' some of these local religious zealots or meth-heads or biker gangs. Marty might underestimate the intelligence or savviness of what he perceives to be a simpler, less complicated breed of person. There's a physical danger, emotional danger, financial danger. That learning curve is steep for him---and it costs some people some lives.
The inclusion of meth-heads puts another tick in the Breaking Bad box, although the two situations do sound different, and we likely won't be rooting for the "Jesse Pinkman" of that group. Fans skeptical of the differences will just have to take Jason Bateman's word that the Ozark team was mindful not to cross into Vince Gilligan's former territory. But even if it did draw minute inspirations from one of the television's best shows of all time, would that really be a bad thing? Perhaps there will be a Saul Goodman around to lighten things up.
Those who just want to see that awesome Ozark trailer again (or for the first time), get hyped for the action by hitting play below.
We'll get a chance to see for ourselves just how similar Ozark is to Breaking Bad when the series makes its premiere on Netflix on July 21st. Summer is officially here, and television lovers can keep up with all the wonderful programming currently premiering or returning via our summer premiere guide.