As far as the majority of pop culture conversations were concerned, the past handful of days were completely ruled over by the onslaught of news coming out of San Diego Comic-Con, but for those people who weren't bogged down with superheroes and science-fiction all weekend,Netflix provided a less costumed space with the premiere of its new dramatic thriller Ozark, starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. The show has earned widespread acclaim from critics and early viewers, and everyone that applies to will likely be pumped to hear that Ozark could last a while. According to showrunner Chris Mundy:
We've always talked about five. Four would be fine, six would probably be fine, but it's always felt like [five is] a good number to tell the story.
Without getting too presumptuous, Chris Mundy is stating the plan without overtly leading anyone to believe that Netflix is currently invested in bringing five seasons of Ozark to audiences. We all know that the streaming giant is usually kind to its new dramas, meaning its certainly possible for Ozark to stay the course, but then the viewership numbers will really have to stand out, since cancellations aren't mostly off the table anymore.
But this should maybe be taken in as a sign that there is definitely enough narrative real estate for him and the writing staff to plot out the financial burdens of the Byrde family, which could easily last years on end. After all, how many people enter into a massive debt with a cartel and then walk away completely free? No, I can't imagine that Marty Byrde's life will get any easier in the future, regardless of whether or not the show is still making new episodes or not. And for what it's worth, star Laura Linney told THR that she would be down for eight seasons.
The first season of Ozark is set up with a splendid amount of white-knuckle tension, and the crime-filled story starts dropping and adding layers as it relocates the central family from Chicago to the small, titular community in Missouri. Due to both known and unknown job-related issues, Jason Batman's Marty Byrde has to walk a tightrope while balancing the constant threat of death looming over his head from the most immediate threat, a criminal played by TV great Esai Morales, as well as the threat of his family falling apart due to all the stress. If you know how Season 1 played out, you know there's definitely not a stretch to be made for Ozark taking its harrowing, and still darkly amusing, story deeper into the future.
It was during Ozark's public premiere that Chris Mundy made his comments about how long Ozark could last, and five seasons is a great number to end on. It worked for Breaking Bad, a show that has been at the center of several comparisons to Ozark, and it worked for The Wire, another series that gets namechecked in the "Best TV Ever" conversations. I don't know if I'm purposefully making comparisons there based on how good Ozark gets with its tone and its cinematography and its performances, so nobody call Omar or Skyler down here, please.
There's no need to get off your couch if you want to immediately dive back into Ozark -- or to dive in for the first time -- since Season 1 is available to stream right now on Netflix. To see what else is hitting the small screen in the near future, head to our Netflix 2017 rundown and our summer TV premiere schedule.