FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE REDNECK RIVIERA

FEAR AND LOATHING ON THE REDNECK RIVIERA

 

We promised ourselves when we started this blog that we would engage with globalist popular culture, rather than be po-faced stick-in-the-muds about it. To that end, we present a review of the new Netflix drama Ozark, as seen through White Nationalist eyes and with spoiler alerts.

The new Netflix ten-parter, Ozark is a slow burner, if ever there was one, the plotlines and character arcs take a few episodes to gel but, by the midway point, things really start to boil over and it has some interesting things to say about White America.

Accountant Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) is partnered with the garrulous Bruce Liddell in a small financial planning business based in Chicago; their main customers, however, are a particularly terrifying Mexican drugs cartel, whose millions in illicit cash they launder.

Things quickly go pear-shaped when it comes to light that Bruce and some of their sub-contractors have been skimming money from the laundering operation; upon discovering the theft gang lieutenant Del, played by Esai Morales is forced to act to bring the treachery to a gruesome end, Marty being spared only because of his gift of the gab and assurances from his hapless partners that he was not in on the scam.

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Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as the Byrdes, strangers in a strange land

Marty Byrde is a fast talker and a financial genius so he is able to buy himself and his family three more months of life after convincing Del that he can repay the gang their stolen funds and set up a new laundering operation far from big city scrutiny, in the “Redneck Riviera”, the Lake Of The Ozarks, in Missouri.

The flight to the countryside and the scramble to make up the shortfall in drugs money forms the backbone of the plot, however the cast of rural White characters then encountered by Marty, his wife Wendy, played by the criminally underrated actress Laura Linney and their teenaged children Jonah and Charlotte are gothic, menacing and surprisingly well devised.

These are not the pathetic victim archetype of Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad, nor are they the degraded psychopaths and losers of Justified or True Detective; they are post-GFC survivors, these river-rats, beachcombers, strippers, odd job men and farmers.

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Marty Byrde meets the Langmores, one of a host of characters who want their piece of the action

There are the trailer dwelling local ne’er-do-wells, the Langmores who alternate between larceny and honest work to get by; guided by their imprisoned older brother via the hand of his mean, whip smart young daughter, Ruth, the family quickly see the opportunities inherent in an influx of dirty money into their community.

Marty’s road to redemption with the gang brings him into contact with sleazy dive owner Bobby Dean, corrupt Sherrif John Nix and eventually the deeply unsettling Hillbilly duo of Jacob and Darlene Snell, played to a tee by Peter Mullan and Lisa Emery, who have an illicit operation of their own to look out for and a low tolerance of outsiders.

The main storyline is interesting enough but it’s the subplots, supporting characters and mise en scéne, if you will, which caught the eye of our writers; to those who are used to seeing, at best, neutral portrayals of rural Whites on screen and, more often, the sadomasochistic (((Hollywood))) fetish of the Redneck as Pogrom in waiting, Ozark is refreshingly patient with its subjects.

These are not the pathetic victim archetype of Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad, nor are they the degraded psychopaths and losers of Justified or True Detective; they are post-GFC survivors, these river-rats, beachcombers, strippers, odd job men and farmers.

There is the almost, but not quite defeated hotel owner Rachel (Jordana Spiro) who enters a business arrangement with the Byrdes on the basis of knowledge, but not wanting to know, what her new investors are up to.

Rachel’s business seems doomed until she makes her deal with the Devil and like many of her neighbours, the dying old man Buddy Dikert who allows the Byrdes to take over his home as long as he can see out his last days as their tenant and Michael Mosley’s idealistic preacher, they exist in a sort of limbo forced upon them by economic circumstance and the actions of bureaucracies beyond their control.

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Never cross a Hillbilly

Even the “Gay” character, Jason Butler Harner as F.B.I agent Roy Petty is nuanced; Petty is mean, manipulative and obsessive, using his sexuality as a device of power projection, much like the eminently unlikeable Joe McMillan, portrayed by Lee Pace in Halt And Catch Fire.

Woven through the episodes are glimpses of the condition of poor, rural American Whites; the growing problem of opioid addiction among older White people is explored, the hollow-eyed, middle-aged junkies sitting in their Bass boats and skiffs waiting for their dealer to deliver a fix in the middle of the lake are a particularly poignant sight.

The middle classes, as exemplified by the Byrdes and their former associates as well as the summer tourists from Chicago and St Louis who pour into the town are also given harsh scrutiny by the writers, the mutual distrust, alienation and loss of identity in the information age are all interesting plot points.

In all, Ozark, series one, sets a solid foundation for the next series, which we trust will be released by Netflix as soon as possible; far from being the usual, paranoid, (((Old-World))) tinged  anti-White drivel this program is unlikely to upset the sensitive WN viewer, it is actually an example of Peak TV which is worth watching.

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Agent Roy Petty talking down to his negro ex-lover; he is more like a Gay Paris Trout than the narrative version of homosexual males