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What’s Trending On TV: ‘Ozark’ & Why You Won’t See ‘Westworld’ Any Time Soon

Each week we will bring you the latest in television news, episode trailers, and promotional news. From what’s streaming this week to the best scenes from hit series, we’ve got you covered.

Jason Bateman has a quality that’s hard to tangibly flesh out. He has memorable characters such as his role in the fandom favorite Arrested Development and yet his performances in these roles are completely forgettable. For the most part, the personas in his works are usually shells. This kind of bland invisibility plays right into the build for his character Marty Byrd on the new Netflix series Ozark. At first, second, and third glance Byrd, like Bateman, has an ordinary disposition. The mundane shield is useful because he happens to be the number one money launderer for the second biggest drug cartel in Mexico. He has two kids, a wife, and a home that speaks nothing of the millions that he has in the bank. In the very first episode the family sits around the table speaking about the joys of their backyard trampoline. The facade of a happy family is lifted when his wife’s infidelity comes out, multiple murders ensue, an FBI investigation surrounds him, and the theft of millions from the cartel rips the family out of Chicago and moves them to the Ozarks.

(No way they have service out there)

In the Ozarks, Marty faces the unspeakable task of trying to clean eight million dollars of dirty money in a town where the most prominent business is a strip club where pregnant women dance. But not everything is as simple and plain as it seems. The town has a rival drug conglomerate that uses the camouflage of the low traffic area to keep them off the cops’ radar, the FBI investigation follows the Byrds into the midwest trenches, and soon some dangerous locals find out Marty is brimming with cash. All of these factors mount and trap the Byrds in a dangerous game in which they all gamble with their lives.

(Literally every episode I thought this)

The true intriguing part of viewing the series is seeing the way in which Marty uses his harmless demeanor and quick wit to survive. The man gets threatened at gunpoint in almost every episode and yet his knack to spin a horrible situation into an opportunity is a true gift. Every time he’s saved or given a lifeline it becomes more obvious that his talent for manipulating words to squirm out of danger, is marker of his true nature. In a flashback episode viewers get a glimpse into the calculations and steps Marty and his wife discussed before accepting the drug job. In a pivotal scene he sells the task so beautifully to his wife that it was as though he was talking about signing up to become a bank teller. The key here is that this is a person who distorts reality to make allowances for horrible things. The truth is that he’s a criminal no better than the cartel leader or his gun-toting associates. He’s so good at scheming and so cunning because he lies to himself daily about the faults in his marriage, the burden of his work on his family, and his integrity. Every dead body that surfaces on the end of his docks and the lethal edge that his family now lives on is completely his fault. The bland quality I spoke of earlier is a facade. There is no innocent family man in this series just a selfish man who got all A’s in math.

Grade: B-


Westworld fans will need a new holdover show to pass the time. The creators of the HBO series stated that we won’t be seeing the production until 2018. Johnathan Nolan and Lisa Joy told Variety:

We won’t be on the air until 2018. We started that conversation with the network when were shooting Episode 2 and we realized the complexity of trying to write and produce the show at the same time. We both work in the movie business as well, and in the movie business the best that you can possibly hope for with a film franchise is to turn around another installment in two or three years. So really on that schedule, we’re doing great.”

(What I think of this itinerary)

-Speaking of HBO, the juggernaut provider is facing major heat, and rightfully so, over their new proposed series Confederate. It’s an alternate reality drama centered on the concept of the South winning the Civil War. Last night, during Game of Thrones, fans used the #NoConfederate hashtag during the show to vocalize their disdain for the show.

-The new series The Deuce trailer is out. The nostalgia series starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal is produced by the creators of The Wire. With a September release date, fans will have a little over 30 days before they have to decide if they’ll try it or leave it:

-ICONIC! Internet craze and web personality Joanne the Scammer is getting a television series. All of the scamming has paid off for character creator Branden Miller. No stranger to web videos and brand promotional pieces, Joanne the Scammer is ready to breakout for a full-fledged cash out endeavor.

-One of the holdovers of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con is the Broad City panel with Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. They comedic due spoke on the show’s production, what they used to drink in college, and took questions:

-In the world of renewals both OWN’s Queen Sugar and Lifetime’s Unreal have both collected early season renewals from their respective networks. The two series are the most-watched programs on their channel and it appears they will be rewarded for their work for years to come.

– Oscar-winning Actress Lupita Nyong’o revealed to fans this week that she amazingly hid amongst the crowd at SDCC in a pink Power Rangers uniform. She spent her time between the Black Panther panel dancing through the halls and taking in the sights.

-Katy Perry will be hosting the MTV VMA’s this year. I have no comment. She needs to get her life together.

(I have no further comment)

Shocking and Jaw Dropping Moment of the Week

Lets pour one out for Julio. Last night on Starz’s hit series Power the distributor was backstabbed almost literally. Once Julio discovered Kanan was alive and working with Dre he confronted him. Dre said Kanan was harmless and not a priority. He then set up a meet between Julio and some future business connections. The meeting was an ambush and Julio fell right into the trap that Dre constructed with his old gang. The showdown was brutal with Julio getting the best of two out of three attackers. Ultimately it was the third attacker that killed him. Here’s hoping that rat Dre gets what’s coming to him very soon.

Promo of the Week

(Midnight Texas, airs Mondays at 10PM on NBC)

What You Should Be Watching

HBO and Jay and Mark Duplass have a longstanding relationship. They already champion the comedy-drama Togetherness on the network. On Friday night their new series Room 104 debuted. The twelve episode series follows the various exploits and dramas that befall characters passing through Room 104 in an unnamed hotel in an unnamed town. The anthology drama will provides a capsule in each episode of drama and a backbone of fortified storytelling. The fragmented and disconnected series is a refreshing reprieve from watching a show and waiting until episode 5 for something to happen. The cast includes Orlando Jones, Melonie Diaz, Phillip Baker Hall, James Van Der Beek, and more.

Tweets of the Week

You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at [email protected]. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

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