‘Ozark’: Jason Bateman Remembers Critic’s Scathing Review Despite Show’s Massive Ratings Success

by Emily Morgan

“Ozark” has seen unprecedented success as it skyrockets to the number one spot on TV ratings, yet Jason Bateman still remembers one critic’s not-so-nice review. Bateman played financial advisor-turned-money-launderer Marty Byrde on the Netflix original series. The show recently wrapped its fourth and final season. 

In the show, we follow the life and crimes of the Byrde family, who move from Chicago to Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks so Marty can launder millions of dollars for the Navarro drug cartel. Byrde’s role couldn’t be more different from his other lighthearted, comedic parts. He’s known for playing the funny guy in shows like “Arrested Development” and movies like Horrible Bosses and Identify Thief

While the show is obviously a huge hit, Bateman’s portrayal of mild-mannered Marty Byrde is in a lane all his own. Everyone is commending his acting— from viewers at home to some of Hollywood’s most elite. Nearly everyone has something positive to say about Bateman. Yet, in an interview with the Washington Post, Bateman can’t help but think about one review that’s always stuck with him. 

The review ran in The New York Times when the show first premiered in 2017. For Bateman, it stays in the forefront of his mind.

Jason Bateman compared to ‘airline agent’ in NYT review

“There were good, there were bad, but what I did not anticipate was the creativity of criticism Mike Hale put together when he described me,” said Bateman. “He basically said, this guy Jason Bateman is so boring in this character, he is like the guy who works the counter at the airport when you go to buy a ticket.”

According to Hale, Bateman seemed to have an “aggressive blandness of an airline gate agent.” Ouch. 

Nevertheless, both Bateman and “Ozark” prevailed. Since the review, the show has dropped 44 powerful episodes, produced a loyal following, and won multiple Emmys. This includes Bateman’s, which he received for directing. 

However, Bateman isn’t bragging. In fact, he says he commends the critic for his creative use of wording. “He just shaped that sentence in such a beautiful way,” said Bateman. 

While we may not get more from the Byrde family, it’s nice knowing the show went out with a bang. And we’re not just talking about the final moment in the series, but the aftermath of when viewers turned off their TVs. 

After it ended, “Ozark” landed the number one spot on Nielsen’s Top 10 list for the week of May 2-8. Per their reports, the show captured over 3 billion minutes viewed. It also saw an increase of 29% from the week prior, which is when the final episode run premiered on Netflix. Coming in second place was another Netflix show that sadly ended, “Grace and Frankie.”