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If you haven’t seen this Netflix original series yet, you need to correct that immediately

Published Jan 14th, 2021 7:06PM EST
Most watched shows on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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  • According to Nielsen data, Ozark was among the most-watched shows on Netflix in 2020 — in fact, it was the most-watched Netflix original series for the year.
  • Season 3 of Netflix’s Ozark picked up six months after the events of the prior season. In it, the Byrdes’ casino is finally up and running, but Marty and Wendy fight to control the family’s ultimate destiny.
  • Season 4 of Ozark is in production now.

When we last left Marty and Wendy Byrde, the money-laundering masterminds and American partners of a Mexican drug cartel in Netflix’s buzzy, super-addictive original series Ozark, cartel boss Omar Navarro had both Wendy and Marty locked in an embrace. His back was to the camera, while the Byrdes’ blood-splattered faces stare in mute horror at the off-screen body of the cartel’s American lawyer. She’d just been shot to death, and the shock of that final image before Ozark Season 3 faded to black was a perfect encapsulation of how this series (starring Jason Bateman as a shady accountant-turned-casino owner working with a drug cartel) has become a kind of Breaking Bad 2.0.

This series, one of the most-watched shows on Netflix, has it all — a storyline that’s propelled along by the machinations of a family (the Byrdes) who essentially break bad; abundant violence, shootouts, and menace to keep you on the edge of your seat; flawed lead characters that you care about; and a protagonist in the form of Bateman’s Byrde who, while he might not have the sinister edge of Walter White, will nevertheless still go down as one of the most interesting, fully-realized TV characters of this decade. And the series — for which Season 4 is in production now — is in fact so good that it achieved an impressive distinction in 2020.

According to data from the Nielsen research firm, per The Hollywood Reporter, Ozark was the most-watched Netflix original series last year, when we were all hunkered down at home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and trying to fill our newfound free time with entertainment content.

The Nielsen data shows that Netflix subscribers watched a mind-boggling 30.46 billion minutes, in aggregate, of Ozark, which dropped its third season early last year. Hopefully, we’ll get the fourth and final season sometimes this year — and, by the way, about the forthcoming final season, showrunner Chris Mundy recently shared this intriguing tidbit in an interview:

Calling attention to an early review of the show that suggested “We all know where this is ending,” predicting that a bloody, Breaking Bad-style shootout that wipes out some major characters seems to be in the offing here, Mundy said: “I remember thinking, first of all, I don’t know where this is ending but also I know their idea was a very Breaking Bad ending.

“And that’s not been the intention from the beginning.”

Does that mean that Marty, somehow, is going to make it out alive and successfully extricate himself from the cartel, the FBI that’s on his trail, and from any local casino drama that might now be, no pun intended, in the cards? Thankfully, Netflix doesn’t seem like it will make us wait much longer for that answer.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.