My performance of the week ending 4/4/20 on TV goes to…

Tom Pelphrey as Ben Davis on Netflix’s Ozark season 3.

Ozark season 3 may be my favorite season yet and part of that is because of the beyond brilliant performance by Tom Pelphrey, who gave his heart and soul to his portrayal of Wendy’s brother, Ben Davis.

**Please note major spoilers have been left out for your convenience.**

It’s not easy being the new character on a show, especially when the characters are already so fantastic. However, Ben Davis certainly makes his presence known when he shows up to stay with the Byrde family.

What I really enjoyed about Ben was the way he was able to elevate other characters on the show. His connections with Ruth and his sister, Wendy, really developed their own character transformations, which I thought was so clever and thought-provoking.

Ben from Ozark Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

We learn that Ben suffers from bipolar disorder and begins to make some drastic decisions when he starts developing romantic feelings for our girl, Ruth, which worries Wendy. Wendy has seen Ben at his worst before and doesn’t want to go down this dark path again, especially since the entire family is walking on eggshells while working for the drug cartel.

I’ve never really liked Wendy that much before, but her interactions with Ben made me change my mind. We finally got to witness some truly believable and emotional moments with Wendy and I’m not sure that we would have seen them without Ben on the show.

Ben from Ozark Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Ben has some fantastic and chilling moments on his own as well and isn’t afraid to shatter the lies and secrets being told in town. While his measures and actions may be beyond extreme at times, you can tell that he really has a big heart and cares about both Ruth and his family. He wears his heart on his sleeve, but he also believes in loyalty and integrity. He is honestly one of the most interesting characters I have seen on a show in a long time.

It’s not always easy to portray someone with a mental illness, but Tom Pelphrey really does a great job. He doesn’t overdo things or overact. He just simple embraces the role to the point where you really think that he is Ben Davis, which deserves a lot of recognition. I honestly think that he deserves an Emmy nomination for this role. He’s that good.

Season 3, episode 9 will tug at all of your emotions. I mentioned how powerful this episode was during my spoiler-free review of season 3, but Pelphrey’s performance is so real and heart-wrenching. I was crying my eyes out during this episode and I am still thinking about it even now. That’s how epic it was.

Family can sometimes be more complicated than anything else in the world and yet we still want to do everything we can to help the ones we love.

Bravo, Tom Pelphrey! Thank you for elevating an already fantastic show into something even greater.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Ozark” season 3 on Netflix: Edge of Your Seat Perfection

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

Netflix certainly has us covered with plenty of new shows, seasons, and movies to help us during social distancing, but they really hit it out of the park with the latest season of Ozark.

Ozark season 3 premiered on Netflix on March 27th 2020 with 10 new episodes (Approximately 60 minutes in length). It stars Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner, Janet McTeer, and Tom Pelphrey.

If you have never seen the show before, it channels a real Breaking Bad feel. Marty Byrde is forced to move his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks in order to launder money for the drug cartel.

Each season focuses on different business ventures that Marty must obtain in order to successfully launder the money to appease his boss and protect his family, leading to scandal, murder, and secrets along the way.

I am a fan of the series and was eager to see where the Byrde family would invest their time and money next. A casino seemed like the perfect place, but we quickly learn that this may not be so easy when competitors and the FBI begin to stir up some trouble for the Byrde family.

The show is fantastic, but the episodes are super long and sometimes can drag here and there. However, season 3 absolutely picks up the pace while introducing us to some new characters. But does it do enough to stand out from its prior seasons? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Ozark Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

New character dynamics light up the screen.

I am a huge fan of Ruth Langmore and will continue to root for her against all odds. Seriously, she’s the best. However, I was beyond thrilled when we got some new characters on the show to really spice things up and to develop some of our other characters even more.

I am going to highlight Wendy’s brother, Ben, who comes to visit the Byrde family. Tom Pelphrey is beyond brilliant playing this role and he also helps us see even more layers from both Ruth and Wendy. Season 3, episode 9 was probably the best episode I have witnessed on the show and I think that both Pelphrey and Linney deserve an Emmy for their performances.

 I still have chills from it…

It was also nice to see other characters develop more. Charlotte and Jonah actual earn their own story-lines, which I appreciated, as they interact with Helen’s rebellious daughter, Erin.

The casino background is a nice change of scenery.

We’ve seen Marty invest in a restaurant and a strip club, but I thought the casino was really a bold choice.

Ozark Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

I have to say that Ruth did an amazing job running the floor and was not afraid to ruffle any feathers if anyone tried to mess with her.

Of course the casino captures the attention of the FBI, which makes things more complicated for the Byrde family, but I was thoroughly invested in all of the schemes and secrets behind the scenes here, which was a welcomed change of business for the Byrde family.

Fast paced edge of your seat moments and cliffhangers.

Every episode had something new and exciting. I was never bored throughout season 3 and the final moments of the last episode will leave you in complete shock. It’s that good. I really appreciated how much this show adapted to keep the pace going steady, as it had the tendency to slow down quite a bit in seasons 1 and 2.

Bravo!

The Cons:

Ozark Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

The Darlene and Wyatt scenes…

So, while I thought a lot of the new character relationships and dynamics were necessary and intriguing, we don’t need to pair everyone up and we don’t need unnecessary sex scenes with certain characters that really leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Sometimes I think certain characters should really just be abandoned if they don’t further the plot and we don’t need to have them in every scene for them to make a difference.

So am I in or out?

Ozark Netflix 5
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in! Since a lot of my favorite shows are delaying production and release, I was beyond pleased to be able to binge-watch Ozark season 3 all in one weekend. This series blends family drama and crime thrills seamlessly. Each episode leaves you wanting more and the finale gave us one of the most shocking cliffhangers I have seen in a while.

Season 3 was my favorite season yet! More please!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Ozark season 3 in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

[twitter-follow screen_name=’TV_Fanatic_Girl’]

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!