They say crime never pays that that is an understatement of what a life of crime is really about. Once you enter the world of drug dealers and their money launderers, you will realize that crime pays for a while and then exposes you and your loved ones to a fate worse than death. That is the place Marty Byrd (Jason Bateman) found himself after becoming the top money man for Omar Navarro, leader of the Navarro cartel. Now there is no way out for Marty and his family and he can’t even afford to die because that would be a death sentence on his wife and children. So, what will the Byrdes do? Well, the coming 14-episode final season of Ozark may shed some light but until then, here are the best shows to binge on as you wait.
Gangs Of London
How do two crime families stuck between powerful criminals and law enforcement survive the carnage of the London crime world? Finn Wallace is the boss of The London Underground, ruling all the gangs and controlling who brings what to the city until he dies and his family realizes that he wasn’t really the one running the powerful Wallace empire. With the strong man gone, the gangs start to squabble and the two main families go head to head against each other.
The Dumanis are the favourites of the secret forces that were controlling the former crime boss while the Wallaces won’t go down without a fight. Law enforcement tries to get everyone involved in their web but even they realize that the Dumanis and the Wallaces are just pawns being used by far more powerful forces. The rest of the gangs start settling scores against each other but there doesn’t seem to be a way out through the carnage.
Zero Zero Zero
Where do Mexican drug cartels meet the Italian mafia? Well, the Amazon Prime series brings to light the events surrounding the shipment of a large container of cocaine from Monterey, Mexico, to Italy via Africa. It is the story of the Lynwood family whose father dies before completing a transaction between cartels in Mexico and Don Minu who heads the Italian Ndrangheta mafia. Lynwood’s daughter and terminally ill son are forced to protect the shipment as they find themselves trapped in a dangerous world.
The only reason Emma Lynwood is shipping the drugs is so that she can get money to fund research that will find a cure for his brother’s condition. Don Minu, despite being old, only wants to revive his Narcos business to save the community that depends on the proceeds in Italy. With all good intentions, the two protagonists are forced to do lots of bad things to keep their families safe just like the Byrdes on Ozark. Huge prices are paid as the show proves that there is little honour among drug dealers.
Power: Book II: Ghost
It is easy to point a finger at your drug-dealing father for putting the lives of his son, ex-wife and friends in danger. However, after the father dies and your mother gets arrested for his murder which you actually committed, you realize that there are other reasons why people may sell drugs apart from just trying to get rich. Power was a great show and its sequels and prequels are expected to hit big heights as well but none will be better than the story of Ghost’s family after his death. Tariq is forced to stand up and defend his mother, entering the murky world of selling drugs at such a young age to get his mother out of jail and stay out of it himself.
Family secrets can ruin everyone’s lives as seen in Ozark. Bloodline follows the lives of the Rayburn family whose secrets turn parents and siblings against one another and things get tragic. Danny, the black sheep of the family was the centre of the show after showing up and causing their dad’s death before getting involved with a local human trafficker to smuggle cocaine for him through the family business.
Things turned tragic for him as his brother John working with the local Sheriff’s office and the DEA link Danny to the local drug business but he also dies mysteriously. It turns out that everyone in the family has a secret they are hiding and as more secrets are revealed, it becomes obvious that the family has a very dark past. It is the closest you will get to the types of families you encounter in Ozark.
Who Killed Sara
The Lazcanos family of rich and powerful casino owners wouldn’t let their son go to prison for the perceived accidental death of a nobody so they framed her own brother to go to prison for 18 years for her murder. However, when Alex Guzman gets out of prison and goes on a revenge mission on the Lazcanos, he realizes that he is after the wrong enemy.
Despite their flaws, the Lazcanos are not as evil as Guzman thought. It turns out that there are bigger forces at work against both Guzman and the Lazcanos and that Sara’s death had a deeper meaning than they thought. So enemies and friends come together once again to protect the family and just like Ozark, the lines between right and wrong fade very fast.
Queen Of The South
Teresa Mendoza wasn’t your typical drug dealer. She was just a poor woman from Culiacan Mexico working for a low-level drug dealer named Guero who worked as a hitman for the Vargas drug cartel. However, after her husband is caught stealing from his boss and Teresa is forced to flee, she exploits gaps in the same industry that ruined her life to build her own empire. She also has her own family in the name of close friends, a godson and other people she just can’t watch get into trouble again. It is a recreation of Ozark but on a global sized scale and every fan of Ozark would love it.
Now off from the world of drugs to that of wall street fund managers who combine a little bit of genius and lots of insider trading information to make more money in a day than some countries do in a year. That hedge fund manager is Bobby Axelrod. He has to protect his family from a genius prosecutor in New York attorney’s office who has a vendetta against him for many things but top of all, destabilizing his family. Axelrod also has to protect his family and his wealth which he sees as deservedly earned and so the battle between the law and big money starts. Bobby Axelrod is Billions’ Marty Byrd, always looking for loopholes in the system.
Off to the world of New York diamond merchants who are forced to survive a murkier world than that of drug dealers. The Green family empire is built upon generations of selling reliable diamonds from all over the world. However, after their father’s death and his eldest son who is a drug addict killing someone, the family legacy is on the brink of vanishing into thin air. It falls on the younger Green to save his family by combining a little bit of illegal business with their legal one to make ends meet. Things get tough in the two seasons that expose how bloody the precious metal business can get and just how hard a man can fight to save his family.
Now for a trip back in time when street gangs were more powerful than drug dealers. After WWI, a powerful crime family arose in Birmingham England called the Peaky Blinders. They were such a threat to national security that they caught the attention of prime minister Winston Churchill who dispatched a detective chief inspector to track them down and stop them. As usual, it turns out that the lines between good and evil become a little grey and allegiances start shifting. As law enforcement tries to tighten the web, the Blinders get smarter and we have a whole Ozark on our hands, just a century before Marty Bryrde’s version happens.
The consumerism culture in America can be overwhelming sometimes, if not too pressing for some. Allie Fox, an idealist and inventor finds realizes that America can’t keep him anymore and therefore uproots his family to go live in Mexico. Just like the Byrdes found it hard to adapt to changes in their living conditions, Allie Fox realizes that becoming an enemy of the state and trying to make a new life in a remote part of Mexico isn’t as easy as he thought.