Posts Tagged ‘ted kennedy’

By John Ruberry

Five years after the fictional story of the Naperville, Illinois crime family, the Byrdes, began streaming on Netflix, Ozark has come to an end. 

Late last month the final seven episodes, comprising of Season 4 Part 2, were released. 

If you haven’t heard of the Byrdes, the family is headed by Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman), a financial planner whose firm makes the fatal mistake of laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel run by Omar Navarro (Felix Solis). Marty is married to Wendy (Laura Linney), a former Democratic Party operative, although the word “Democrat” hasn’t been mentioned for the past two seasons. Their children, Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz), and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner), are reluctant partners in the family business, which is based in the Lake of the Ozarks region of Missouri. A riverboat casino is the centerpiece of their laundering operation.

Leaving an organized crime network is much harder than joining one. But that’s what the Byrdes continue to strive for, looking back at the Chicago area as a safe haven. For real. Clearly, the Byrdes haven’t been keeping an eye on the dramatic rise of violent crime here. 

The Byrdes have formed a shaky alliance with a member of a local small-time crime family, Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner). A two-time Prime Time Emmy winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for that role, Garner is simply fabulous. Marty and Wendy can’t protect and grow their operation, let alone leave it, without assistance from other villains, convenient and tired ones, including a former Republican US senator from Illinois, Randall Schafer (Bruce Davison), and the CEO of a Chicago-based pharmaceutical corporation, Clare Shaw (Katrina Lenk). Yawn. Republicans bad, pharmaceutical firms, also bad. The money laundering Brydes? Not so much, at least according to the scriptwriters. Wendy, to protect their rackets, finds herself a reluctant participant in a Midwestern vote-suppression scheme that Schafer is behind. 

In real life, between the release of Part 1 and Part 2 of Season 4 of Ozark, the decades-long Democratic boss of Illinois, Michael Madigan, was indicted. But never forget, in television land, the GOP is evil.

Oh, what was that about Netflix losing subscribers?

A character introduced in Season 4, a disgraced former Chicago Police detective with good intentions, Mel Sattem (Adam Rothenberg), confronts the Byrdes over their hubris gained from their power and money, equating them with the Kennedy family and the conservative Koch family from Wichita. Slow down there. There is no Koch-equivalent to the Kennedys using their influence to allow Ted Kennedy to walk away with only a hand slap after arguably murdering Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick

Okay, I’ve hit the things that I didn’t enjoy with Ozark. Back to the good stuff–and there is plenty of it. 

The Navarro family has its own struggles. Omar’s nephew, Javi Elizondro (Alfonso Herrera), has plans that don’t coincide with those of his uncle. One of the many appeals of Ozark is the shifting of alliances–and the betrayals that accompany them. And of course, so are the performances–led of course by Garner–of the major characters and minor ones. One of the minor characters, Rachel Garrison (Jordana Spiro), makes a surprise return.

The cinematography of Ozark is at a feature-movie level. 

While of course set in Missouri, Ozark except for some Chicago scenes in Season 1, is filmed in the Atlanta area. In Part 1 of Season 4 I noticed a light rail train in what was supposed to be downtown Chicago. What were called streetcars way back when haven’t been running in Chicago for decades. In Part 2 of the final season, I spotted what appears to be a cabbage palm tree in front of Ruth Langmore’s Lazy-O Motel. That tree cannot survive a Midwestern winter.

And what about Wendy and Marty Byrde? As I remarked in a previous review, they are the television version of Tom and Daisy Buchanan, who in The Great Gatsby “smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness.”

All four seasons are available for streaming on Netflix. The series is rated TV-MA for graphic violence, drug use, nudity, and obscene language.

Earlier post:

Review: Ozark Season 4 Part 1.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.

Dianne Williamson makes some interesting points in this column that made my wife laugh out loud:

Despite his City Hall harem, the 17-year mayor keeps getting re-elected. Is he so popular that voters are willing to overlook the indiscretions?

Well considering Leominster has a thriving downtown, a surplus and is in financially solid shape while Fitchburg next door can’t afford to keep on its streetlights while taxes and fees rise I think that might be a clue.

I asked the wife if she would rather have had Dean J. Mazzarella as mayor for the last 20 years here, she didn’t bat an eyelash: “I’ll take the Leominster Lothario.”

Williamson’s case is a valid one but I tend to remember an awful lot of women in this state who were much more forgiving of a certain fellow in the White House a decade and a half ago and a certain senator who ruled Massachusetts for my entire life. As Stacy McCain reminds us:

the conservative who tries to turn the tables on that argument — demanding that liberals explain, for example, how Chris Dodd and Ted Kennedy could make “waitress sandwiches” and still retain the unstinting support of feminists — will again run head-on into the familiar reply: How dare you?

I don’t know Williamson’s opinion on Kennedy or Clinton but I’d be really interested to know. Exit question: How many people who are outraged in Massachusetts over the Mayor’s actions had opinions similar to Nina Burleigh concerning them Bill & Ted?

in this report from Friday’s rally; and not just because he grew up in Fitchburg:

Given the often contrived and polarizing conflict that dominates the cable-TV landscape, it would be easy, on the outside looking in, to slap a Tea Party label on Brown’s supporters. But most of those lunging for his hand were not lunatics from the fringe, merely Democrats and Independents feeling bruised, ignored and taken for granted by people in power.

If you want me to hire you to spend my money, you not only have to ask, you have to ask nicely.

The mayoral election is over and Mayor Wong won by 30+ points, that is a mandate and a half. Her first decision since the election. No Christmas decorations for Fitchburg! Even the Sentinel & Enterprise is not on board with this one:

Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong — who earlier this year decided to save money by turning off more than 60 percent of the city’s streetlights — announced last week that the city would not put up Christmas lights or other holiday decorations, and instead encouraged residents to donate money to the Fitchburg Senior Center.

“We’re going to focus more on getting people out to the downtown, and getting people to donate, and less on the holiday display,” said Wong, following a Wednesday press conference.

Her announcement likely stunned and angered many residents and business owners, as it did us, even as it comes in the wake of many puzzling decisions made by the mayor during her first term.

Even worse our hated rival next door Leominister is doing even better.

The timing of the announcement must have been particularly infuriating for Fitchburg residents because it came at the same time Leominster officials announced they were spending $20,439 to install their Christmas decorations, including new energy-efficient LED light strands.

That’s gotta leave a mark! The comments have been, shall we say, lively?

My take, if the city has decorations in storage that are not lights there are no reason why they can’t at least go on the common, but I can see see her point, if we can’t afford street lights which are a matter of safety, I really couldn’t justify the Christmas lights which is a matter or morale. (and mayor they are Christmas lights, not holiday lights.)

Two really sad things about this. If we didn’t have to have the city counsel primary to get one guy eliminated that would have saved more than enough to put up the lights and have cash left over.

In addition thanks to Ted Kennedy refusal to resign and a State Legislature desperate to give Harry Reid one more vote for obamacare we are paying for two extra elections, this weeks primary (can someone explain to me why that couldn’t have taken place in November on election day?)and Next months election to replace him. The cost of either one would have paid for the Christmas lights.

Ironic, The Champion of the little guy Ted Kennedy’s final legacy for those little guys who voted for him year after year is to help keep Christmas dark. Fitting isn’t it?