Why was Ozark canceled, and is there going to be a spin-off?

Spoilers for Ozark are underneath

The critically acclaimed Netflix criminal drama Ozark has come to an end. Starting with realtor Liz (Molly Leland) and concluding with PI Mel Sattem, there are 44 episodes, gallons of blood, and innumerable stomach-churning fatalities (Adam Rothenberg). 

Despite all of the devastation and near-death experiences, the Byrdes survive as a family. Impressive. 

Wendy (Laura Linney) and Marty Byrde deserve a pat on the back (Jason Bateman). The cunning, slick-tongued team has a knack for digging their way out of the trenches smelling like flowers. 

Ozark has received several honors and accolades over its four-season and five-year run, including two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Drama Series and a devoted fan following. So, why is it coming to an end? 

What was the reason behind Ozark's cancellation? 

According to Bateman, showrunner Chris Mundy had always planned for the series to finish after four or five seasons. Bateman mentioned in an interview with Collider: 

"I believe [Chris] had a general idea of where he wanted to land the aircraft. I believe there has always been an assumed region [of] three seasons, four seasons, five seasons, or something like around here." 

"There's a specific pitch to it," he said, "based on the kind of pitch line of what these individuals are doing and the pace of escalation in peril and story." 

"Given Marty Byrde and Wendy Byrde's intellect, they'll either be murdered or imprisoned if they keep on at this pace for much longer." 

"Another option is to smooth out that pitch, but then you'll be delaying simply to get more episodes and seasons." 

Mundy doesn't seem to be about dragging out a concert. Indeed, the showrunner has emphasized that he wants to bring Ozark to a satisfactory conclusion. 

The inventor told The Hollywood Reporter, "I always want closure." "I don't want to be bothered." 'OK, that was the end,' I want to feel. So, ideally, at the end, people will have a sense of closure - whether they like it or not, I'm not sure. 

"Hopefully, the second half will be just as entertaining and thrilling as the first, but also very emotional for the Byrdes and Ruth." 

One way to describe it is emotional. Following these traumatic occurrences, the Missouri family will need series counseling. 

"Hopefully, the viewer will say, 'Ah, they've sort of threaded the needle between a joyful conclusion, but they're limping," Jason Bateman said of the finale to NME. 

The phrase "limping, crawling, heaving over the finish line" is accurate, but just because Mundy has wrapped up the Ozark arc doesn't mean he's through with Byrdes or the rest of the Missouri crew. 

The rumor mill has already started spinning about a spin-off series, but what are the chances? 

Is there going to be an Ozark spin-off?

Mundy hinted the idea of an Ozark spin-off in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, saying: 

"It's something that's been mentioned by a number of people. Never say never, but for the time being, we want to make sure we get this one right." 

So, Mundy, it's finally here. We're hungry for more. 

Ruth Langmore, played by Julia Garner, has been mentioned several times in the Ozark-sphere as a possible spin-off, but her untimely death in the finale puts an end to that possibility. 

It's possible that a Langmore prequel may be considered. Mundy could probably concoct a compelling story or two, but a baby Ruth committing misdemeanors is a tough sell. 

There are only a few characters left who could carry a spin-off series. The most plausible and intriguing candidate for a titular spin-off character is Jonah Byrde (Skylar Gaertner). His Ozark adventure comes to a close with him shooting Mel Sattem in the head. This conduct, which is so contrary to his ideals, has the potential to spark off a sequence of circumstances that will lead him down a winding road. 

For the time being, we'll simply have to wait and see what Mundy has planned. 

Ozark is currently streaming on Netflix. 

Source: DigitalSpy

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