Netflix Review: Ozark

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Here we tell you why new release, Ozark, is just another reason why Netflix is getting it so right at the moment.

Summary:

A Chicago-based financial advisor secretly relocates his family to the Missouri Ozarks when his dealings with a drug cartel go awry. (Copy and pasted that from IMDB. Points for originality.)

Why We Like It:

1. Jason Bateman continues to surprise as he steps away from the old characters of days past – the highly strung, funny, average Joe type – as he impressively documents the evolution from loving family man and Financial Advisor to cold sociopathic Money Launderer/badass.

2. Despite the fact they have to liquidate all of their assets, the Byrde’s are still able to wiggle their way in to breathtaking lakeside architectural dream of a house. The writers waste no time working out how to explain this one – “Just put a dying guy in the basement, that makes sense.”

3. It’s bleak and eery. The storyline is disjointed, characters are often unrelatable. But because of this, something about it feels real. Much more so though than its genre counterparts.

4. It gets full marks for character development. The son who guts animals. The not-so-typical teenage daughter. The thieving redneck blonde bombshell. Laura Linney’s character, the perfect juxtaposition of unhappy housewife versus badass force to be reckoned with.

Give it a watch. Let us know what you think!

 

 

Choosing a Career – Passion > Practicality

I quit my job three months ago. My well-paid, stable, relatively enjoyable job. I quit it.

Why? Because it wasn't what I really wanted to do.

I'd love to say that it was a eureka moment. That I literally had an epiphany at my desk one day, threw my laptop across the office, exclaimed "I quit" and walked out, but I didn't. It's been a back-and-forth internal battle for years. Do I pursue a job in film, something I'm deeply passionate about, but is notoriously competitive and unstable, or do I stay in my corporate career, which is considerably more stable, but doesn't make me want to jump out of bed each day?

After years of pro's and con's lists, of trying it and then reverting to the "sensible" choice, I decided passion was more important than practicality.

I quit. Applied for film jobs. Pestered contacts. Sent letters and emails. Eventually I got a days work here and there. And then a few more. And then a few more.

What prompted me to write this post, however, was the fact that today I received another job offer. A corporate, well-paid, work from home as much as I like, can do with my eyes closed job offer. I'd not have to commute, know how much I would be paid each month and not even have to go above and beyond each day. I'd have lots of money to show for it, and it tempted me.

Money is tempting. Exerting minimum effort for maximum gain is tempting. But then I thought about it.

I want to do something I love. I want to contribute to something great. I want to achieve the things I believe I can achieve. Yes, this is the harder path to take. But I know eventually, if I work hard enough, it'll pay off and I'll be glad I didn't take a path just because it was easier at the time.

Money, location, effort – all these things are important. But you'll spend a third of your life working. The only thing that is going to get you out of bed in the morning is knowing you're doing something you truly love.

Think about it. We put much more effort in to the things we love. And if we put more effort in to something, we reap more rewards. So really, if your job is your passion, you'll give it more time, energy and effort. And if you're giving it more time, energy and effort, you're going to be more successful. That's a fact!

Be bold. Chase your dreams. I don't regret it. I bet you won't either.

Bad Luck or Bad Choices?

Too often we chalk the things that happen in our lives down to luck. We tell ourselves that coincidence is responsible for what happens, be it the good and the bad.

Not always.

After some harsh self-evaluation, I've realised that a lot of the time, the bad things that happen to me are the product of my poor choices.

Before you tell yourself that you're having a run of bad luck, ask yourself whether you're actually contributing to why these things are happening.

Parking ticket? Did you read the sign properly?
Failed an exam? Did you study as much as you should?
Car broke down? Did you check the oil recently?

Don't get me wrong, bad things that are out of our control happen on a daily basis. Sometimes, you can make every effort to prevent something from happening and it still happens! That, my friends, is life.

But have a look in the mirror and be honest. Could you make better choices that will result in better outcomes? Sometimes the answer will be no, I'm doing all that I can. But sometimes it'll be yes.

And that's when you might be able to change your luck for the better.

Writing a Novel in Three Weeks

For the longest time, I've wanted to write a book. Over the past five years I've tried, intermittently, to write. Spy novels. Dystopian fiction. Trust me, I've tried. But it's just never… well, happened.

A list of half decent excuses have included:

  • A lack of time (university, work etc.)
  • The inability to come up with any strong ideas
  • The inability to come up with any original and strong ideas
  • The M key working intermittently on my laptop keyboard

I have found myself in a period of downtime recently following elective surgery (yes, I'm fine, thanks) and have decided that what better way to use said downtime than to write a book. But, considering my historical lack of commitment to book-writing and an inability to produce anything more than the first few pages, I'm setting myself a deadline. I am going to write a book in three weeks.

Whilst I'm not aware of the average time it takes for an author to produce a completed novel, I would assume three years is a more likely representation than three weeks.

I will post a daily update, including my findings, feelings and word count.

Whilst it is very much my hope that at the end of the three weeks I will have written a New York Times Bestseller, it is more my intention that this exercise will help me to discover more about myself as a writer. What obstacles did I face? How did
I overcome them? Do I really enjoy writing or do I simply have an overactive imagination?

Watch this space.

Being Happy, Against All Odds

"What is it like knowing that this will be the hardest year of your entire life?" asked a very close friend.

Within the first six months of 2017 I lost my mum, my dad, and had my heartbroken by someone who had been my life for almost six years. All at the tender age of 26.

But now, less than six months later, I can say with confidence that I am happy. What is the trick, I hear you ask?

Mindset.

Here's what worked for me:

1. Be grateful for what you have

Write a list on your phone of everything you are grateful for. Nothing is too small. Revisit it whenever you feel low.

2. Accept what you can't change

Learn to let go of the things out of your control. Stressing about them won't change them.

3. Focus on what you can change

Instead, redirect your energy on to affecting positive change in your life. Again, a list is a good starting point. Write down your goals and then start working towards achieving them.

4. Exercise

Go to the gym, start walking or take up a new class. The benefits for your health and general wellbeing are undeniable and you'll be surprised by how quickly it'll change your mood.

5. Distract yourself

Whilst avoidance isn't healthy, nor is obsessing over your adversity. When you feel like you are giving too much time to it, go for a walk or pick up a new book to take your mind off of it.