I’m obsessed with Ruth. I know “Ozark” doesn’t revolve around her, but it might as well. She’s one of the strongest young female characters I’ve seen in a while, and certainly one of the most interesting on a show that doesn’t revolve around teens or young adults. And seriously, where did they find an actress who could play her so convincingly? Julia Garner scares the life out of me–in a good way.
If you haven’t been glued to Netflix and their latest breakout show “Ozark”, sit yourself down in front of the TV right now and start streaming. I’m serious. Why are you even still here? Go catch up!
All right. Back to Ruth. Wait–first I should tell you a little about the show, if you’re not into watching. Ozark is this crazy American dream run amok. Jason Bateman and Laura Linney star as Marty and Wendy Byrde, a seriously messed up couple whose lives implode when the money laundering scheme Marty has been a part of suddenly takes a wrong turn. Not that Wendy is innocent in the state of their affairs, but that’s another story altogether. In a bargain with his terrifying drug-running boss, Marty and Wendy take off for the Ozarks in a last-ditch effort to save their lives.
It doesn’t exactly work. But I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t watched the first season yet. (Um…Netflix…..get working on Season 2 please.)
Their Ozarks are filled with mix of colourful locals, brainy back-country rebels, FBI, and druglords, to name only a few. (I’m sure it’s a very stereotypical representation of the Ozarks, but it works for the show.) And what they go through to stay alive, well, it would probably mean the end for most of us.
But the writers/producers of Ozark got one incredibly weird part exactly right—Ruth Langmore. On paper, Ruth is a spunky 19-year-old who has lived an incredibly tough life, and who wants more for herself and her family. Seems like it might be an easy part to fill, right? Casting Julia Garner was brilliant. She’s a tiny spark with crazy wild hair and the meanest stare you could ever imagine. She looks like a cherub who has had her wings plucked off, and now is gunning for the one who did it. And she’s the first person Marty Byrde encounters when they arrive.
Ruth is a brilliant, young female character. But she’s not only fearsome—she’s kind to those she loves, and really sees people for who they are, regardless of how she would LIKE to treat them. I wish more characters were written like this, both for TV and books. While she doesn’t always make the “right” decisions, she always stands by her own beliefs, and never waivers, even in the face of extreme danger. I can’t wait to see what they do with her in season 2, and how Garner will evolve in this impossible role.
More Ozark, please. And more roles like Ruth Langmore.