Tuesday, January 16, 2018


"The Byrdes and their teenage kids, Charlotte and Jonah, are, for all intents and purposes, an ordinary family with ordinary lives. Except for the job of Marty, a Chicago financial advisor who also serves as the top money launderer for the second largest drug cartel in Mexico. When things go awry, Marty must uproot his family from the skyscrapers of Chicago and relocate to the lazy lake region of the Missouri Ozarks."
Netflix's short description, while it can't possible contain every possible aspect of the story, it is pretty much straightforward. For me, it's definitely my favorite new crime series of 2017, and definitely among my all-time top 5. It reminded me of several other series I've loved over the years: Breaking Bad in the aspect of finding oneself in impossible life choices that just obligate you to take some kind of desperate action, Justified in the aspect of finding about a US local area unknown to me before (the Missouri Ozarks in this case). There are several other personal references that could be added here, but the point is that Ozark is a must-see all through its 10-part first season. It's the first time for me to enjoy Jason Bateman in a dramatic role, and the guy is just incredible, while the rest of the cast and production does a remarkable job as well.
This is one of these series that no moment is boring and keeps you on your toes with every development, while every character is well-thought-for and handled in an exemplary manner. I wouldn't want to give away anything about the whole plot, I just need to compel you to watch this. You'll thank me later.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Michael Guratza - Songs that Speak the Truth (2018)

This is one of the first great surprises in Greek underground music in 2018. Michael Guratza (also the singer/guitarist/mastermind of Bat Signal from Thessaloniki) released this gem on just the second day of the year. Even being aware of his talent and musicianship from his work with his band, this here was anything but expected for me. Michael strips his tunes completely naked of needless and unnecessary bearings and delivers them just as they are; only with his voice and guitar. And this is exactly what they need, since they alone have a reason of existence and are full of emotion. If I had to describe it musically, it all moves within a folk/americana/alternative area, at times borrowing other elements as well (like traditional greek rhythms, for instance), and with Michael giving them his own distinct character. The lyrics add a special spice to it all, overall making this work worthy of getting as much attention as possible. Discover this hidden treasure and spread the word. It really deserves it.