‘Ozark’: Jason Bateman’s Marty Makes Subtle References to ‘Arrested Development’
Crossovers in shows have been played around with more than once, sometimes to obvious levels without any legal obstacles getting in the way. The truly fun crossovers occur when actors from an all-new show make references to shows those same actors starred on years earlier.
Recently, Ozark made a few references to Arrested Development thanks to Jason Bateman headlining both shows. No one else from Arrested Development has made a guest appearance on Ozark, or at least not yet. When that happens, a lot more fun can probably be had.
In the meantime, the show made their references to Bateman’s prior cult series somewhat subtle. Scoping them out will only mean the most to an ardent fan.
Despite references, ‘Ozark’ is a polar opposite of ‘Arrested Development’
Tonally, the shows could not be more different, even if both are about crime. Arrested Development was a lighter satire where Ozark is much darker. One could still call the latter show a dark comedy, though, which officially places it in the general wheelhouse of Arrested Development.
Nevertheless, Bateman’s character is very different from his prior role. Playing Michael Bluth allowed him to do more sitcom level comedy that Ozark never bends to. Bateman’s Marty Byrde is more in the vein of someone like Walter White, even though he is a family man like Michael Bluth was.
The comparisons of Ozark to Breaking Bad are more than obvious, with some saying former never comes close to the same complexity of latter. Still, it has a lot of loyal fans. Having that bridge between Ozark and Arrested Development provides occasional gem moments, proving stars can never escape the tidal pull of a previously popular show.
What were the references made so far? There may be more to come since Ozark is sure to have a fourth season, despite no official word.
Reference 1: Stuffing cash into a wall
Any fan of Arrested Development will remember the running gag of George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) always hiding cash in the walls of his home and workplaces. He even hid cash inside the walls of his notorious banana stand.
Ozark made a reference to this once when Marty started stuffing cash inside the walls of his resort. This reference was more than obvious, if also maybe associated with other pop culture.
One thing Ozark excels at is making references to dozens of movies and TV shows. With so many references, the subtle nods to Arrested Development might pass over a few heads if watching casually.
Reference 2: Maritime law reference
Another thing any Arrested Development fan knows is Mike Bluth was an expert on maritime law. His knowledge of this came up time and again throughout the series in hilarious ways.
Lucille Austero (played by Liza Minnelli) once had a trial inside a crab restaurant for breaking a maritime law. Ozark managed to stick in a reference to this when Marty started talking about maritime law while the family rode on the Queen Mary.
These two references are some of the best known, though one more Arrested Development reference exists you might have missed.
Reference 3: A symptom of a psychiatric medication
A faux sexual dysfunction medication called Teamocil has used in Ozark with an unusual connection to Arrested Development, if only by name. One of the side effects of this drug happens to be “arrested development.”
Yes, this probably sailed over a few heads, if also likely creating a few guffaws when hearing the name of the series referenced out loud. More references like this could always happen, especially if fans pine for some guest appearances from the old AD cast.
Then again, with that original A-list cast, it might require Netflix paying a pretty penny to get them to cameo for just a few minutes on Ozark.