’Ozark’ The Meaning Of A Netflix Finale

 As one of the streamer’s most suspenseful and successful shows wraps up, does it matter if fans aren’t watching the big finish together 

By now, some obsessive “Ozark” fans will have already plowed through the show’s final seven hour-long episodes, which appeared early Friday morning on Netflix

For other fans, it could be this weekend, next week, or beyond when they find out the fate of the Byrdes, the suburban family who became crime kingpins over the course of four seasons.

After a marathon build-up to this moment, “Ozark” showrunner Chris Mundy has mixed emotions about having its audience straggle across the finish line at different times.

As a viewer, I love being able to immerse myself and keep going,” Mr. Mundy said. On the other hand: “I wish there was a way to let everyone binge the first five” of the show’s final

then say, ‘Now you’ve got a weekend to do the final two, then let’s talk. The all-at-once release model that Netflix pioneered gave users the freedom to consume TV at their own pace.

But that signature feature has come in for scrutiny as the company deals with a loss of subscribers and the need to establish more series with the kind of longevity and audience loyalty of “Ozark”

Among the many series that have come and gone on Netflix, “Ozark” gave the streamer a rare build-up of anticipation for a finale episode. In an effort to enhance the experience for fans, “Ozark”

 The finale couldn’t write about the details of it until Monday, three days after release. Mr. Mundy said it was the first time in the show’s run that producers had suggested such an embargo,  debated

Once, the series finale was the ultimate group ritual of TV fandom. When the original run of “The Sopranos” ended on a Sunday night in 2007, about 12 million viewers experienced

 The screen cut to black on Tony and his family.  The end of “Ozark” raises the question: Does a long-awaited series finale have as much impact when fans don’t experience it in unison

“There’s this feeling of, we’ve invested five years in this thing, so doing it together seems more substantive,” Mr. Mundy said. When the first half of “Ozark”’s final season hit Netflix in January 

A competing crime drama on cable channel AMC, “Better Call Saul,” which airs weekly in the traditional fashion, experienced a much different pattern of demand.

More streaming services now use the weekly model than not. In 2020, 70% of the shows in Parrot’s top 50 ranking of new streaming series were binge-model releases. In 2021, that figure fell to 28%. 

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