50 best television shows set across the United States

26 of 52

Missouri: Ozark

The premise: Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) has to hastily relocate his family to a remote, resort town after a money-laundering scheme goes terribly wrong. While Marty is trying to pay off his debt to the Mexican drug lords back in Chicago, he also becomes involved with local criminals.

When Marty and his family first arrive, they struggle to acclimate, but necessity dictates they quickly find a way to fit in. Marty befriends a local business owner and sees this as an opportunity to launder money, and his wife weasels her way into a job in town.

The setting: As it’s title suggests, the show takes place in the Missouri Ozarks, on the Lake there, and it is important to understand how the Byrde family use the Ozarks for both safety and opportunity. Marty uses this seemingly remote location as a way to keep his family out of harm, but he completely underestimates how much danger he will encounter there.

It’s unclear, even after a whole first season, if Marty is a good or bad guy. It becomes clear that coming to this sleepy little town isn’t going to provide the kind of relief he was hoping.

The most Missouri thing about it: The resort where Marty works is based on a real place that creator, Bill Dubuque, worked as a young man. Dubuque worked as a deck-hand at the Alhonna Resort and Marina while he attended college there in the 1980s.