First, let me start by saying that Netflix has been killing it with original content, but I do think that their series DARK is in a league of its own. Many are erroneously comparing this to Stranger Things, but let me tell you something…
If I had to choose anything to compare this series to, it would be a strange mashup of Hannibal meets Back to the Future. And even then, that feels like a bit of a disservice to this series that has found away to pull elements from both, and make it its own. Creators Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese excel and shine here. The series, while inclusive of sci-fi elements, is heavy on the drama. Starting with the opening credits even, it seems like one giant, artistic collage, with images from the season shown in a kaleidoscope format. Then, there are the shots in the show itself, displaying some haunting, and sometimes beautiful cinematography. It’s easy to take such things for granted until you see a show/film that excels at it. DARK truly does have the power to transport you not only mentally, but visually.
And then there’s the music.
DARK excels where few shows don’t, hell movies, even: the musical score is on point. From top to bottom, the composition conveys what’s on screen, giving the viewer even more than they thought they were getting. Scenes have tones and moods, and if the right music isn’t chosen, well, it can butcher a scene entirely.
Now, this show is German, and I must implore those who are to watch, do not watch the English-dubbed version. I don’t know who they choose for those things, but they are the dullest voice actors known to man, I am sure. I don’t understand why shows and films don’t just pay some theater students from universities to do it–those who are eager and hungry to read it with a level of passion that just is non-existent with the voice actors who typically get the voice over gigs for shows.
But I digress.
Without giving too much away, this show is about the people in the small town of Winden, beginning with a suicide, and a missing teenage boy. As the story unfolds, we learn that these stories, much like the people of the town, are heavily intertwined, one explaining the other in their own way. The losses are expressed through the eyes of the town police officer, Ulrich Nielsen [Oliver Masucci], and by high school student, Jonas Kahnwald [Louis Hofmann]. The show takes us on an emotional roller coaster as the losses begin to add up, and makes us think–and I mean really think–as we are shown not only the varying characters, but the characters as they are in different points of time. For instance, we not only see Ulrich in 2019, where the present day exists, but also in flashbacks of a young Ulrich [Ludger Bökelmann] in 1986.
DARK will take you down a twisty and shadowed rabbit hole, but as you delve deeper, you’ll be glad you decided to take the journey.
This Fangirl simply cannot wait for [the already greenlit] season 2 on Netflix.