Dark is a new series on Netflix that’s just as dark and gloomy as the title would have you believe. And yes, it’s in German, but it suits the style and story perfectly.
There’s a distinct fairytale style to Dark which makes it perfect for the Holiday season. You can watch season 1 on Netflix now, and since it’s a Netflix original it’s out worldwide.
During each of the ten episodes, there’s a man with an impressively dark and deep voice, who slowly and solemnly tells us something about what’s going on. Not exactly a summary or “next on” information. More of a warning explaining some of the challenges the characters will meet next.
Also, it seems like even the weather is against everyone in Dark. It’s basically raining the entire time. Or, at the very least from the moment, things start to go wrong. Which is almost from the very beginning. It’s just that more and more characters get directly involved as the story progresses.
A different kind of family saga
Dark is basically a new take on a typical family saga. It spans three different time periods, which isn’t very special in and of itself. However, there is also a few twists regarding time itself. Or rather how time moves. Is it completely chronological? Or is it perhaps possible to jump to other time periods? And could the nuclear power plant in this small German town have anything to do with all this?
You really shouldn’t know too much about the plot before you watch Dark. It has to be experienced first hand. Anything else would make no sense at all. And you have got to pay attention. Don’t check your phone, go get coffee or take a quick bathroom break without hitting pause. There is a lot going on and since the same characters are played by different actors (because of the three time periods), you can miss something important very quickly.
And really, part of the fun and mystery is trying to guess who’s who. Around halfway through the season, there is a clear out mapping of the characters in various time periods. There are a number of parallels happening across time and so the same characters (in different time periods) are shown via split screen.
And the casting of Dark is very impressive, so it’s no problem keeping track really. Not as long as you’re staying involved and attentive.
Want to meet your parents as teens?
Thanks to the time jumping element, a teenager suddenly becomes confronted with his own parents in another period of time. The parents are teenagers themselves and, obviously, have no idea that the person they’re meeting is their own child.
This may sound interesting, but it really isn’t necessarily a very positive experience. Afterall, even the worst adults may have been kind children. And it’s even worse when it’s the other way around and you meet some real bullies, who you know will grow up to be your parents.
In general, there are a number of crazy “mindfucks” along the way.
That’s another reason you need to keep your attention focused on the screen. I mean, even the characters in the story have a difficult time keeping track. That’s why several characters make their own maps for keeping track of both people and time periods. Something that obviously helps the viewer as well.
That’s why Dark is a perfect series to binge-watch. It’s great to keep your head in this crazy universe because it’s easier to keep up with everything.
German storytelling in the best way
I know many people are feeling very reserved about watching a German series on Netflix. But you really shouldn’t rob yourself of this experience. After all, there are subtitles. And if you’ve ever taken a German class, you’ll be surprised at how fast you understand some of the dialogue.
And really, if you only want to watch movies and TV shows in English, you’re missing out on so much great stuff. And please don’t choose some dubbed version. A huge part of what makes Dark so great is the fact that German just works perfectly for this story.
It’s deep and heavy in some ways, but part of the story takes place in the 80s. A time when Germany was the place to be. Well, West Germany, obviously, and especially Berlin. I’ve always loved the 1980s, but Dark is definitely not looking at the light and bubbly side of that time period. But yes, we do get to hear Nena singing about those famous balloons.
Season 2 of Dark is coming
Here at Heaven of Horror, we actually binge-watched Dark as soon as it came out. We’ve just been hesitant with a review since people seemed to reject it simply for being German. However, wonders of wonders, people who watched it spoke so highly about it that it brought more and more people around. Yeah, it really is that good!
That’s why it deserves a massive audience, which seems to have happened now. The official go-ahead for season 2 is a definite proof of that. And trust me, when you’ve finished watching season 1 of Dark, you will be very happy about this news. It ends with a perfect twist to explore further in Dark season 2.
So, if you need something dark, edgy and kinda crazy to take the edge off the jolly season, then Dark is perfect.
Dark was released worldwide on Netflix December 1, 2017.
Director: Baran bo Odar
Cast: Louis Hofmann, Oliver Masucci, Jördis Triebel
A missing child sets four families on a frantic hunt for answers as they unearth a mind-bending mystery that spans three generations.