Dark is a German series from Netflix that will get you hooked immediately, make you constantly ask, “What the heck's going on?” and force you to binge until the end, only to make you curse why the second season won't come before 2019. Classified as a sci-fi drama, the series blends elements of time travel, crime thriller and family drama, and pours it all over the small town of Winden, Germany.
To review Dark is impossible without talking about its strongest aspect - the plot. I'll try my best to make sense of what to expect without spoiling the unforgivingly complex storyline.
Winden is a small town whose only remarkable feature to an outsider is its nuclear power plant. That was true until children started going missing and the corpse of another child surfaces. The town falls into disarray, the toxic relations of its inhabitants start to show and mysterious figures begin to appear. Amidst all this chaos, (almost) everyone is completely unaware of the time travelling cave in the town's adjacent forest.
The time machine takes a traveller to 3 timelines: 2019, 1986 and 1953, all 33 years apart. Eventually, we get to see the stories of the past years through the perspectives of the younger versions of the characters. Although it helps us understand many of the characters and their relations, it also adds a ton of new narratives, convoluting the already puzzling plot. But rest assured, keeping track of all the timelines, mysteries and characters will not, in anyway, ruin your experience. If anything, it will enhance it. To me personally, the multiple timelines associated with the brilliantly written story structure is what sets Dark apart from many of the TV shows of its time.
Apart from the story, the visuals and the background score are almost equally impressive. If the story wasn't gloomy enough, trust the eerie atmosphere, ceaseless rain and forest terrain complete with a top notch score to get you fully immersed in its chaotic world.
If there's any issue I had, that would be the acting, which felt off occasionally. Maybe it's because most of the actors are kids or that I am unable to comprehend their expressions due to my complete illiteracy in German. Speaking of which, watching with subtitles were a huge buzzkill. I just constantly felt jealous of the friends who learned German for free education, and can now thoroughly enjoy the show.
To be honest, these issues are just me nit-picking. These never truly marred the experience of watching the show. The jaw-clenching grittiness and small town vibe mixed with the sci-fi elements and the well written drama mixed with the beautiful production value is more than enough to make a fan out of anyone. And you'll be glad not to miss out on that, the same way I'm glad to finish this review without a single pun on the word “dark”.
Fatiul Huq Sujoy is a tired soul (mostly because of his frail body) who's patiently waiting for Hagrid to appear and tell him, “Ye're a saiyan, lord commander.” Suggest him places to travel and food-ventures to take at fb.com/SyedSujoy