Image source: Netflix
Stranger Things is Netflix’s biggest title, and with the conclusion of the fourth volume weeks earlier, many are left asking, “What to watch next?”
The show’s mysteries, casting, and music choice raised the bar for what people want to look for, but Netflix has something along the same lines.
Dark is a hidden gem in the Netflix inventory, and while it concluded in 2020, it remains one of the most highly regarded series among its fanbase.
What is Dark about?
Dark is a German sci-fi series created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese that ran between 2017 and 2020.
The series follows characters from the fictional town of Winden, Germany whose lives get rocked when a child disappears over a storm.
Dark revolves primarily around four families whose search for the child unravels a connection to a time travel conspiracy that affects the past, present, and future.
Why watch Dark?
If there is one thing that Dark shares with Stranger Things, it’s the plot that revolves around a missing child.
However, the similarities end there.
Throughout the first season, Dark drops hints of something supernatural going on behind the disappearance of Daan Lennard Liebrenz’s Mikkel Nielsen.
As the episodes roll on, viewers realize how complicated the story is – the following are reasons why Dark should be the next thing people watch on Netflix.
- The Plot
Upon first viewing, Dark may seem like an edgier, adult-oriented version of Stranger Things, but as you continue watching, it becomes even more tangled up.
Fans who try to sell the show to their friends often have a hard time trying to explain what it’s about, but the best way to describe it is a sci-fi series that revolves around time travel.
While most shows often bring mysteries that easily get solved, Dark promises a maze of twists and turns that will make it hard for them to keep up.
But the beauty of Dark is that while it can be a little confusing (at first), it still has people at the edge of their seats.
The writers (Jantje Friese, Ronny Schalk, Marc O. Seng, Martin Behnke, and Daphne Ferraro) and director Baran bo Odar took the time to make sure that everything that happens is elaborate.
Dark is perfectly written with the same weight from the pilot to the finale – each episode helps the plot move along without sacrificing any of its quality or adding pointless fillers.
- The Time Travel
While the concept of time travel has been overdone, writers often leave a significant plothole or continuity error that leaves most viewers divided.
However, Dark leaves no loose ends.
The writers put in extra effort to ensure that the time travel in the story makes sense.
Regardless of the wide range of timelines and the complexity of time travels, everything fits perfectly into the story without creating any butterfly effects on the main continuity.
- The Philosophical Themes
Throughout the series, Dark introduces several philosophies that can leave viewers questioning their beliefs and ushering a mild existential crisis.
The use of time travel also serves as a metaphor for characters to confront themselves, past and future, to lead to growth or destruction.
Dark asks questions that can make viewers reflect on themselves, instilling the idea of how actions in the past and present can lead to consequences in the future.
Despite how deep the show can get, it presents the questions in the most subtle ways.
- Its Characters
The show primarily revolves around four families, but the time travel introduces an incredible spectrum of characters across a few timelines.
While most stories often divide characters between good and bad, Dark takes a realistic approach to show that everyone is both a protagonist and antagonist in their intertwined arcs.
None of the characters are one-dimensional, and each actor delivers a perfect performance that synchronizes with the different versions of themselves across different points in time.
The casting is also top-notch as casting director Simone Bär goes above and beyond to make the casting of the characters as accurate as possible.
It can be argued that Dark has the best casting that can only be rivaled by the cast of fellow Netflix show, The Haunting of Hill House.
- Visuals and Music
The eerie atmosphere that Dark brings is another of the show’s charm.
The looming forest that surrounds the town of Winden and the bleakness of the caves are only amplified thanks to the music score and song choices.
Despite being billed as a sci-fi, both cinematography and music give first-time viewers the impression that Dark is more of a supernatural story.
The missing child plot may be the only mutual bridge between Stranger Things and Dark, but fans who enjoyed the plot, mystery, characters, and music of the former are highly recommended to give the German show a shot.
With an average running time of 45 to 70 minutes, it will definitely take a while before they finish Dark and give viewers something to think about.
Opinions expressed by NY Weekly contributors are their own.