Dark, the first German series to premiere on Netflix, is a combination of Stranger Things and IT, with a little bit of Fringe thrown in as well. As the Guardian comments, Stranger Things for grown-ups; with time-travel, suicides and gruesome murders, this series is mesmerizing and one can’t stop watching this.
There are a lot of characters to keep track of, which is one of the key challenges in the initial episodes that inevitably suck you in regardless.
It starts with Ulrich Nielsen, played by Oliver Masucci, a police officer in the town of Winden and father of three who is cheating on his wife Katharina, played by Jordis Triebel, with a woman called Hannah Kahnwald, played by Maja Schone, whose husband commits suicide in the initial minutes of the show. Her son, Jonas played by Louis Hofmann along with his teenager friends venture into the woods hunting the drug stash of a classmate who recently disappeared. While they’re out there, Ulrich’s youngest, Mikkel, played by Daan Lennard Liebrenz, also disappears, leading the police to wonder whether someone is targeting local youths. But the disappearances coincide with weird phenomena: animals dropping dead, lights wildly flickering and flashing. Some of the town’s older residents, including Mikkel’s grandmother, mutter about how the new disappearances recall older ones from when they were younger. And a mysterious hooded figure, looking at a newspaper clip reading “Where is Mikkel?”, crosses out the first word and rewrites the headline as “When is Mikkel?”
Dark tells about a fight and everyone’s attempt to reach the light. A twisting tale of time and relations and who’s who; it is sure to intrigue one’s intelligence.
Even when “Dark” is clinical in its set-up of these interweaving story threads, there’s still an incredible amount of energy coursing through the show. The setting is brilliant. The town’s weather reflects the mood of the people, with the weather remaining cloudy most of the time. The camera glides through living rooms and dollies toward mortified faces, rarely pausing as it thrusts new characters and information into the fray. There’s frustrated romantic tension dripping from so many of these sequences, whether it’s an encounter between a man and his mistress or Jonas and a lost, unrequited love. Even an elderly woman sitting at a table and glancing nervously at a grandfather clock carries with her a certain amount of dread-filled forward motion.
Watch it on Netflix.