Like many people, my Netflix queue is pretty vast. It seems there is a never ending list of shows that I need to get caught up on. The list is pretty diverse as well, covering everything from sci-fi and action to drama and comedy with a few reality shows and documentaries thrown in for good measure.
I also have a lot of shows that I enjoy watching with my wife on network television, so it can often take me several months to work my way through a single season of any show on Netflix. Most recently I finished season 3 of "Stranger Things" and the third season of "Jessica Jones". I decided it was finally time to turn my attention to some of the random shows I had thrown on my list at some point in time.
Unfortunately, the first show I picked to fill the void was "Dark". Before you get all worked up, I say "unfortunately" because I feel Dark has set the bar so high that it is likely many of the other shows in my queue will never live up to it.
Unlike @gooddream, this is my first go at reviewing a Netflix show, so I will do my best to avoid any spoilers while still giving a good overview of the show.
First things first, I didn't realize this at the time, but if Netflix gives you the option, and you aren't opposed to reading subtitles, you should totally go that route. For some reason my Netflix started playing the show with over-dubbed English dialog.
It definitely makes it easier for me to follow everything, but because it is dubbing of English over German, the lips don't match with the dialog. Plus some of the voice actors/actresses they have chosen to speak for certain characters just don't match up in my opinion. For instance the voice of the actress they have speaking for a young girl named Hanna is simply annoying. Additionally, some of the dialog is pretty lame, but I am assuming that can just be attributed to something being lost in translation.
If you speak German, even better, just leave everything off and enjoy the show!
Another thing you should be aware of, is the fact that there are a ton of characters in this. It can be hard to remember or figure out who is who at any given point in time. As the first season progresses it does become easier to pick the individuals out, but it isn't always cut and dry.
I am going to embed the trailer at the end of this post and while they try to make it seem like it might be a German "Stranger Things", it definitely is not that. This show has a Mature rating because of language, adult themes, and violence, it isn't as "kid friendly" as "Stranger Things".
I have seen references to this being similar to Twin Peaks. I was a too young for my parents to allow me to watch that show(and movie) when it was on, so if I had to compare it to anything I would have to say it has a mystery to it kind of like "Lost" before that show went downhill.
As you will see in the trailer, the show revolves around children going missing from a small town in Germany. As it progresses, the relationships between the characters who seem to be pretty far detached become very clear and in some cases surprising. On some level this is really more of a family drama show than anything else. If you are a fan of sci-fi and fantasy, some of the plot points may be predictable for you, but likely not all of them.
Finally, one of the other things that I feel makes this show so fantastic is the music. The music that they have chosen for the background of many of the scenes is simply perfect. Be sure you follow the link I shared at the top to the original music composed by Ben Frost and is available on BandCamp for the series. In addition to that music, they also choose several popular(?) songs to enhance scenes.
I question myself saying popular because while I have not heard most of them, that doesn't meant they are not popular in other parts of the world. In my opinion, it really is the music and how it sets the mood that lend to the brilliance of this show.
The first season is only ten episodes long and while some of them have moments that drag on a little too long, the overall pace is quick enough that it doesn't really bug you much. Season 1 ends with a spectacular surprise moment that has me very excited about where season 2 is going to go. Luckily I think three seasons are out now so I don't have to wait!
The first season of Dark on Netflix is nothing short of fantastic in my opinion. I find it compelling and engrossing with a score that wholly enhances the atmosphere and mood of the show.