It is about a missing child that simultaneously divides and brings together a small town. Upon banding together to work out the mystery of where the child went, the secrets of the town are inevitably unearthed.
Fractured relationships, unreliable narrators (many characters of seemingly unsound mind) and multi faceted people with secrets to hide (that they go above and beyond to avoid being unearthed) are one of our (as viewers) favourite things in television at the moment. So it does have that in its favour.
There’s a lot to dislike about the series, given its competition and comparative titles dwarf it a thousand times over. Firstly, the lack of diversity in characters is so obvious and jarring that it hurts the show. And the ability to relate. The stereotypical roles of harried mother that no one listens to, disobedient children and cheating husband are all quite banal. This makes for a boring first episode.
Is the Dark TV series original?
There is a conspicuous lack of originality. It could be considered a watered down version of Stranger Things or Twin Peaks with its retro aesthetic, use of cold lighting and noir/horror tropes. Additionally, i| t has the feel of a Stephen King adaption without his infamous storytelling style of bringing the inciting event right to the start of content. In Dark, it takes until the end of the first hour long episode to give us any insight into what the catastrophe will be. That’s a lot of time introducing and setting up the characters. The voice over dubbing is problematic but unavoidable, so if you speak German you have an advantage.
There are wasted storytelling moments. Such as the merely seconds long scenes of an electric chair style device inside a heavily eighties era decorated room sans explanation early on in the season. Hinting at an intriguing sub plot. Oddly, these are the scenes that will keep me invested enough to watch most of the series.
Trivia: the opening theme song was used in Breaking Bad.
Should I watch?
Yeah, I guess.
For those who loved:
- Stranger Things
- Twin Peaks
- The OA