Dark
This German series stays true to its name. (Illustration by Dorothy Timan, Indiana University)
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Dark

As with any show about time travel, the question is not where, who or how, but when.

So, after the disaster with “Altered Carbon,” I needed a new show to make up for the 10 hours of my life I permanently lost. Up next on my list of what to watch next was “Dark,” another sci-fi television show.

I was hesitant at first to start another show because I was not sure if I was prepared for another cringy disaster, but the trailer looked like a mysterious thriller, and since I did not get the thrill from “Altered Carbon” that I was looking for, I thought “Dark” might appease my craving.

OMG. This show is freaking amazing. When two children go missing in a small German town, its sinful past is exposed along with the double lives and fractured relationships that exist among four families as they search for the kids. The story also includes supernatural elements that tie back to the same town in 1986. Yup, it is bad—s.

The mystery-drama series introduces an intricate puzzle filled with twists that include a web of curious characters, all of whom have a connection to the town’s troubled history, whether they know it or not. The writers do a remarkable job of character building, because from the first episode alone, we know who the characters are, their jobs, their personalities and their relationships to one another. This show is a perfect example for aspiring screenwriters to reference.

As the show progresses, we slowly see the unwinding of the characters. Eventually we are left with characters who are falling apart, finding themselves or revealing their true selves. I believe “Dark” is best known for its writing because the plot thickens at a steady pace, and it is one of the those shows you feel like you have been watching forever (which I think are the best shows), but really you are only on Episode 3 of Season 1.

“Dark” reminds me of “Black Mirror” when it used to be good (i.e. the first two, maybe three, seasons).

Originally airing on Netflix in 2017, the show’s second season premiered this year in June. After seeing the trailer for Season 2, I could tell there was going to be so much more mystery and many more time warps, which I cannot wait to watch tonight.

What is even more thrilling than watching the second season is that there will be a third and final season next year. Normally, I like to wait for a show to finish completely before I binge the entire series in one go, but “Dark” is one of those rare cases where I must watch each new season that comes out immediately. The only other time this urgency to watch a show happened for me was when the latest season of “Narcos” came out.

Anyway, besides the incredible writing, another reason why you must see “Dark” is because of the overall theme. The show shrouds itself in blue somber colors, colors that represent nature and muted bright colors that elevate the feeling of terror. The music also increases the feeling of fear in the show. Throughout each episode, there is a dramatic horn sound that usually indicates some crazy s—t is about to happen.

Essentially what you have is a show that is like the movie “The Blackcoat’s Daughter.”

Even though the show has superb writing, great color schemes and thematic music, what is most remarkable is the characterization of time travel. Time travel is a continuous mystery that scientists are trying to solve. “Dark” embraces the science about time travel, but only subtly.

If they had added the technicalities of time travel, they would have detracted from the mystery-thriller. The writers somehow do a splendid job of adding the science behind time travel without actually talking about it. I guess, in a way, they dramatize the science to where it fits in with the rest of the show. Note: The context of the previous sentence is not supposed to be taken in a negative way; rather, it should only increase your desire to watch the show even more.

In addition to the concept of time travel, I love that all the characters in the show are connected throughout three generations. It really makes me wonder how such a small town can have literally everyone connected, but hey, apparently it is doable. “Dark” is packed full of plot twists, betrayal, drama, love, suspense, mystery and the unknown.

If the reasons I listed above were not enough to convince you of this show’s amazingness, then let me explain my favorite topic: acting. When watching movies or shows, I love to analyze the acting (and of course other elements as well; it all comes with being an English major).

Maja Schone, who portrays Hannah Kahnwald, is by far one of the best actors on the show, mainly for the reason that her character is screwed in the head. Yeah, she has a ton of problems and I hate her, but that just makes her the best actress in the show. She sells her character as if she really did have those problems. Another star actor is Katharina Niewald, played by Jordis Triebel. Triebel is one of the few actresses that has fooled me, since the intensity of her emotions evoked through her acting makes you think she was really experiencing them.

My cravings for a sci-fi show have now been satiated. I look forward to watching Season 2, and I absolutely recommend this show for the reason that it is simply amazing. As a reminder, the show can be found on Netflix. The identifiably excellent writing of “Dark” paired with time travel and expressive actors that can fool you give you a one-in-a-million show that will be remembered for a long time.

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