Netflix’s Dark is a German sci-fi thriller that has taken the world by storm. It’s one of the best shows Netflix has ever produced and over 3 seasons, viewers are treated to a mind-bending, complex narrative that spotlights the intertwining influence of time and human nature. Set in the town of Winden, the case of a missing boy will drastically shake the very foundation of the residents of this town, as secrets are revealed, tensions rise, and characters come face to face with the consequences of time and choice. Here are 5 reasons you should be watching Dark.
Never underestimate the effectiveness of a good soundtrack. Choosing to feature Apparat’s “Goodbye” for the opening title immediately sets the tone for the show. It’s a haunting piece, building on a lingering sense of foreboding. Dark is a show that always has a source of tension simmering on the surface, therefore, to have a soundtrack that heightens that tension captivates viewers, immersing them in this world where nothing is as it seems. The songs featured are always in keeping with the tone of the episode, reflecting the emotional state of our characters in whatever predicament they find themselves in. The music builds on our relationship with these characters by using music to heighten the conflicting emotions caused in reaction to the episodes revelations.
An infinite chain of cause and effect
Dark is a prime example of a show that always keeps you guessing, and just when you think you’ve cracked the puzzle, the show will literally turn everything on its head. There’s no safety net of knowledge and in the grand scheme of things, every little detail has a significant payoff. It can be confusing at times since it appears that nothing and everything is connected, but part of the fun of is trying to piece it all together.
Dark manipulates viewers into believing they know who the puppet master is when in reality, you’re just another pawn. Viewers are in the dark as much as the characters, so these shocking revelations provoke a genuine emotional reaction from viewers, further connecting us to the characters. The scientific jargon that’s synonymous with any time travel production can often lead to a clinical analysis of the show’s core components. Dark does not fall into this trap, choosing to spotlight emotion over science, rooting time travel in its motives, which so often tie into a sense of desperation, grief, and rage. It’s the emotional core of humanity that sparks this unending chain of cause and effect.
Whoever was in charge of casting did a phenomenal job. It’s no spoiler to say that when dealing with time travel you’re likely to meet your older/younger counterpart. The difference with Dark is the level of care that went into the casting. It’s eerie to see how incarnation of these characters features similar qualities found in their counterparts, yet still, retain an urgency that comes with hardened experiences. It’s small details like that that make a world of difference to the narrative. Most TV shows tend to have a weak link in the casting, but that is not the case with Dark. The reason viewers become so invested in this show is largely due to the compelling performance of the entire cast. Characters that seem villainous at the beginning become sympathetic while the heroes we champion descend into darkness. Everything is rooted in motive, and while some mysteries slowly unravel, the complex relationship viewers develop with certain characters, as a result, is a testament to the depth of these characters.
While credit must be given to the entire cast for their incredible performance, there’s no denying that Louis Hofmann’s Jonas carried the heart of the show. Throughout 26 episodes, we got to feel Jonas’s heartbreak, anger, confusion, and desperation at the burden of righting the wrongs of his timeline. It’s exhausting to see how much is placed on his shoulders, but his part in this tale has always been crucial to the cycle that dominates this timeline of events. Louis Hofmann delivered a breathtaking performance that highlighted Jonas’s own exhaustion. We’re reminded time and again that Jonas’s part in this tale runs deeper than anyone else, but the sacrifices made to ensure his survival are devastating. The weight of the information he carries is emotionally tasking, with Hofmann conveying Jonas’s emotional state with such sincerity it will break your heart.
A Satisfying End
Bittersweet, an apt summary to the final episode, but it’s the ending we needed. The finale was an emotionally driven race against time that culminated in a poignant conclusion, one that many may not have anticipated. This is a journey that started with a missing boy and turned into a tangled chain that shattered our perception of this small town. The final episode puts the spotlight firmly on Jonas and Martha, two characters that shaped this web. The sense of urgency lingered in the background as this episode took a solemn turn as the actions they take will permanently change the very nature of their world. In a tender moment, Jonas and Martha face the consequences of their actions. It’s an intimately moving scene, one that’s weighed by the conflicting sense of relief and grief shaped by the fallout of their actions. It’s a loaded moment, one that’s so simple in its execution, but will leave you in tears. The final episode of Dark is an example of an ending done right. Fans won’t be disappointed by the conclusion of this show, giving us an end befitting this emotionally-charged tale.