Dark Review: Where the past and the future are the same


We always wondered why aliens always attacked (or why things always go bad in) America? Are you a fan of sci-fi, time travels overall mind-blowing stories?

A great deal of the new 10-episode season takes place in dim rooms, in an ominously oppressive forest and a shadowy cave, or under sickly, faltering lighting that suggests sort of a heavy moral decay falling over the world. The series is quite dark, full of cheating spouses, ugly secrets, grotesque killings, and dead birds falling from the sky in a hail of limp, twisted bodies. The background score is fabulous, very unique. The cinematography is pretty good too, but the story/concept is what makes this show stands apart, and kudos to the writers and showrunners for crafting such a beautiful script.


All main characters have Biblical names, and the easiest way to predict events in this show is to understand the root Biblical stories of the main characters.


But this is not a religious show. In fact, I can’t think of any show that explores the origin of belief, purpose, and life from both a spiritual and scientific angle better than this. There are dueling portals for time travel – both portals have strangely spiritual and scientific roots. There is the “time machine” way, which was developed through a book that was seemingly divinely created. There is the “portal way” which is created from the “God Particle” (aka Higgs boson).


Set in the small, fictional German town of Winden, Dark begins with a mysterious disappearance, an even more mysterious reappearance, and a creepy cave that eats people. Well, it doesn’t literally eat people, but it does send them back in time, always in increments of 33 years, and traps them in that past, which is kind of like eating. Much of the action in Season 1 takes place in 2019 (which was the future back when the show dropped in 2017, really makes you think), and also hops back to 1986 and 1953, following the paths of the displaced people forced to live their lives out of their home time, and others in the town whose lives are also impacted by the sudden appearance of time travel.


In fact, the whole foundational concept of the show is that nothing is evil or good. Nothing is purely scientific or religious. Death and life aren’t distinct. Past and Future are the same.


We are all living in this dualistic loop. I would imagine that the authors are strongly influenced by this Taoist philosophy.


The show is also very slow in comparison to zippier fare like ‘Stranger Things’, but you’ll be thankful for its contemplative pace when you’re four episodes deep and getting tangled in the wads of yarn on the conspiracy wall you’re constructing in your bedroom. The show is undoubtedly messy. But it’s conceptually brilliant.


I don’t want to give away any specific plot spoilers in this show. Who is this show for? People who like to think deeply. I imagine all great lovers of literature, many who find the mass of formulaic garbage on Netflix hard to watch, would really appreciate Dark. Who is this show not for? People who only want formulaic garbage. So, You should watch Dark and Thank me for a letter.

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