Updated: Feb 28, 2022
After watching Dark and rewatching many episodes with my friends, I can't help but say that I've fallen in love with this show. The German Sci-fi/Crime/Mystery series tells the story of the disappearance of two kids in the small town of Winden, in Germany. As the story evolves, is starts to become clearer that everything is predestined and meant to be and time only guides it to where it should go. In this masterpiece, everything is connected.
I'm not sure if it's the genius writing, the beautiful cinematography, the character development or the plot twists that make me fall in love with this TV Show. To be honest, it's everything as a whole that makes me wonder why this hasn't gotten that much attention.
Dark's plot is based around time travel and the multiple paradoxes it creates. So before watching it, make sure you prepare yourself for an absolutely thought provoking story.
Season 1 is, in my opinion, geniusly written. For some it might be a little slow paced in the beginning, but it's slow for a reason: the build up is important to understand the 2nd and 3rd season. As I already said, everything is connected in this show.
Everytime we think we know what's going on or even have the slightest clue of what might happen next, the show takes a turn and shifts in a completely different direction. The story is mostly told through Jonas' perspective. This is a crucial detail, because we only get to know as much as Jonas does.
If you do decide to watch this show (which I strongly recommend you do), you will notice that the storyline was very elaborately written and that everything that happens (even insigificant stuff) has it's purpose. Season 1 is filled with easter eggs that are revealed in the following seasons.
Season 2 is my personal favourite, since it has so many mind-blowing plot twists, pivotal story moments and very emotional scenes. This season full of mixed emotions left me speechless. So many new characters are introduced in this season, but, since this is a non-spoiler review, I'm afraid I can't write anything about them. The ending is the perfect transition to the beginning of the last season.
Season 3, in my opinion got a little bit confusing. Unfortunately I can't tell you why, since it would spoil the entire TV Show for you. It still lives up to the very high standards the two previous season set, but it felt a little bit rushed. I'm guessing they had some budget limitations and/or contract limitations with Netlifx. I wouldn't go into the 3rd season thinking about this though, since the last two episodes are one of the most perfect endings to a show in television history.
Nikolaus Summerer shot Dark on an ARRI Alexa 65mm digital cinema camera on a large format with ARRI Ultra Primes, which weren't designed for large format cinematography (creating a more interesting look). For every time period they had a different look, the 1900s were warmer and more saturated whilst the 2000s were less saturated and colder.
Here is a video (spoiler free, but I would only watch it after having seen Dark) that shows the process behind Dark's cinematography that I strongly recommend you to watch:
Ben Frost was responsible for a very unique and memorable soundtrack. If I'm not mistaken, it was initially an experiment, but soon came to be the real deal. His most notable work besides Dark is the score for the video game "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege". The modern and abstract soundtrack filled with beautiful strings was the cherry on top of an already perfect cake. One of my personal favourite scores was from season 1: "Das Ist Nicht Mikkel".
What really became iconic was the main theme by Apparat: "Goodbye". You might've heard it before if you watched the last episode of Breaking Bad: Season 4, but you'll definitely never forget it after watching Dark. It's so good, that I didn't skip the intro credits even once.
I would spoil it if I went into detail, but I can say one thing: it's perfect, maybe even unmatched (maybe GoT and Breaking Bad match it).
The Visual Effects
It's good enough for the show, but it felt a bit lazy at times. Don't get me wrong though, the visual effects are marvellous, but I still think there were some scenes that could've had a bit more work done.
If you haven't watched this show, what are you even doing reading this review? Open Netflix and watch Dark immediately, you won't regret it, trust me. From the thought provoking concept to the intricate emotional moments, this show nails everything.
I'd rate this show with a 9.6/10, only because of the rushed feeling I got in the 3rd season. You probably will give it a 10 though... and I'll probably do that as well once I rewatch it.
PS: Watch it in German with subtitles, the experience is tremendously better.