So, you’ve polished off Stranger Things season 2, swept aside Star Trek Discovery and have already watched Game of Thrones season 7 three times in the past month. What next? Netflix’s Dark, that’s what. Part Stranger Things, part Twin Peaks, and all-round ‘WTF is going on?’, Dark promises to be your next big binge watch for the holiday season.
Dark is a bit confusing, for better or worse - The Hollywood Reporter (unscored)
“I grew initially frustrated at how little Dark was showing me about its characters and how little investment I was feeling in them, though the middle of the season produced some sympathy that I can't explain without spoiling the twists.
…Halfway through the first season of Dark, I definitely don't understand it, but I guess I'll eventually keep pursuing the answers, stumbling through the dark with interest but no real affection.”
Dark is... dark - The LA Times (unscored)
“[T]here is not much in the way of comedy… One feels the creators might have christened the series after watching it, for it is also literally very dark, much of it set at night, lit by flashlight, streetlight or moonlight. Even the daylight scenes are gray and wet, the interiors often gloomy.”
How Dark compares to Stranger Things - The Telegraph (4/5)
“Everything is quite grim, even a little plodding, early on, and Stranger Things fans eager for a bonus serving of retro escapism may be baffled – if not left feeling actively cheated. But Dark is worth persevering with as the tension is ratcheted from gently claustrophobic to actively unnerving, and the decades-straddling plot settles into an web of conspiracies and buried secrets. As popcorn entertainment, Dark sputters more than it blazes. As an exploration of evil and the weirdness that festers on the fringes of everyday life, Stranger Things can’t hold a candle to it.”
Dark has a LOT to keep track of - Den of Geek (unscored)
“The series opens with what, surely, has to be a record number of dramatic set-ups in the first 20 minutes of any show. There’s a suicide, infidelity, a child has gone missing, some creepy caves and a big, imposing power plant that is shot from a striking aerial view in the show’s opening sequence and, later, by a daunted camera from a safe distance behind a barbed wire fence. It would be a lot to take in were the script not so skilfully put together, rapidly building intrigue and fear in equal measure while not overwhelming the audience with the sheer number of themes and people in play.”
Dark's great ensemble cast - Cinema Blend (3.5/5)
“The performances are definitely a high point of Dark, as each of the characters are truly captivating during their time on screen. It's unclear exactly who is friend and who is foe, as the mystery surrounding the various disappearances (some of which date back decades) slowly unravels. With the audience slowly become privy to the events surrounding the town's mystery, they're able to identify with The Stranger (Andreas Pietschmann), as he also quests for the truth”
If you're planning on watching Dark this weekend, be sure to check out this interview with the show's creators on why Dark is more Twin Peaks than Stranger Things.
For more bingeable shows, there's a great big stonking list of every Netflix original show out and on the way for your perusal. Say goodbye to your free time.