Thursday, March 1, 2018

Time Travel at its Most Awesome - Dark

Stand aside, Stranger Things, you've got some competition. If you're anything like me, and can't get enough of dark, speculative fiction, look no further than Netflix's original show Dark. This was an amazing blend of small-town mystery, family drama, police procedural, mad science, supernatural forces, and time-travel.

Image result for dark netflixThat may sound like a lot to swallow, but all of these elements of the show are handled so deftly and organically that you will be gripping the edge of your seat. This show begs to be binged as you follow along with the latest tragedy in the small German town of Winden- another missing boy. He disappeared without a trace, just like the boy that vanished exactly thirty years ago to the day. And when corpses literally appear from nowhere, it becomes clear very quickly that a time-travelling portal, hidden in a cave in Winden, is connected to the sudden disappearances and reappearances of the boys as well as the Fortian like phenomena (electrical disturbances, birds falling from the sky) that some Winden residents have been recording all their lives. It could also have something to do with the nuclear power plant that provides most of the town with employment.

The storytelling is flawless as we see different characters at different phases of their life- as children, adults, and as elders, and we see in a compelling way not only how the past influences in the future but, in the case of Winden, how the future shapes the past. Layers of connections between the characters and their relationships throughout their lives provides a healthy dose of intrigue and suspense, pulling you into moments that forge people's identities just as the few characters who travel through time aim to affect those moments. Some of these travelers are discovering eye-opening truths, and others are out to do despicable things for god-only-knows-what reasons. At the end of the first season, though plenty of questions were answered, I have a million more. And I think this clarity in the storytelling, despite the aura of the unknown shrouding the entire show, is really perfect, especially for those types (like me) who screamed at my television for more answers as Twin Peaks: The Return came to a close. If you were in that camp, then this show is definitely for you.

Dark is by far the best treatment of the concept of time travel I have ever seen-you get just enough of the theoretical concept to understand how the show operates, but there's still so much mystery in how those theories actually apply to the people who affect time, and who are affected by time-travelers. Those interpersonal influences are so powerful in this show because of the serious treatment of the consequences (it's hard to laugh about missing/dead children), and is due in no small part to the absolutely phenomenal acting across the show. All of the characters, from the adults down to the teens, played their parts so remarkably well, and their range of emotions - anger, confusion, disbelief, pain, loss, betrayal- all of those things were riveting to watch.

And just when you least expect it, the writers through another wrinkle of time into the plot, and then another. This show's keeping up a quick pace, and certainly has me chomping at the bit for Season 2. Also, I'm obsessed with the soundtrack. Pay attention to it because it, like the show it embodies, is awesome.

K Rating: 5/5

Image result for dark netflix

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