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DirectorSloan

Netflix series Dark

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A couple of weeks ago I was looking over the new shows Netflix added recently (OK, since I last looked for new shows) and saw a show called Dark.  Without researching it and just going off the description I added it to my watch list.  Thought it might be a “who did it” kind of crime show. But once I started watching it I realized it involved time travel.  I decided to stick with it and found the story started to get really good.  Very timey whimey to borrow a Doctor Who phrase.  I just finished the 10 episode first season and saw that it’s been renewed for a second season.   The show takes place in Germany and is dubbed into English.  If you’re looking for a show that you really need to stick with and keep track of what’s happening when (lots of moving parts across three time periods) I’d recommend putting this one on your watch list.

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A lot of people recommend for this show to be watched with subtitles instead of the (apparently somewhat awful) dubbing. I'd give an opinion on this but I have yet to watch it - but I want to, I'm curious as to just HOW we actually seem to have managed to make a decent television series that can compete on an international level (German television is usually non-innovative, harmless and pretty dull since there's a "the network won't accept this show, it's too much, German audiences want familiar stuff" attitude going on)...

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The dubbing didn't bother me.  I actually preferred it.  Without giving away spoilers I'll say this about the show.  A variety of possibilities are discussed about the time travel by those who know about it.  They range from the science of it (Einstein Rosen bridge) to the anti-Christ.  So in that way it felt like Deep Space 9 with science and religion converging.  The cause is never fully explained and the two possible causes actually merge in the final moments of the last episode which also had tones of All Good Things.   Some topics I hope they explore in season 2 are:

  1. Who is Noah and what is his agenda?  He didn't get a lot of on screen time, but from what we saw it became clear that he seemed to be manipulating people so that events unfold in a particular order to implement his agenda.  So a seemingly minor character at first who appears to have a major impact on the overall story.
  2. Who is Alexander and where did he come from?  Was he working for Noah in 1986 and that had repercussions into 2019?
  3. Where did Jonas end up?
  4. What happens to Ulrich?

 

 

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Give it until about the third episode for things to start to fall into place.  There’s an early reveal which I figured out before the reveal.  But give it until then to start to see the story begin to unfold.

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I've finally watched the show, and I'm really surprised as to how good it actually is. I really hope they won't mess this up in season 2.

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Glad you liked it.  Yeah, the pressure is on for season 2.  Just to give an idea of how intriguing the story is, while looking around for any news about season 2 I found a web site with 27 unanswered questions from season 1.  WARNING - IT HAS SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE SHOW

http://www.thisisinsider.com/dark-unanswered-questions-netflix-2017-12

But it is a good story and it seems to be developing a following.  Bad thing about binge watching the entire show is that it's probably going to be a year until we get to see season 2.  Hope they make it worth the wait.

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On 21.12.2017 at 0:49 PM, Mr.Picard said:

A lot of people recommend for this show to be watched with subtitles instead of the (apparently somewhat awful) dubbing. I'd give an opinion on this but I have yet to watch it - but I want to, I'm curious as to just HOW we actually seem to have managed to make a decent television series that can compete on an international level (German television is usually non-innovative, harmless and pretty dull since there's a "the network won't accept this show, it's too much, German audiences want familiar stuff" attitude going on)...

I've seen the show, too and found it really good!

Though it's indeed complex... my wife and I made a chart with the different characters, their relations with each other and the different timeframes... that was really helpful, lol.

Yes, usually "made in Germany" is a guarantee for boring tv (unless you're in the mood for solid "realistic" crime shows that are done in the same format for almost 50 years), but I happened to read a couple of articles of how that changed last year:

Next to "Dark", there was the rather unconventional "4 Blocks" on Sky/TNT (a kind of German answer to shows like "Sopranos" or "The Wire") and the Sky/ARD co-production "Babylon Berlin" (supposed to be shown on Netflix on the US, IIRC), which is a kind of "German Boardwalk Empire". Amazon started the show "You Are Wanted" which I haven't seen, but apparently was a success, too.

So I guess it takes international companies with money and a very un-German readiness for risk to shake up German tv productions: For "Dark", Netflix hired the creators of a rather niche, artsy innovative SF-thriller, gave them tons of money and total creative freedom, with the only condition the copyrights will go to Netflix -- et voilà, there is a decent show. As the domestic tv channels are just way too risk-averse: In an interview with the authority who works for Sky (pay tv) and made the exclusive deal for the rights on HBO shows, she gave the bonmot that "Americans produce with money, the British with courage and the Germans with angst" -- "in Germany, the same format is produced until it's dead".

Guess it plays a role that the public channels have an average audience above the age of 65 (though here and there, they produce something decent, but then it's often too "artsy" to be suited for mass appeal), and the private channels make more money by producing cheap scripted reality shows (and an according audience)... but it looks like the growing streaming players like Netflix and Amazon are changing that now. Was about time! :)

 

As for "Dark", I very often read comparisons to "Stranger Things". But I feel this is totally misleading, and I have no idea why people come up with this comparison time and again ... the two shows have absolutely nothing in common, as far as I can see, except that part of the action of "Dark" takes place in the 80s, too.

The tone of "Dark" reminds me much more of Scandinavian thrillers, and the time travel is tied into a "secrets of a small town"-setting in a rather creative manner. There are no monsters, just bad people, and the only supernatural element is the time travel aspect.

At any rate, I enjoyed the show a lot (in fact, my wife and I couldn't stop binging and watched the last 6 episodes in a row) and am currently rewatching it with a friend, these days. I'd absolutely recommend it!

 

As for the dubbing, I have no opinion on it as I haven't seen the English version, but generally, I'd say each viewer should find out what works best for him ... some are totally taken out of the story by dubbing, because they feel it destroys the acting and isn't authentic, while others simply can't read subtitles and follow what happens on-screen at the same time ... so no matter if dubbing or subs, it's always a trade-off. Both have their pros and cons, IMO.

Edited by Sim

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Intersting background.  It’s really great when a network takes a chance with the right creative team and it pays off with a show that has a well told, complex story that the audience loves.  I like your comment about making the chart.  Made me laugh.  Reminds me of the show where they did the same thing, making kind of an entity relationship diagram on the wall, though we don’t understand all of the relationships at this point.  I also read about the Stranger Thing comparisons and agree.  They are two all together different stories apart from part of Dark take place in the 80s but it also takes place in other time frames.  I’m probably going to finish some other streaming and then come back to this show.   I want to give it some time and then watch it again and see what other details I can pick up on the second time around.

Edited by DirectorSloan

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