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Finished Stranger Things? Not to Worry, Dark Is a Gem in the Netflix Inventory

Stranger Things fans can dive into Netflix and witness the hidden gem known as Dark
Stranger Things fans can dive into Netflix and witness the hidden gem known as Dark

Image source: Netflix

Stranger Things is Netflix’s biggest title, and with the fourth installment closing weeks earlier, many are wondering, “What should we watch next?”

The mysteries of the show, the casting and the choice of music have raised the bar for what people want to look for, but Netflix has something like that.

Dark is a hidden gem in Netflix’s inventory and although it closed in 2020, it remains one of the most highly rated series by its fan base.

What is Dark about?

Dark is a German science fiction series created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese that aired between 2017 and 2020.

The series follows characters from the fictional city of Winden, Germany, whose lives are turned upside down when a child disappears in a storm.

Dark primarily revolves around four families whose search for the child uncovers a connection to a time travel conspiracy that affects the past, present and future.

Why watch Dark?

If there’s one thing Dark shares with Stranger Things, it’s the storyline revolving around a missing child.

However, the similarities end there.

Throughout the first season, Dark shows hints of something supernatural behind the disappearance of Mikkel Nielsen from Daan Lennard Liebrenz.

As the episodes continue, viewers realize how complicated the story is – here are the reasons why Dark should be the next thing people watch on Netflix.

The Plot

At first glance, Dark might seem like a darker, more adult-oriented version of Stranger Things, but as you keep watching, it gets even more complicated.

Fans trying to sell the series to their friends often struggle to explain what it’s about, but the best way to describe it is as a sci-fi series about time travel.

While most shows often come with easy-to-solve puzzles, Dark promises a maze of twists and turns that will make them hard to follow.

But the beauty of Dark is that while it can be a little confusing (at first), there are always people on the edge of their seats.

The writers (Jantje Friese, Ronny Schalk, Marc O. Seng, Martin Behnke and Daphne Ferraro) and director Baran bo Odar took the time to make sure everything that happens leaves no stones unturned.

Dark is perfectly written from pilot to finale, with the same quality all throughout – each episode helps move the story forward without sacrificing quality or adding unnecessary filler.

Time travel

Although the concept of time travel has been overdone, the writers often leave a major plot hole or continuity error that leaves most viewers divided.

However, Dark leaves no details unresolved. The writers went out of their way to make sure time travel made sense.

Regardless of the wide range of timelines and the complexity of time travel, it all fits perfectly into the story without creating butterfly effects on the main continuity.

The philosophical themes

Throughout the series, Dark introduces several philosophies that can leave viewers to question their beliefs and usher in a mild existential crisis.

The use of time travel also serves as a metaphor for characters to confront, past and future, to lead to growth or destruction.

Dark asks questions that can make viewers think about themselves, giving rise to the idea of ​​how actions in the past and present can lead to consequences in the future.

No matter how deep the show is, it presents the issues in the most subtle way.

The characters

The show primarily centers around four families, but the time travel features an incredible range of characters across a number of timelines.

While most stories often divide characters into good and evil, Dark takes a realistic approach to showing everyone as both protagonist and antagonist in their intertwining arcs.

None of the characters are one-dimensional, and each actor delivers pitch-perfect performances in sync with different versions of themselves at different times.

The casting is also top-notch, with casting director Simone Baer doing everything she can to make the cast of characters as accurate as possible.

Arguably Dark has the best cast, rivaled only by the cast of the other Netflix show The Haunting of Hill House.

Visuals and music

The eerie atmosphere that Dark brings is another highlight of the show.

The towering forest surrounding the town of Winden and the desolation of the caves are only amplified by the musical score and song choices.

Although presented as science fiction, the cinematography and music give the first viewer the impression that Dark is more of a supernatural story.


The missing child plotline may be the only common bridge between Stranger Things and Dark, but fans who enjoyed the former’s plot, mystery, characters and music are highly recommended to try the German series.

With an average running time of 45-70 minutes, it will definitely take some time for viewers to finish Dark and give them some things to think about.


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Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.