Dark: Season 2
Created by: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese
Starring: Louis Hofmann, Karoline Eichhorn, Jördis Triebel, Maja Schöne, Stephan Kampwirth, Tamar Pelzig, Lisa Vicari, Deborah Kaufmann
Genre: Science-Fiction / Time Travel
Reviewed by: Brad Williamson
Dark is a show with a premise that shouldn’t work on the screen, but somehow it does so majestically: time travel is possible in 33-year increments, and the same characters become older and younger embodiments of themselves due to the nearly-perfect generational time slip. With a core of around only ten characters, the cast nevertheless grows into the dozens without ever introducing new personalities. You’re never unfamiliar with anyone, even if it’s their first appearance, because you know them from the past or future, or both. At the same time, mysterious characters appear, only later to be revealed as well-known after all, disguised by age and changing motives. The show is full of paradoxes, but its greatest paradox is how they all seem to work and make sense.
The best compliment I can give a show like this is that it’s never confusing. Complex, yes, but it always makes sense if you accept its axioms, and it never doubts itself. You get washed away by its unbelievable story, town, and characters.
Now, as you start season 2, season 1 might already seem impossible to follow with its three time periods–all with great sets and various tones–but instead of delving deeper into the times, season 2 adds yet another past and present. It juggles five different yet entangled time lines with characters living in the wrong ones, yet everything always feels right. Furthermore, the ending shows us that season 2’s expansion upon season 1 is only the beginning.
For anyone interested in non-Hollywood fare, time-travel, sci-fi, or just a great show, this is for you.