Dark Episodes 1-2 Review: No Idea What's Going On But I'm Compelled To Find Out - GMonsterTV

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Dark Episodes 1-2 Review: No Idea What's Going On But I'm Compelled To Find Out

"Dark" is the newest NetFlix offering. It's 2019. We are introduced to the small German town of Winden. Something tragic has happened but we dont know what yet. A nuclear power plant operates nearby. It is scheduled to shut down in 2020 and may figure heavily into the story. 

In the opening credits, we see pictures of the main characters in various stages of life. There's a quote from Einstein: "The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." A man leaves an envelope which reads "Do not open before November 4, 10:23 PM" and promptly hangs himself. Hmmmm. 

We learn a boy (Mads) disappeared some 30 years ago. He is police officer Ulrich Nielsen's younger brother. The same thing appears to be happening again. Another boy Erik Obendorf disappeared two weeks earlier. 

When some kids head to a local cave to look for Erik's drug stash, Mikkel (Ulrich's son) also disappears. Several older community members comment that it's "all happening again" and "everything's connected". 

 A body is found. It is Mads? Nope. Is it Mikkel? Nope. Is it Erik? Nope. We dont know his identity but it's all very strange. The boy's eyes (and ear canals) have been completely burned out. He is dressed in 1980s attire complete with accessories including a Walkman. 

Meanwhile a dirty hooded figure checks into the hotel. He has a book on time travel, lots of articles about the town and a strange machine in a box. On a newspaper clipping that reads "WHERE is Mikkel"? he changes it to "WHEN is Mikkel?". 

The town has a power outage as lights flicker several times. Then dead birds appear litter the ground. Next we see Mikkel stumble out of the caves. He heads home but his key doesnt work. He sees a young boy who tells him to get lost. It turns out to be his FATHER Ulrich. He leaves with his MOTHER Katarina. Mikkel looks down at a paper. It is November 5, 1986. What is this witchcraft??? We'll have to stay tuning in to find out. 

Since the show focuses on four families, let's meet the cast of characters. This will help us keep track of who's who: (Thanks Wikipedia!) 

The Kahwalds:

  • Michael- the man who committed suicide
  • Hannah- his wife. She is secretly having an affair with Ulrich.  
  • Jonas- their son. He was in a mental hospital after his father's death. They told everyone he was in France. He's BFFs with Bartosz. 
  • Ines- Michael's mother. Unbeknownst to the others, she has Michael's letter and opens it. 

The Nielsens:

  • Ulrich- missing Mad's older brother. He is a police officer. 
  • Katarina- his wife. She is the high school principal. They have three children.
  • Mangus- the oldest. 
  • Martha- is currently dating Bartosz but has feelings for Jonas. 
  • Mikkel- the youngest. He enjoys magic and goes missing in the first episode. 
  • Ulrich and Madds parents are Tronte and Jana. We see Jana visiting Madds grave in episode 1. Tronte sneaks around in the middle of the night doing something. 

The Dopplers:

  • Charlotte- head of the police and Ulrich's boss
  • Peter- her husband and Jonas' therapist. 
  • Franziska- teenage daughter
  • Elisabeth- younger daughter, she is deaf

The Tiedermanns:

  • Regina- hotel owner and Bartosz's mother
  • Aleksander- Regina's husband and head of the nuclear power plant. Thus far in the story, he appears to be a first class jerk. 
  • Bartosz- bestie with Jonas and dating Martha
  • Claudia- Regina's mother. She was the first female head of the power plant. 

Grade:  5 Monsters (out of 5). Great thus far! I have no idea what's going on but I'm compelled to find out.  Many have compared "Dark" to "Stranger Things". Yes, there's missing children. Yes, there's a 1980's setting. Yes, there's a mysterious facility that may hold the answers (in "ST" it's the Hawkins Lab, in "Dark" its the power plant). "Dark" however is more "adult" (for lack of a better word). The show is grittier than it's NetFlix cousin. 

It reminds me more of "The Returned" (which is a HUGE compliment since it was my favorite show of 2013 and 2015, see here and here). Both occur is small isolated towns-- "Dark" in Germany and "The Returned" in France. Both center on a small group of interrelated families. There are lots of secrets. In "The Returned" the dead mysteriously arrive back in town. The mysterious happening in "Dark" seem to involve time travel. I LOVE time travel so cant wait to see more. I just hope the show doesnt botch it after this excellent setup. Time will tell (pun intended). 

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TV: Heavy On Sci Fi, Horror & Adventure

December 9, 2017
Dark Episodes 1-2 Review: No Idea What's Going On But I'm Compelled To Find Out Reviewed by GMonsterTV on 7:07 AM Rating: 5 "Dark" is the newest NetFlix offering. It's 2019. We are introduced to the small German town of Winden. Something tragic h...

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