Review by CJ
Baran bo Odar
Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese, Ronny Schalk, Marc O. Seng, Martin Behnke
Jonas Kahnwald, Oliver Masucci, Angela Winkler, Daan Lennard Liebrenz
44-57 minutes per episode
Number of episodes:
When Mikkel Nielsen goes missing in the year 2019, those looking for him begin to unravel a mystery that spans several generations and will turn their worlds upside down.
After a cursory glance at the ratings on IMDb and Netflix, I’ll say I’m in the minority here, but I really didn’t enjoy Dark.
Let’s start with the first thing that annoyed me. The English audio dubbing. It is atrocious. The people who performed the dubbing should never work in any performance art again and those that approved it should be demoted to approving stationery orders.
This wasn’t helped by the fact the subtitles didn’t match what was being said in the audio dubbing. I don’t even mean they shorthanded it as is what often happens. I mean they actually changed words (in one case the audio dubbing drops the ‘c word’ and the subtitles say ‘b*tch’) or entire sentences. It’s one thing to not have the audio match the actor’s lip movements or to not have the subtitles match the audio, but when all three are out of whack it is really discombobulating.
After I switched the subtitles off, this issue was slightly improved but the audio dubbing was still lacklustre.
The next issue I had on a deeper level is the characters. Almost every character in Dark is painfully dull, uninteresting and almost entirely unlikeable. Despite trying to make them interesting by giving them intricate backgrounds, sordid choices and throwing in time travel for good measure.
The first season has a very slow burn in terms of plot pacing, which is not something to which I’m averse. However, with the quality of the characters, I found it to be painfully tedious.
The last straw was the time travel, which I felt raised more questions than it answered and opened several plot holes.
The straw after the last straw was the season finale. Without going into spoiler territory, I would say that it didn’t fit and felt like it was pushed onto the end as a way to keep people watching. To me, it was the nail that sealed my decision not to watch season two when it is released. The plot is already deeply convoluted and filled with different variations of unlikeable characters, and the cliffhanger indicates that those things are about to get even more convoluted.
“We trust that time is linear. That it proceeds eternally, uniformly. Into infinity. But the distinction between past, present and future is nothing but an illusion. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are not consecutive, they are connected in a never-ending circle. Everything is connected.”