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Lost Highway
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Dark

#1 Post by Lost Highway » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:04 pm

It's the German sci-fi/horror drama on Netflix and despite the publicity, it's nothing like Stranger Things. I liked it quite a bit but then I'm a sucker for time travel stories and atmospheric genre shows. If anything it's more like Back to the Future as re-imagined by David Fincher but the show it reminded me most of was the French supernatural drama Les Revenants/The Returned. Both shows are about families in sinister small towns, torn apart by events beyond their comprehension.

The series is about four families in a German small town across three generations. Some of the characters have become aware of a time portal in a cave near a nuclear power station which opens every 33 years, creating all sorts of time travel paradoxes when some of the characters start to travel back and forth in time. Some stumble into it by mistake, others are lured there with dire consequences and some are using it to their advantage. The series starts in 2019 with a suicide and the disappearance of a young boy
SpoilerShow
(I especially loved how these two events end up connecting)
and eventually adds plot lines from 1986 and 1953, which are the years the portal leads to.

The characters are played by different actors at different stages of their lives and they are mostly very well cast, though at times it does get tough keeping up with who is who across the decades. Some of the older cast members were stars of the German New Wave like Angela Winkler (Katharina Blum, The Tin Drum) whose distinctive facial mole makes her the easiest to keep track off over generations. Lisa Kreuzer starred in several of the early Wim Wenders films.

When it comes to genres like horror and sci-fi and German film and TV hasn't produced much of note since the 1920s but this can compare itself with the better recent genre shows out there. It looks great and has one of the best scores for a TV show I can remember. Ends on a great cliff hanger too, which has me intrigued about season 2.
Last edited by Lost Highway on Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:45 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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aox
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Re: Dark

#2 Post by aox » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:50 pm

It's one of the best things I have seen in years.

Advice to anyone plunging in: watch it in the original German with English subs. The English dubbing is beyond horrendous.

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Quot
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Re: Dark

#3 Post by Quot » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:49 pm

aox wrote:It's one of the best things I have seen in years.
I was equally impressed (and I'm not generally fond of time travel narratives). But the series is first and foremost character-driven, which gives the time-travel aspect real gravitas. Seeing the same characters over three time periods means: this show has a HUGE cast and, it weaves a tapestry rich enough to be one of those rare series whose reach does NOT exceed its grasp.

I'm as excited as anyone to see where they take this after that season-ending cliffhanger. There's still plenty of room on this bandwagon.

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aox
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Re: Dark

#4 Post by aox » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:03 pm

Agreed, Quot

I didn't know they were producing a Season 2 when I finished S1. Honestly, while S1 can be interpreted as being open ended (obviously, it is now that we know about S2), it was self-contained enough that the season would stand perfectly fine with its ending as it is.

That is very rare in my experience.

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Lost Highway
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Re: Dark

#5 Post by Lost Highway » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:11 am

Quot wrote:
aox wrote:It's one of the best things I have seen in years.
I was equally impressed (and I'm not generally fond of time travel narratives). But the series is first and foremost character-driven, which gives the time-travel aspect real gravitas. Seeing the same characters over three time periods means: this show has a HUGE cast and, it weaves a tapestry rich enough to be one of those rare series whose reach does NOT exceed its grasp.

I'm as excited as anyone to see where they take this after that season-ending cliffhanger. There's still plenty of room on this bandwagon.
I don’t agree that the show is character driven, it’s very much a plot driven show with the characters firmly in service of the labyrinthine plot and it’s various twists and turns. I don’t find any of the characters especially memorable or compelling in themselves other than figuring out what their purpose in the larger scheme of the story is. The excellent casting of various characters at different stages of their lives, makes up for that to some extend but it’s not a show like Mad Men or The Sopranos where the plot organically develops out of the personalities of its characters.

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