Boxset Binge: Dark (Season 2) Review

Genre: Science-Fiction, Thriller
Original Network: Netflix
Original Release: 21 June 2019

The second season of the German science-fiction show Dark continues to deliver a unique product in the genre, with a rich development of world-building and an exciting and shocking finale highlighting the strength of the show.

For this season, the technique the writers use to present the narrative gives it more drive and intensity compared to the slow burning nature of its predecessor. At the end of the first season, the effective audience surrogate, Jonas Kahnwald, arrived in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. This is revealed to be the remains of the town of Winden, home to the vast majority of the characters, in 2053. The cause of the devastation was an explosion at the local nuclear power plant which wiped out nearly everyone in the area, occurring in 2020, just one week on from the date of the first episode. Each episode from then on marks one day closer to the apocalyptic event. This ultimately drives the writing and the actions of the characters forward, as some desperately attempt to find a way to prevent it from occurring, with others needing it to happen as was always intended. The second season is ultimately more intense, with greater drive and pacing than the first, which makes viewers want to carry on to see what happens.

The expansion of this second season does mean that viewers are introduced to many new characters, or rather future or past versions of characters already introduced. This stretches the already large cast to an even bigger size, and brings to light a problem that was picked up on my review of the first season. This would still be an issue even if the language was English rather than German. Viewers are not given re-introductions to these, the writers expecting them to know how every character relates to each other, so it did take a couple of episodes to understand who everyone is. I recommend that the episodes of this episode are watched in close proximity to each other, otherwise the resulting confusion can attention away from what is already a show that requires the full investment from the viewers. The intensity of the narrative does mean that this is less than an issue than the first season, but it does take a while to get back into the show.

Dark season 2 poster (Netflix, 2019)

One of the biggest strengths of this show is that the writers do not attempt to manipulate viewers into deciding which one of the multiple factions is on the side of light, choosing instead to focus on the actions of Adam, Claudia and The Stranger, amongst others. These individuals are well into the future of their own personal timelines, so viewers are in the dark as to who they truly are and what drove them to follow their own paths. The more shocking events in this season are down to the actions of the characters, which influence who they are to become. It is good to see that each character genuinely believes they are doing what is best for themselves and the world, rather than a typically evil individual. The vast majority of these characters are flawed and have their own vices, but it is what makes them more real as humans, and like people in the real world, they are unpredictable.

As said above, the writers aren’t afraid to take risks in the narrative, and this shows with the mind-blowing season finale. Without giving any spoilers, the twists in the last few minutes change everything that viewers have come to expect from this show to date. It feels like the confidence of the writing team is growing with every episode, as each feels like it adds more lore and development. This ultimately makes me (and I am sure other viewers) very intrigued about what the third season of Dark will bring.

The second season of Dark highlights the unique nature of the show and what it brings to the science-fiction genre. Once viewers can understand who every single character is and how they relate to others, as well as the twisty nature of the time travel between different periods, expect a great watch that promises even more for the third season, which I will be watching soon.

Star Rating: 4/5

Thank you for reading my review of season 2 of Dark. If you have enjoyed reading this post, feel free to like and subscribe to The Blogging DJ to receive email notifications when new posts are published. If you have any recommendations of shows you think I will enjoy and want me to review, please leave a comment below.

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