1. If you love good writing, this show is for you. DARK is not something you can watch when you’re half asleep and looking to unwind. Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar have crafted a plot that is intricately woven and complicated. It’s also entirely in German, and so you must pay attention (especially if you watch with subtitles).
2. It’s like a German version of Stranger Things—but darker. (No pun intended). There are a group of kids in the ‘80s who also travels on their bikes to see one another and gets swept up in their own teenage drama.
3. There’s plenty of adult drama, too. Tangled webs of cheating, lying, and sexual scandal are strewn all over the town, and you very quickly realize that these webs were started years ago.
4. It’s a mystery. Just when you think you have the plot figured out, something else happens that completely throws you off track. There is no predicting the ending of this show—you’ll have to wait and see what happens.
5. Time travel is an essential component of this story. Yes, time travel. The small, fictional town of Winden where all the magic and mystery takes place is also home to a portal, a rip in the fabric of this time and place. This portal allows travelers to journey into the past—and even into the future. It’s bananas.
6. There’s a secret society that spans generations. Yes, a secret society. They’re the Travelers, a group of people who can time travel through this portal. They’re also quite creepy, though at times you’re not sure whether you’re supposed to love them or hate them—yet another example of the exemplary writing that happens in this show.
7. The cast is phenomenal. PHENOMENAL. You don’t need to speak and understand German to watch this show—subtitles and dubbing are beautiful things, and I promise you, by the second episode, you won’t even notice them anymore—and that’s a testament to the skills of all of the actors.
8. It pushes you to think beyond your comfort zone. At the heart of the show is the concept of time—what it does to us, how we’re indebted to it, and how there’s never enough of it. DARK, in a way, also asks you to reflect on how you spend your time.