I guess we can all agree on the fact Netflix is awesome. It personally makes me a bit antisocial because I often prefer to zombie-watch a series rather than go out, but let’s face it: if I would really – but REALLY – want to go out, I just would. But I don’t. I’m Netflix’s slave and I enjoy it.
As a matter of fact, watching carefully selected movies and TV shows has its perks. If you are a movie geek (like me), then you know that you can sometimes fool people into thinking you are quite smart using only facts that you’ve learned from movies. Just add a bit of emotional intelligence and you’ve got yourself a little alter ego genius.
For instance, a foreign language is the kind of thing you can learn watching certain TV shows or movies. That’s no fiction or lie. Because I was born in Europe, I can assure you that many of us learned English watching cartoons in the early ’90s and that was some fun language training.
Back to our point of interest, Netflix has done it again with its first German-language original series called Dark. As The Verge beautifully said: “Dark is hard to watch and impossible to stop watching”. That is why this show is guaranteed to make you crave for more: more Dark and more German. The first season has seen the thirst of Netflix’s subscribers in December 2017 and the next one has begun production a few weeks ago, on June 25. We will hopefully be able to watch the second season of this dark beauty – got that? – in early 2019.
Here’s the official trailer for the first season:
The Upside Down has nothing on Winden
Dark resembles Stranger Things a LOT. But it’s definitely better. If you are one of those people that would always prefer a European indie instead of a Hollywood blockbuster, Dark it’s just what you need. Filled with gorgeous shots, intense storytelling, and the perfect music, the German TV series sends shivers down your spine if you watch it at night when you are home alone.
While being indeed very similar to Stranger Things, Dark is at the same time very different in its complexity. If Stranger Things offers a visualization of the evil forces that rule Hawkins, Dark keeps you – and Winden (the city where the action takes place) – in total darkness for a long time. Using sound, rain and a specific color palette, this series manages to achieve a sense of claustrophobia in the viewer. The screen is not a barrier anymore. It basically makes you fear the unknown. Baran bo Odar – the creator – uses the expectations people built watching these genres (thriller or horror) to induce a sense of anticipation every time a certain type of music can be heard in the background and that’s pretty amazing.
What is Dark all about?
The disappearance of two children in a Dark German town where some guy committed suicide seems to expose everything about the relationships among four families. The best part? Temporal loops. Maybe the best question the series offers is “when” and not “where”. And I’m gonna stop right there because I don’t want to ruin it for you.
Oh! Almost forgot! There’s also some young romantic tension involved. So far, so good. I mean… it has everything, doesn’t it?
Why am I going to love the German language after watching Dark?
It’s a bit complicated and I’m going to shed some light on that in a minute. I don’t know how is it for you, but society and entertainment always seemed to maintain and even solidify our preconceptions about the German language. Hitler spoke German. World War II started when Germany invaded Poland. We get it. But why do we keep putting a tag on Germany and Germans for that? Why do we live in the past? I’ve met a lot of people that associated the sound of the German language with the war. Is it the same for you? We have a lot of preconceptions, but this one is particularly hard to break.
The only way we will change the preconception we created is by getting in contact with Germany and the German language. And I’ve got to tell you: watching Dark is a great way to do that. It will blow your mind and you will become an instant fan of German cinema.
I personally wanted to learn German for a long time, but I would always give up the second day. This time I started learning German with Mondly because I really REALLY enjoyed the sound of it in Dark. It’s the same as falling in love. You have to click. Just imagine my enthusiasm when I understood the first German word while watching Dark! A few months after finishing the series I’m still learning German with Mondly. For a lazy procrastinator like me, that’s magic.
The next step is to choose the best language learning app for you
And all this can turn into something serious. Like it did for me. As I said, a good selection of movies and series can change you completely. You can never be the same after watching Cloud Atlas, Vanilla Sky or Prisoners. Check it for yourself.
But what are the best online language courses? You will have to decide what suits you best. I went with Mondly because it uses recordings of native speakers, has a beautiful design and it uses innovation as a way to keep up with our demands as learners who live in the 21st century. Chatbot technology and augmented reality is not something we should only see in sci-fi movies and Mondly gets that.
Sic Mundus Creatus Est
Or “Thus the world is created” – is the name of episode 6 and I’ll let you discover the deeper meaning of that Latin verse tonight – when you will start watching Dark.
My honest and maybe humble conclusion is that this gorgeous, deep and truly dark sci-fi TV series can always compete with Twin Peaks. Let’s all learn German and see what kind of mind-bending story season 2 has in store for us in 2019.