Today is the Fourth of July, 2019, and naturally Stranger Things Season 3 dropped on Netflix. Of course I’ll be watching it. I don’t want to comment on how good or bad it is yet, but having watched Dark for the last two seasons, it is so far much more complex and profound than anything Stranger Things is by such a wide margin that they are scarcely comparable. I’m a little tired of people continually comparing how Dark is a “Darker German version of Stranger Things”. Such is not the case. Quite honestly, Dark is a much, much, better story and so very different.
Please don’t get me wrong - I love Stranger Things. It’s a fun show. It’s a great show. I’ll be avidly watching it. I grew up in the 80s at the same time, and I was pretty close to the same age as those kids (I was 9-10 in 1980, so that gives you some idea, and I played AD&D, and I moved in 1984 from NYC to the suburbs of Philly). There’s a lot of nostalgia there. There’s nothing wrong with Stranger Things and I can’t wait to see the show in a little while after I’ve had dinner. However, Stranger Things is a children’s show compared to Dark. The fact that Dark happens in part “in the Eighties” is not about nostalgia. It has nothing to do about reliving a decade or a time of youth. It has to do with secrets, and complexities, and families over time, and small town secrets. It also takes place in other decades, and those other decades aren’t just thrown in for “nostalgia”. The writing is much more involved and adult, as are the themes. The characters are far more in depth. As I said: It’s an adult show with extremely tragic outcomes about choices in life and a whole heaping of fatalism as well.
Saying that Stranger Things and Dark are related is like saying that Star Wars and The Expanse are related because they both happen in space.