'Dark' vs. 'Stranger Things': Similarities and Differences

Louis Hofmann in the Netflix series "Dark"
September 3, 2020 - 09:45 / Anna Valenzuela Rosas

Netflix's Dark and Stranger Things are frequently compared as they have a few similar concepts, although they are in very different genres. At first glance, the setting and plot seem to be the same but we dove deeper to see what exactly the similarities and differences are.

Fans have been quick to argue about which Netflix series is better Dark or Stranger Things? Both mysteries are Netflix in-house productions while Dark is the first big German production and Stranger Things is a major American production. Both plots begin with similar ideas, children disappearing and the teenagers of the town take finding them into their own hands but after that, the shows set off into much different directions. 

Dark vs. Stranger Things: Both Take Viewers Back to the '80s

Stranger Things setting takes place in the nostalgic 1980s with the classic clothes, music, terminology, and references and coincidentally enough Dark does too but with a bit of a neat twist. 

In the Netflix series "Dark", young people try to solve the secrets that revolve around their place

While Stranger Things solely takes place in the 80s, Dark takes place in several time periods. Dark's intricate plot takes place on multiple timelines, in the past, present, and future. Our characters are followed all the way from the 1920s, 1950s 1980s, the present-day, and all the way through the 2050s! 

Dark vs. Stranger Things: Dark Has No Monster

While comparing Dark and Stranger Things it is important to take note of the genre. While both are mysteries, the director of Dark Baran bo Odar emphasizes the difference in an interview with Moviepilot, "Stranger Things is a horror show that uses elements of fantasy and we are a Sci-Fi show about time travel. The supernatural in the form of a monster does not exist in our series."

Netflix Original Series: Stranger Things

The mod of Dark is far darker than Stranger Things, considering it frequently has a more upbeat feel with then tension often relaxed by funny moments, unlike Dark that has a consistent gloom and doom vibe. 

Dark vs. Stranger Things: Teenagers are the Main Characters

One major similarity between Dark and Stranger Things is that both stories primarily follow young teenagers. In both shows, the younger townsfolk take it upon themselves to clear up the dark secrets and find the missing children, but Stranger Things focuses more on the teenage knuckleheads while Dark has multiple groups and storylines, just with the kids as the main storyline. 

The stars of the hit series "Stranger Things"

Netflix's Dark characters are all very extensive with generational meaning and each has a very important role in the action, even the town of "Winden" itself is almost a character as the event in the town and its influence is what drives the series.

Dark vs. Stranger Things: The Production of Dark is Not a Copy of the American Series

For those who still see Dark as a reproduction of Stranger Things will finally be convinced by a well-said argument from screenwriter Jantje Friese on Moviepilot. He said "[Dark] can not be a response [to Stranger Things] because we were already in production when Stranger Things came out. We would have responded to something that we knew as existing beforehand - but we did not."

The cast of the series "Dark"

The fact of the matter is: both Dark and Stranger Things deliver great tension and stories that are perfect for binging everyday and twisting your mind. Dark is also gaining the attention of the whole world with it's intricate and well-thought-out story that leaves the viewer wanting more!