Apple’s Sad Dad Sci-Fi “Dark Matter” Series, though Handsome, Feels Shallow
By John Coupland
Entertainment, Viral Stories
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Apple’s Sad Dad Sci-Fi “Dark Matter” Series, though Handsome, Feels Shallow

“Dark Matter,” broadly and specifically, caters to an audience like me—or at least, a version of myself that could feasibly exist. In essence, the Apple drama delves into significant questions about how our choices sculpt our identities: Would I be a different person today if I had pursued an alternate career, married someone else, or lived a different life? The answer, in trivial instances akin to daydreams, is an unequivocal “Yes.” In a different profession, I wouldn’t be crafting these very words but rather lounging in a hammock off the Irish coast, testing it professionally in chilly climates. Yet, beyond mere actions, how would my essence change? Would a different career, partner, or lifestyle shape my personality, worldview, or core identity? Once more, the answer leans towards a likely “Yes,” but the extent and consequences remain murky.

Dark matter

If you’re intrigued by such existential inquiries, Apple’s “Dark Matter” will certainly resonate during its nine-episode run, possibly even provoking reflections on a midlife crisis. Wondering “what if” is a natural human tendency, sometimes even constructive. However, fixating solely on missed opportunities rather than appreciating one’s current circumstances and aspirations could lead to dissatisfaction, risking impulsive decisions like trading stability for fleeting indulgences.
The protagonist, Jason Dessen, portrayed by Joel Edgerton in “Dark Matter,” embodies this existential dilemma. Adapted from Blake Crouch’s 2016 novel, the series serves as an allegory for the midlife crisis of a middle-class Caucasian male, albeit one thrust upon him rather than self-induced. Populated with alternate universes, technical jargon, and a few plot twists, the show offers a vicarious exploration of existential questions, sans the personal upheaval. However, despite aligning with many personal interests, “Dark Matter” fails to transcend its formulaic narrative, lacking the depth to resonate profoundly.
So, what about the specifics? Before diving in, let’s address the fundamental question: What is “Dark Matter” about? Think of it as “It’s a Wonderful Life” stripped of holiday cheer, tracing the journey of Jason, a typical Midwestern husband and father. By day, he lectures at a Chicago community college, while his evenings are spent teaching his son to drive and tending to family dinners. Despite his outward contentment, a sense of dissatisfaction gnaws at him, exacerbated by the achievements of his peers. This discontent culminates in a fateful encounter on a rainy night, setting off a chain of events that thrusts him into a bewildering alternate reality.
Awakening in a world where he’s a renowned scientist, Jason grapples with the stark differences: his son’s nonexistence, his unmarried status, and the absence of familial warmth. Despite the allure of fame and success, this life feels hollow, prompting Jason’s quest to reclaim his former reality.
The enigmatic “box” holds the key to his predicament, revealing glimpses of parallel universes and guiding his search for answers. Despite its sluggish narrative pacing, “Dark Matter” maintains a sense of urgency, propelling viewers alongside Jason as he navigates the labyrinth of alternate realities.
The series astutely highlights the intricacies of relationships, emphasizing the significance of seemingly insignificant gestures and shared experiences. However, its focus on visual effects and speculative concepts eclipses character development, leaving much to be desired. While “Dark Matter” may resonate with viewers sharing my affinity for Chicago and poignant narratives, its failure to deliver profound insights renders it a missed opportunity for meaningful storytelling.
In conclusion, “Dark Matter” offers a cautionary tale for those grappling with existential questions, urging reflection before succumbing to impulsive decisions. Alternatively, consider immersing yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Logan Square, where every corner tells a story.

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