It may feel like an apples to oranges comparison, but since its release all I’ve seen are shaded reviews comparing the two and The Rain getting the short of the stick. After watching both I’ve decided that those reviews are full of it, because I found The Rain vastly more enjoyable and appropriately paced, and also dubbed better with a slightly stronger cast.
The Rain has a great ambient post-apocalyptic feel almost reminding us of a The Mist/Walking Dead crossover, but it doesn’t quite hit the expert level of cinematography that DARK brought to the table. No one tunes in for just the pretty pictures though, and we found the plot of The Rain to be far superior.
Contrary to what the keyboard-warrior-psuedo-detective style reviews would have you believe, we found The Rain to be more realistic of how people would actually act and the entire premise of “viral rain that kills people” versus “Time Travel” and tampering in your own timeline somehow requires less suspended disbelief. People apparently feel annoyed that characters behave stupidly in The Rain and don’t always wear the protective suits or stay held up indoors. The one argument I saw about waiting it out in cars held the most weight besides us not knowing how long that initial downpour lasted, but I digress.
To argue that The Rain is “cringeworthy” because the characters are fallable like real people is almost laughable. When clean water is scarce its not shocking they don’t wear hot, water resistant suits constantly that would make them swear more, and they do opt for water proof boots, so maybe that criticism is less valid. Also, people have a strange curiosity of things that could kill them and watching the rain isn’t the weirdest thing, but if it bothers you that badly maybe skip this one? We will say the bloodshed has more of a weighted feeling with one or two graphic deaths feeling more iinpactful on our characters and more meaningful than the weekly slaying we are used to in our post-apocalyptic shows.
What The Rain does best is appropriately pacing its 8 episodes, and creating intriguing deep dives into its characters pasts and how they made it this long after the rain started while fleshing out this post-apocalyptic world through the fresh, naive eyes of Simone and Rasmus. High stakes and actual drama kept me more alert and engrossed in “The Rain” than I ever really got waiting for answers while watching DARK.
We highly recommend watching at least the first 3 episodes to see if you like it, but at the point you might as well finish the other 5 episodes and call it a day.