Dark Matter on Apple TV+ jumps straight in while keeping an air of mystery (Review)

The sci-fi series premiered with the first two episodes on May 8, 2024. Here's what we thought about the premiere.
Courtesy: Apple TV+
Courtesy: Apple TV+ /

Apple TV+ came in with a bang with its new show, Dark Matter! The streamer premiered the series with the first two episodes today, May 8, 2024. Right now we're going to review and share our thoughts on the first one only, and be sure to come back to Show Snob tomorrow as I review episode 2!

The sci-fi centered series is all about Jason Dessen, a family man, physicist, and professor. He's not living the most exciting life, it's quite mundane actually. But it's a good one with his wife Daniela (Jennifer Connelly) and teenage son Charlie (Oakes Fegley). One day there's an unwanted excitement that enters his life as he's ripped away from his family. A mysterious masked man kidnaps Jason, drugs him, and ends up sending the physicist to an alternate reality. Who is this masked man? Spoiler alert, we get the answer in the first episode. Read on below to find out the details. For a full recap of the premiere, click here.


Courtesy: Apple TV+ /

Dark Matter episode 1 review

Dark Matter episode 1, "Are You Happy in Your Life?," starts off with a mystery right off the bat. It's a man who steps out of a large box but we don't see his face. It cuts to the theme, and then we're introduced to Jason and the family. They're happy at home, but it seems like the professor is not very fulfilled work wise. That's obvious when his friend Ryan (Jimmi Simpson) calls and says he just won a Pavia, a big prize in science. And it was thanks to Jason's help. But of course, Jason's name isn't going to be on it.

The episode takes a good amount of time establishing all these elements and Jason's life, but we quickly move into the action and figure out where the story is headed. What I like about the show is that, so far at least, it moves at a fast pace in a good way. The creative team isn't wasting any time. After going to the bar to celebrate Ryan's achievement, that's when the masked man approaches Jason. He wakes up in a lab surrounded by people he doesn't recognize, but they all know him. What's happened? Has he forgotten who he really is? Was the life with Daniela and Charlie all in his head?

Courtesy: Apple TV+ /

That question is answered by the end of the episode! The man behind the mask was actually another version of Jason Dessen. He came through the big box from his reality, and took over family man Jason's life. Like, excuse you? I don't know if it's just me, but I was a little confused with the two Jasons at first. One at home with Amanda (Alice Braga), and the other with Daniela. I was like, is this a flashback or something? But, then it hits you that it's two different people. And how fascinating is that? Why did this other Jason want to take family man Jason's place? We'll find out soon enough!

Overall I think it's an intriguing plot that definitely piques your interest. I think the first episode of the series successfully jumps right to the point, hooks us onto the plot, and keeps an air of mystery. Though it took me a second, I did get the point of it being two different Jasons eventually. It's a bit of a repeated and predictable storyline, and I have a feeling the sci-fi element of it all is just kicking in. I'm not a huge fan of the genre, but I'm willing to give this show a shot because I really do think the premiere was well done. And if you're like me, you should too. Episode 1 grade level: B. Let's see how we feel about episode 2 tomorrow!

B. "The series successfully jumps right to the point while keeping us on the edge of our seats with an air of mystery". Aysha - Show Snob. Dark Matter premiere review. Dark Matter Grade

Dark Matter streams new episodes Wednesdays on Apple TV+.

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