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Dark Desire review: Is Netflix’s new series a guilty pleasure?

María Fernanda Yepes as Brenda and Maite Perroni as Alma.
María Fernanda Yepes as Brenda and Maite Perroni as Alma. Pic credit: Netflix

Grab the candles and turn on those Barry White jams, because Netflix wants to spice up viewers’ homes with Dark Desire.

Remember the old days of the ’90s where Hollywood had a fascination with erotic thrillers such as Basic Instinct or Wild Things. It used to be such a common selling point for the industry to offer adult programming in every sense of the words.

Movies like Jade, Showgirls, and so many more tried to balance an erotic tone while giving a decent story. And some failed more than others.

Dark Desire (or Oscuro Deseo) attempts the same by providing viewers a sensual tale with a dark, sinister mystery, much like other Netflix thrillers such as Secret Obsession.

But is the series worth bingeing? Here is our Dark Desire review of the show’s season premiere.

Dark Desire review: Is Netflix’s new series a guilty pleasure?

The story centers on Alma, a wife and mother, struggling in her marriage. At the start of the season, she suspects her husband is cheating on her with a secretary.

Because of this, Alma confides in her friend Brenda, and Brenda offers a nefarious solution to her problem. Cheat on him with someone else.

Alma and Brenda then depart to a social gathering that appears to be an outdoor club scene where she meets a mysterious young man named Dario. And from here, a night of passion with this man ensues.

But just like most erotic thrillers, things start getting weird shortly after Alma’s one night stand with Dario. Her professional life as a law professor becomes compromised, and someone close to her mysteriously dies.

And everyone in between all these events has a lot of sex — because, of course they do.

Alejandro Speitzer as Dario in Dark Desire.
Alejandro Speitzer as Dario in Dark Desire. Pic credit: Netflix

Now, before going any further, to be upfront, Netflix only offered the first two episodes for review before the release, and the series is 18 episodes long.

So, whether the series maintains quality after the premiere, we are not able to say.

That said, the first two episodes kick-off the show quite well and accomplish what they are supposed to do for a series.

The first few minutes of Dark Desire leave viewers cold and wondering as we see someone with long hair being taken away in handcuffs. This is followed by a broad shot of a pool that should be blue but instead is blood-filled.

It’s the kind of opening that will actually make people want to keep pressing onto the next episode just to figure out what exactly is going on because it sets up the mysteries effectively.

So while the series may have a trash television vibe, it has all the symptoms of being addictive trash television.

Maite Perroni as Alma in Dark Desire
Maite Perroni as Alma in Dark Desire. Pic credit: Netflix

And this is perfect for the bingeing model that Netflix strives on. This is due to extremely attractive performers, a dark mystery that raises more questions than answers, not to mention half-hour episodes that each lead to an inevitable cliffhanger.

Most viewers will be through this by Sunday.

Maite Perroni and Alejandro Speitzer will have the internet on fire by the time the weekend ends. This is mostly true for Speitzer, who portrays the mysterious young Dario.

If the guy is not a big name already, he will be the object of every lonely housewife’s desires after this.

The same goes for Maite Perroni as Alma. She does exactly what the role requires and does not oversell the more provocative elements. For a show that leans heavily on eroticism, she maintains the emotional intelligence of her role as a wife who is genuinely hurt by her marriage.

As far as the more sexualized elements of the series, honestly, it’s not as graphic as one might think. In fact, most of it is done tastefully and does not linger heavily on nudity.

And most of the sequences are over before they even begin. It’s brief moments that imply a night of passion between characters.

For example, Game of Thrones has way more explicit sex scenes than this show — so far.

But again, it does have lots of these moments where everyone is sleeping with someone. Not everyone will enjoy this show for that reason. However, this is an erotic thriller and it’s best to prepare before clicking that play button.

Overall Thoughts

Dark Desire is an on-the-nose title. It’s a dark show, and everyone is desiring everyone.

It’s best to accept that notion going into the program. It’s unapologetic trash television, and for better or worse, that’s exactly the product they are providing.

And if that is the intended goal, then viewers who strive for that kind of show will enjoy Dark Desire. It has just the right amount of quality writing and mystery building to keep audiences invested, but that’s judging by the first two episodes.

Dark Desire will not break new ground in the television medium, but chances are, it will become the next guilty pleasure for many viewers.

Dark Desire is now streaming on Netflix.


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