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Is 'Dark Desire' The Answer To Your Sultry 'Sex/Life' Yearnings?

Dark Desire Oscuro deseo Maite Perroni Alma Quintana Solares Sex/Life Cooper Mike Vogel Billie Sarah Shahi Brad Adam Demos Netflix
Netflix (center), Sophie Giraud / Netflix (L,R)
When love and lust blur lines, it can take you over lanes of traffic you could have never anticipated. That is the central premise of Netflix’s steamy, addictive drama “Dark Desire,” which recently returned for a sizzling Season 2 after scorching earth with Season 1. And if you loved the Netflix series, “Sex/Life,” you will want to add it to your queue.

Season 1 (Spoiler-Free) Review

Last year, “Dark Desire” (“Oscuro Deseo”) wrapped yours truly around its tempting thumb with aplomb. The Mexican series follows Alma (Maite Perroni), a wife, mother, and law professor, hitting a crossroads in her life. Sound familiar, “Sex/Life” fans? In a divergence from the age of Billie’s children, Alma’s daughter is practically an adult, and her marriage has seen better days. 

Alma suspects the marital downturn is largely due to her husband and the affair she is convinced he is having. Consumed with this belief, Alma allows herself a bit of a “hall pass” in Season 1 while out with her best friend. At a party, she encounters Dario, a brooding younger man, who turns her life upside down as a one-time thing that leads to a lifetime of cling.

“Dark Desire,” admits Dario (Alejandro Speitzer), is like Alma’s first burst of true ecstasy, and she cannot stop with one conquest. Unlike “Sex/Life,” Dario is not a tempting presence from Alma’s past in Season 1. He is a very persuasive part of a new present. While Billie fantasizes about her ex-boyfriend Brad in “Sex/Life,” she knows what to expect from her former partner.

Everything with Dario is new, exciting, reckless, and indescribably dangerous for Alma. Dario is a man of mystery, and viewers are left to wonder alongside Alma if he is a very good or very bad enigma. The freshman season of “Dark Desire” is a wild ride that intrigues at every turn, with a murder mystery only propelling the suspense.

Season 1 is dynamite viewing that features huge drama and the kind of curveballs you only see in the MLB. Or an episode of “Who Killed Sara?” but who’s arguing? The point is that “Dark Desire” is the thing that binge-worthy dreams are made of, and wow, do they come true! So, without further ado, what about Season 2?

Dark Desire Oscuro Deseo Maite Perroni Alma Quintana Solares Alejandro Speitzer Darรญo Guerra Netflix
Netflix

Season 2 (Spoiler-Free) Review

Like its predecessor season, “Dark Desire” kicks off Season 2 with the kernel of a murder mystery. The ensuing investigation will not only shine a light on who a killer is but finally unmask Dario’s true nature once and for all. Is he a misunderstood victim of bad breaks? Or a calculating Casanova? When the dust settles, “Dark Desire” gives fans the answer.

There is a strong sense of closure with Season 2, and while this viewer would love to revisit the world of “Dark Desire,” it thankfully ties up every loose end before heading stage left. If you thought that you had braced yourself for the “brazen” (wink) plot turns that move each episode like the page of a must-read book, that would be the appropriate mental image.

Alma’s journey and relationship with Dario reach a fascinating point for discussion and exploration. Is obsessive love a bad thing? Or did Romeo and Juliet have it right even though they died at the end of their story? Entertainment media and pop culture tend to go back and forth. For her part, Alma is somewhat sympathetic in her loss of navigation. At least, more so than Billie on “Sex/Life.”

“Dark Desire” correctly acknowledges the grip that “love” can have on someone, and it is scary. If you have watched Netflix’s recent docs “The Tinder Swindler” or “Bad Vegan,” you know that the real deal can be even stranger than fiction. Do not be fooled. While “Dark Desire” may seem like a melodramatic meditation on lust, it is a deeper dive into a relevant topic heading for a reckoning.

There is more to “Dark Desire” than what appears to be on the surface. In truth, it runs quite deep. If you enjoyed the mystery of “The Five Juanas” and the seductive drama of “Playing with Fire,” you will not want to miss Season 1 or Season 2 of “Dark Desire.” Each half is the perfect match to fill your Netflix yearnings for a sultry series like “Sex/Life.”

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