Nature first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold,
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
- Robert Frost
Sigh. Okay, deep breath.
I am going to try very hard to not be completely negative about Sen Çal Kapimi in its current iteration, because who wants to read a diatribe, but I have lost my ability to be upbeat about the direction of the show. I have gone through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, although really I’m still waffling between depression and acceptance.
If you have followed along with these reviews from the beginning you will know that I have a deep affection and respect for writer Ayşe Üner Kutlu and I believe that she and her team have created one of the best love stories we’ve seen in television, Turkish or otherwise. The first 24 episodes of SÇK are a self-contained package of romantic comedy heaven and I do wish that at the end of episode 24, the scene with Eda and Serkan on the balcony at Art Life pledging that they love each other and will go forward together, had been the end of the series, with maybe an epilogue showing their happy life together. Literature-loving me knows that that is the end of the story that should have been.
Did you know that there are book sequels to Pride and Prejudice, Gone With the Wind, and To Kill a Mockingbird? If you weren’t aware, it’s understandable as they are terrible and shouldn’t have been undertaken. Harper Lee wouldn’t publish her sequel because even she didn’t like it so it wasn’t published until after she died. My point with this is that taken from a storytelling point of view, we are in sequel territory now. And with the current plot, the whole story is going to be re-told but with lesser hands and a cast that is starting to be unrecognizable from the original one.
This is because this isn’t a book but a television series and a Turkish one at that and the powers that be have decided to carry on with the show. It’s understandable from a business standpoint, the show is still doing fine in the ratings, the fandom is astounding, and the cast is keeping the show afloat. So, it doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. Which on one hand, that is amazing, it’s not often that a summer rom-com gets carried this far into the next year. On the other hand, it means that the story needs to be stretched out indefinitely and so here we will be in the unending middle of the plot.
The news that we again are getting new writers doesn’t install confidence. The old new writers got a lot of flack, and it’s understandable that they might not want to continue, but having another vision of the story going forward is not promising. Now maybe I will be wrong, and I will be thrilled if I am, and I have an only vague knowledge of their previous work, but it doesn’t bode well.
So, that’s where I’m at. I know that there are some, maybe a lot, of you that are fine with how things are progressing and have no problem with just riding the SCK wave until the end. I wish I could be like that, but I mourn the loss of the story and I’m angry at the character assassinations. With new writers whose expertise seems to be drama, I’m not hopeful that I’m going to like where the show goes.
What I loved
What I loved really wasn’t what was onscreen. I loved that the fandom rallied together to create a Twitter trend in dozens of countries and there were more than 2 million tweets. It’s a beautiful tribute to the hard work and dedication of the cast and crew of Sen Çal Kapimi. Then them acknowledging it in real-time and Hande and Kerem coming on to do an Instagram live was heartening. The cast and the crew have created this amazing series in the middle of a pandemic and it was a tangible thank you for all of their efforts and they deserve it.
Thank goodness for Melo, Engin and Ferit. The three of them have stayed true to their characters and have not gone to the dark side, unlike so many others. Melo is being an exceptional friend to Eda and is trying to keep her positive and sane. She has total faith in her enişte and knows that Serkan will get his memories back and reconcile with Eda. She has always been the brightest light in the show and that is continuing. I do love that she isn’t just love and rainbows though because Erdem drives her around the bend and she takes her nastiness out on him, which is well deserved.
Engin is trying to talk some sense into Serkan about Eda and I loved that when Serkan called him to complain that Eda was asleep in his bed Engin told him, ‘crawl in there next to her and get some rest’.
Ferit has become such a good guy and although she doesn’t deserve it, he’s trying to give Selin some good advice, he knows that the love that Serkan and Eda share won’t be lost forever and he’s trying to warn her to be prepared. He doesn’t owe her anything but is trying to be a friend to her. He also calls Ceren out on her crap and sees through the feinted anger at him as the excuse that it was. More on Ceren later.
There was a bit of comedy between Serkan and Eda at the apartment. He is visibly appalled at the bust of him that Balca made and assumes that Eda had it made but she tells him that he had it made because he’s such a narcissist. This scene was both cute and sad. I’m a bit upset that they didn’t make any callbacks to him waking her up at other times over having that jog his memory a bit. The ‘I hate you Serkan Bolat! The feeling is mutual, lady!’ did seem to make him pause for a second but then nothing more came of it.
What I liked
I like the new character Deniz and I hope they keep him as a good guy. He’s a great friend to Eda and actor Sarp Can Köroglu has great chemistry with Hande Erçel. The issue of course will be that he’s been in love with Eda for years, so will they keep him as a good guy or use him as another impediment to the reunion of Serkan and Eda? My guess is the latter especially now that he is in a pretend engagement with Eda.
They have well and truly put the Aydan/Ayfer/Alex triangle to bed as Alex has declared to Aydan that he and Ayfer are dating. I’m glad that’s over, now they just need to tell everyone else.
Engin and Piril are going to have a baby, which is lovely for them. I have never really gotten this relationship, it has always seemed off to me, but they are nice people and it should give us some good comedic scenes.
What I didn’t like
Tamam, hold on to your hat….where to start….
The Kizlar were one of the big highlights for me for SÇK. They were a found family of young women who were totally ride or die for each other and although they had very different personalities, they had forged a beautiful friendship that has sustained all of them. Now, we have Fifi gone from the show (although I was thrilled to see Sitare Akbas show up on the promo for Ramo), and Ceren and Eda in a fight over a guy, although Eda really doesn’t know that yet. The only relationship really left standing is Melo and Eda, and you know that Melo will take Eda’s side if Ceren comes for her. It makes me sad that this is what has become of the four of them.
Selin is being as manipulative and delusional as last week. She’s subtly pushing hard for a quick wedding. She’s got Serkan on a very short lease and can easily pull him back in if it looks like he’s drifting towards Eda. She is completely unwilling to entertain the idea that Serkan may remember and want to get back together with Eda. Is there more to that than her manipulation and his anxiety?
I have lost all hope for a friendship between Ayfer and Aydan with the Alex situation having swung in Ayfer’s direction. Also, Aydan needs to do more than try and trick Serkan into spending time with Eda, she could sit down with him and tell him all the good things that Eda has done for the Bolats to start with. The fact that both Ayfer and Aydan seem more interested in their own romantic lives than the devastation that their own children are going through doesn’t speak very well of either character and I’m sad for the disintegration of the character of both of these women.
Ceren. I don’t know what happened to this character this week. All of a sudden she’s madly in love with Deniz and Eda is the reason she can’t be happy? She went off on Eda about being selfish and not paying attention to her friends pain, this came out of left field and Eda was surprised by it as the rest of us were. She complained to Eda that it’s always about her. We haven’t seen Eda be selfish and yes she’s been completely focused on her own pain for the last few months but I think we can cut her some slack given that her fiancé disappeared and was presumed dead. This really didn’t make any sense nor did her insistence that she and Ferit break up because he’s still hung up on Selin. It seemed like this was just a convenient excuse for her to get rid of him so she can be with Deniz, who doesn’t have the same feelings for her and that’s all Eda’s fault. This is a confusing mess and a character assassin of Ceren. I don’t know if this is just a new conflict set up or if it will be a way for the character of Ceren to exit the show. Regardless, it’s a sad twist on a lovely character.
All the female characters in SÇK were originally set up to demonstrate all the incarnations of strong, independent women, now they are descending into all the stereotypes of women mostly concerned with romance and the men in their lives. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be concerned with romance, this is a rom-com after all, but there used to be more emphasis on friendships, education and career, and finding a love that was equal to you as an individual. So much of that has been lost.
What I loved and hated
I’m adding a new category to talk about the Serkan and Eda scene in front of the fireplace. It was a great scene, beautifully shot and acted, and I hated it.
Hear me out.
The scene itself was magical, Serkan is finally willing to listen to Eda and is curious about the big love that they supposedly shared. She initially doesn’t want to tell him anything but re-tells him the Apollo story she first told him in episode 5 in Antalya. It’s lovely and we flashback to the scene of them at Apollo’s Temple. It seems as if it’s triggered something in Serkan and maybe is waking up some of his feelings of love for Eda.
The scene itself is amazing, the reason I hate it is that it is obvious manipulation by the writers and producers to keep the fandom from being too unhappy. It’s a little piece of them as they used to be to tease the audience. Why do I say that? Because they backtrack in the very next scene, Serkan leaves with Selin, and the next morning asks her to wear the engagement ring he bought for her. It was a lovely 5 mins that Serkan and Eda spent together that resulted in nothing, no memory jog, and they are no closer to being back together than they were before the scene. This is why I didn’t like it and cannot appreciate it for the beautiful scene that it was because its sole purpose was to placate the fandom. Now, I know writers and directors use all sorts of devices to play with an audience’s feelings, setting, music, lighting etc, but when it’s dialogue and acting, it can jar when it’s only meant to soothe rather than further the story. If Serkan had gone home and thought about it, or we see him decide it’s too soon to give Selin the ring, I would have been okay with it but as it stands this is what we are unfortunately going to get in the future I’m afraid, Serkan and Eda scenes that don’t come to any fruition.
I’m not going to do a ‘what needs to happen next’ because with more new writers, I haven’t got a grasp on where they might take things. I will list a few things I don’t want to have happen and hope that I’m not giving them any ideas. The one big thing I want to happen is of course the amnesia storyline to get wrapped up as quickly as possible.
What I don’t want, please, please, lütfen
- Serkan cannot consummate his relationship with Selin, this is a deal-breaker for me
- On that train of thought, she can’t drug him to either seduce him or make him think they have slept together
- No fake pregnancy, by anyone
- Serkan and Selin can’t actually get married, neither can Eda and Deniz
Okay, so that’s it. I don’t like where Sen Çal Kapimi is headed, and I think that if they are going to try and keep the series going indefinitely we are in for a world of stupid and agonizing plot lines. Unfortunately, this is television and diziler can go on for too long. My undying wish is for SÇK to have a beautiful and satisfying ending, my addendum to that now is I don’t want it to drag on for so long that it becomes something I don’t recognize and can’t watch.