Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. William Wordsworth
This will not strictly be a review of episode 32, as it was pretty much the same as 31 and 30 so I don’t really have any new opinions or insights. We are in a constant loop now with the story as the new writers are having Eda and Serkan take one step towards each other and then one step back.
Instead I would like to talk about writing and look at some of the characters and how some have remained true to their original incarnation and how other have veered sharply away. Character growth is very important to allow any story to move forward, we have seen this growth in Eda the most, but she has also retained her core characteristics, loyal, stubborn, smart, caring, loving, and impulsive. Other characters traits have switched depending on what the plot desired, like Aydan. She has been nothing but inconsistent.
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. Robert Frost
There is a Canadian puppeteer named Ronnie Burkett, he has performed one-man shows for 30 years all over the world. The interesting thing about his shows is that he is visible the entire time, he is shown on stage with the puppet mechanisms and strings for the puppets, there is no attempt to hide him behind a screen. Having seen a few of his shows I can attest that after a few moments you forget that he is there. His stories and his talent is such that we, as an audience, forget that we are witnessing puppets and become immersed in the story.
I bring this up because this should be true in storytelling regardless of the medium. My issue with Sen Çal Kapimi at the moment is that I can see the strings and I’m paying attention while watching that I can see the writing in the performances. The new writers are having to play out this amnesia plot and we can see the techniques they are using to keep us invested while also keeping the characters from moving the plot forward too soon. This is my biggest complaint that we have shifted from character driven stories to plot driven stories and the puppeteers are more visible than ever before in SCK.
As the audience we are not watching and cheering on the characters, screaming at the villains, laughing at the comedy or watching our leads fall in love. We are saying ‘why is this dragging on for so long?’ ‘why is that character doing that?’ ‘what is the writers intent with this scene?’. It’s becoming increasingly hard to just go with the story because we can see the writing effort that is taking place to stretch out the plot. This isn’t unique to SCK I know, but it doesn’t mean that it is good storytelling. The fact that we are used to it from watching other diziler doesn’t change the fact that it’s obvious that the story now is being lead not by what organically works and where it should lead but by the demands of the production and the insane ratings system of Turkish television.
I am fully resigned now to the amnesia plot dragging on for several more episodes, the Selin/Serkan ‘romance’ carrying on, and Eda trying her best to spark some interest in Serkan. But even this is inconsistently written, Serkan ignores Selin to go help Eda but then called her the ‘woman who lights up my life’ in front of Eda, Eda has concocted this fake engagement plan to make Serkan jealous but when he invites her to spend some alone time with him to ‘work’ she turns him down, when he asks her if she has given up on him instead of telling him no and giving him some insight into the depth of her love for him she tells him that they have lost each other. This writing inconsistency is obviously to prevent Eda and Serkan from getting together too quickly, we can see the plot points in the writing.
This is where we are at with Sen Çal Kapimi, the writers are stuck having to draw out this plot where in previous times they could resolve it quickly. I don’t wholly blame the writers, I understand that they may not have much choice in how quickly plots get resolved. Producer Asena Bülbüloglu has stated on Twitter that they need the drama of the story to keep the ratings steady and the show carrying on, so they’re all under pressure here. They are suffering the pains of having to carry on a story that should be resolved much more quickly and we as the audience are suffering because we have to watch the show that we once loved become trite and un-engaging.
It is not all doom and gloom, regardless of what I just wrote. There are still characters I love and who have not been decimated by the new storytellers.
Characters With Consistency
The foremost of these is Eda. She has remained true to her original core character while allowing for character growth. She is still the strong person we first met but has also blossomed into a person who can take control of a powerful client and convince them to continue working with their company. Serkan and Ceren were ready to throw in the towel and resolve the situation using legal means, while Eda used her intelligence and charm to woo the client back. It is true when Eda says that she and Serkan fill in the gaps of the other.
She isn’t perfect, she makes bad choices sometimes and is too harsh in what she says to Serkan on many occasions. However is how she has always been, she’s called him a robot throughout their relationship, the problem now is that he doesn’t remember her love so the harshness is effecting him more. Most of her dialogue to him has not been sweet and she is no longer giving him any history of them as a couple. This is problematic as what she wants most is to get back together with him, again this is the writing not allowing her character to voice any of this as it might lead to a quicker reconciliation of Eda and Serkan.
While we may not love her impulsiveness, it is a core value to her as a character, so while I really hate the fake engagement between her and Deniz it is completely in her wheelhouse to do something like that. My main complaint about that storyline is that she isn’t using the opportunities that it’s providing her, why didn’t she take Serkan up on his offer to work at the cabins? Why doesn’t she take the opportunity to tell him some of their history? Her idea is to make him jealous and get him interested in her but yet she doesn’t take the opportunities that come up. This is the problem that we have with this plot, the bones are there to have Eda and Serkan interact more and for more of his memories to come back but the writers put the brakes on this every time as they can’t afford for the story to progress too quickly. So we have Serkan remembering the coffee shop and stating that he feels at peace there, but Eda doesn’t fill him in on the significance of the place to them as a couple, she just leaves him there, and it doesn’t stir any additional memories for Serkan. So, while beautiful, this was a pointless scene other than getting coffee there is now their ‘thing’.
Melo is as consistent a friend as anyone could ask for. She is trying her very best to help her Dada regain the man she loves and fight off all the forces that are against them. She has been the best of the Kizlar and unfortunately she is the only one left of Eda’s original support system. This is sad for so many reasons but Melo at least is looking out for Eda.
Ferit is possibly too nice of a man. He is still trying to be good to Ceren even when what she mostly does is snarl at him. He is also the only one trying to get Selin to see that her endgame is unlikely to happen. He has also remained true to his original character, this was a man who was willing to marry Selin even knowing that she loved Serkan because he loved her so much and thought he could change her mind. Thankfully he got away from her in time because I truly think they would have been miserable together.
Selin can go in the consistent category becasue she is consistently terrible. She has no self respect and no self awareness. Would you really think that you were going to have a happy life with a man who doesn't remember your birthday, even when prompted? What was up with her kissing Deniz? If they have her go off into the sunset with him with no reprecussions for her actions again, I will be beyond angry. And, Piril supporting her in her delusions was maddening.
Honourable mentions should go to Leyla and Erdem, they have stayed true to themselves and I loved them helping Eda with her presentation, the loyalty they show her speaks to how much they love her but also I think to her abilities as a boss.
Serkan is probably the character who’s inconsistency is the easiest to explain. Given that he has brain trauma and we really didn’t know a lot of what Serkan was truly like before he met Eda, we could suppose this is exactly who original Serkan was, however their are inconsistencies even in his current incarnation. The problem here is that we just don’t know. We have no insight into what Serkan is thinking, he isn’t having any conversation with his close friends or with Aydan, who one would think might be checking in on him on a regular basis. So, no one is asking ‘how are you doing?’, ‘what is happening with you and Eda?’ ‘do you really want to marry Selin?’ Subsequently we have no idea what Serkan is thinking.
Old Serkan was not a charmer, if we remember back to episode 3 he was very harsh to Eda when he felt she was getting too close. But the same night he came to her house with Sirius and gave her his version of an apology and explained himself to her. He made her cry twice in episode 32 but either didn’t notice or if he did notice, did nothing about it. He hugged Selin in front of her and watched as Eda left the party in tears but did nothing. He saw that she was upset at the coffee shop and didn’t ask her about it and just let her leave, and then didn’t ask her about it the next day instead hugged Selin when she came in and called her ‘the woman who lights up my life’. It’s really hard to like this new Serkan when he goes out of his way to say hurtful things to Eda and to not acknowledge that he’s hurting her. It’s confusing to watch when the premise is that he’s suppose to fall in love with her again.
I have not seen any indications that he’s falling in love again, we have seen flashes of jealously, we have seen him enjoy her close proximity and reach out and touch her without thinking, but we have yet to see any real emotion in regards to her. He accidentally kissed her and then nothing comes of it. There is slow burn and then there is stagnation. All the indications of him regaining at least a bit of his old feelings for her, moving her hair back, doing up her necklace are quickly dashed away and again, because we are not privy to any conversations he might be having, we don’t know his mindset. He heads back to the company to help her, but that’s for the good of the business, he goes to find her when she is lost but so does everyone else, there are no outward obvious signs of a renewed love. The only clue we got was at the beginning when he says to himself ‘why can’t I get you out of my mind?’ but it is too small of a crumb to hang onto.
Ceren continues to be snarky and miserable this week, but at least they have veered away from stating that mental illness is to blame. I don’t understand the purpose of this plot line for her, if it’s just to give the actress more to do, couldn’t they have her involved in the Art Life business more or actually have given her a romance with Deniz? It’s incomprehensible what the purpose of her character shift is and I really resent the loss of another of Eda’s support system. They only decent outcome to me is if it’s ultimately to strength her relationship with Ferit, she will see that he really loves her and is willing to put up with a lot to be with her. Otherwise it’s just a bewildering assassination of her character.
Aydan, I have given up on this character ever having any consistency. I have stated in many previous reviews how much I wanted them to pick a lane with this character, make her good or bad but stick with the choice. Now we are back to bad. The whole Aydan/Ayfer/Alex plot line, while I get was supposed to be funny, just makes me embarrassed and angry. Aydan is a woman who knows what it’s like to be cheated on but she’s thrilled to be going behind Ayfer’s back and dating Alex? Plus, spending next to no time with your son who just came back from the dead and has a brain injury, does that make sense for this character? I’ve have always wished that Aydan and Ayfer would become friends and maybe now they will as they will be cellmates in for attempted murder and accessory after the fact. Not interested in this story or these characters anymore.
I want to end on a positive note because I did enjoy episode 32 more than the two previous episodes. Hande and Kerem are still bringing their A game to their performances, it was fun to watch them romp around in the snow, and it will be that and my love for the rest of the cast that keeps me watching SCK. The cast are still enjoying playing their characters and that goes a long way in keeping me engaged with the series. I am working very hard to just go with the plot we have now, to various degrees of success, but I’m really hoping to have some movement as these last three episode have just been repeats of one another.
I also want to acknowledge that, yes, it’s just a television show but it’s one that I have truly loved and it has been a bright light in this terrible time in my life. And when I love something I really LOVE it, there’s no half way for me. So, I will continue to watch, firmly in the resigned phase of grief, until the end, and I will carry within me the small flame of happiness knowing that because this is a romcom, regardless of what Asena Bülbüloglu says, and so there will be a happy ending for Eda and Serkan.
In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it 'got boring,' the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling. Stephen King