Sunday, October 3, 2021

Aşk 101: Bölüm 1 (2020)

Series Summary (from Netflix):
 While trying to make their teacher fall for a basketball coach, four misfits and a model student find friendship, love, and the courage to be themselves.

I'm watching this because at this point, it's like "why not?" when I hear about a dizi. I actually watched the first episode long ago, as I stumbled across it on Netflix, but it didn't grab me. After more than a year of being fully immersed in dizi culture, I was ready to give it another shot.

Recap: The episode begins with a woman breaking into a dilapidated house, where she begins cleaning up and reminiscing about her high school years. Then the action flashes back to 1998: High school students Kerem, Sinan, Eda, and Osman find themselves on the verge of expulsion after they wreak havoc at a debate competition. All teachers must be in agreement for a student to be expelled, and teacher Burcu sticks up for them. When they learn that Burcu is planning to leave after the current school year, they decide their best hope for keeping her around - thus keeping themselves from expulsion - is to help her fall in love so she won't want to leave. They recruit Işik, an excellent student and hopeless romantic, to help them. They finally settle on new basketball coach Kemal as the man to set Burcu up with.

Reactions: I loved the episode this time around! I'm sure it helped that I'm now familiar with a few of the actors from my other dizi watching. Also, I find it hilarious that they largely cast actors in their 20's and 30's to play the teens (only the actress who plays Işik was in her teens when the show filmed). It reminds me of 90210 in that way! 

We only get glimpses of the teens' personalities and lives in the first episode, but I can already tell that there are a couple romances in the making, on top of whatever will happen with Burcu and Kemal. And it seems that Sinan's story may be especially tragic. I'm also very curious about what the woman from the beginning (who we learn is a grown up Işik) is doing in the house in the present.

Keep watching? Um, yes. And it won't take me very long to finish, as episodes are in American-sized chunks (30-40 minutes) instead of Turkish-style (2-2 1/2 hours). There are two seasons with a total of 16 episodes ... so that basically translates to just four episodes of a normal dizi.

Where to watch: Netflix. This means a couple things: 1. The subtitles are actually good/always make sense, and there's the option to watch a dubbed in English version. 2. It features more "mature content" than dizis that air on Turkish TV. In the first episode, this means lots of swearing. Netflix has rated it TV-MA for language and smoking.

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