Turkish Soap Opera – The Gift We All Need
We have so much to talk about but before we even get started, has it ever occurred to you to watch a nighttime soap opera in a different language? I mean, I watch BBC shows all the time, so I kind of get it* (*not really) but I don’t know how it has never occurred to me to watch another country’s subtitled version of say, Grey’s Anatomy. I watched season 1 of Jane The Virgin which is basically a Telenovela, (a Latin soap) so it kind of counts* (*it doesn’t count) and I’ve watched my Polish mother-in-law watch her soaps, which always make me wish I could understand Polish because Babcia’s soaps are the best – they always involve a rogue priest having a torrid love affair with a pregnant nurse or a nun – but I’m getting sidetracked. Before watching Kurt Seyit ve Şura it had never occurred to me to go out and find, say, a Turkish soap opera on my own. And now that I know what I’m missing I can never go back.
*dramatic hand gesture across forehead*
Basically, I’m forever indebted to Netflix, both for buying the rights to Kurt Seyit ve Şura and for giving it a 5-star recommendation for me so I could find it. It really is the the Turkish soap opera I didn’t know I always needed. Obviously I don’t know the successful formula for Turkey’s dramatic TV programming but if it helps, Kurt Seyit ve Şura is a mix of about (50% Poldark and Pride and Prejudice) + (50% Grey’s Anatomy + Your Favorite Telenovela or Daytime Soap) = 100% glorious. I wrote it out like an algebra equation to help you understand the precise level of dramatic quality. You’re welcome.
Here’s the skivvy on the plot: the backdrop for Kurt Seyit ve Sura is a crumbling Russia at the beginning of 1915, right before things go south with Tsar Nicholas II and the start of the Bolshevik Revolution. Basically, chaos. Luckily for us there’s a pack of handsome Turkish soldiers temporarily stationed in Mother Russia, and they’re totally interested in some romantic dalliances with a social circle of beautiful Russian nobility before they head off to war.
Seyit, our main hero, is a straight up fox. I’ll be honest, he sold the show for me when I was waffling about watching a Turkish soap opera (for heaven’s sake). I mean, Seyit has great hair. Like, shampoo-commercial-worthy, but the critical mass here is his facial hair. Seyit’s eyebrows are ridic, (I didn’t know I could enjoy eyebrows so much) and that Tsar Nicholas beard with a little point on the end? Well. Maybe only a Turkish soldier on the front lines of love and war can pull it off, but the military uniform sure doesn’t hurt. Seyit has a bit of a Chris Hemsworth thing going on, but Turkish and little more brooding (I’m sure it’s stressful being on the front lines of a revolution) and I forever more I’ll want every hero in my stories to be him.
The best part about Kurt Seyit ve Şura is that there’s a ton of action and several plot-lines to follow. A ballerina with the Bolshoi! Traitors! Forbidden love! War! Family feuds! There’s train hopping and random slow-mo camera work interspersed with music fit for a Russian revolution, and we didn’t even get into the dramatic horseback riding and the military uniforms.
It’s all a bit Tolstoy, with the dialogue of a Telenovela. I have to rewind and re-watch some of the really great lines because the dialogue is just golden. I’m not going to tell you how many episodes I’ve blown through in just a few days because it’s embarrassing, but I’m putting the time to good use
binge watching bonding with my teenage daughter. She turned to me at the end of episode 8 and said “I’ve never wished I understood Turkish more than I do now.” Me too, kid, me too. We’re a bit sad just thinking about how much original dialogue was lost in translation, but either way we’re left with gems like conversation, when our hero and heroine finally connect:
Seyit: “What could I have done to be worthy of this little woman’s love?”
Sura: “First, you used your eyes as skillfully as you use your gun, Lieutenant. You shot me right in the heart. Then you held me captive with your love.”
Seyit responds with a smile and a chuck on the chin
Sura: “If this love was a cliff, and you were at the bottom, I would jump, Seyit. I might as well be blind if my eyes cannot see yours. I might as well be dead, if my heart cannot find yours.”
Seyit: “May your heart always beat with mine. Always.”
But the best summary I can really give you of Kurt Seyit ve Şura, aka, the Turkish soap opera we all need in our lives, right now and always, is the description on IMDb,
“The love story of Kurt Seyit, an army major, and Sura, an attractive girl.”
photos via IMDb
// P.S. This post is in partnership as a member of the Netflix Stream Team, which basically means I watch a lot of Netflix and find all the good stuff for you. You’re welcome //