What’s In A Love Story? Looking Back At #EdSer -A Series
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” T.S. Eliot
If I asked you the necessary ingredients of a great love story, you could reply with something like this article that states some essential things to create a literary romance. But what if one wanted to create a screen romance? For a TV series like Sen Çal Kapımı for instance. I think one of the most important ingredients is to provide relatable topics that are going to be discussed throughout the show so that the audience can feel invested in the story.
I think anyone who has ever watched a romantic love story be it drama or comedy, would agree that they all follow similar storylines. One thing I noticed watching SÇK as you also may have noticed while watching, is that each episode brings forth a topic on its own. Now if you would enjoy a trip down memory lane, I want to touch upon these, just one topic per episode.
You know some TV/Netflix series have titles or names for each episode. I usually find this very useful because they define the essence of the episode. Apart from the general plot, episodes have a story of their own too. Sure they’re not there to stand alone, they must be connected to the general story, but still they each handle different subjects in order to deepen our connection to the plot and to give us a better understanding of the characters.
The Edser love story started as a romcom and continued with more and more drama. Most fans complain they were more apart than together. Above you can see my take on this on and off relationship. Honestly what matters more to me is the details the writers bring up in the episodes. I am less worried about them being together or apart. I decided to focus on the good and try to ignore the bad.
All these topics discussed below, are of course my opinions about each episode and not necessarily what the writers went for. If you disagree or have additional ideas make sure you share them with me I’m @edsavaseri on Twitter or you can leave a comment here.
Episode # 1: Prejudice
I count myself as a proud member of the fandom and as far as I can keep up, everyone’s favorite episode seems to be #11. Mine is the first. Don’t get me wrong 11–12 are both beautiful episodes with lots of meaningful exchanges between EdSer but the first episode is very special to me. First of all I love that just like EK and KA the main character is introduced to us in her own words and she speaks to us directly. Eda is speaking to us directly telling her own story in her own voice. Second, I love the fact that Hande is super cute as Eda, a young woman who stands on her own feet. Third, I love the way their first interaction is introduced.
We have great literary references for prejudice in first encounters in love stories. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice or Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights haven’t become classics for no reason. It’s human to judge someone with the information we have and form an opinion of who they are and what they’re like. It’s something else when we are truly exposed to an experience with them. Especially if we are handcuffed to them. :)
Eda thinks Serkan is a rich and successful man who is unable to relate to the difficulty of her own situation. In life, she thinks he was probably fed with a silver spoon. She also thinks he is dishonest, handing out scholarships and cancelling them without notice is not a good look. Serkan is also prejudiced against Eda because at their first encounter she calls him a liar in front of an audience and later they meet while she’s keying his car! Naturally he thinks she’s mad and also thinks she’s just someone hired by Kaan to make him look bad at his talk at the university.
The rest of the episode consists of moments of them proving each other wrong about their prejudices and kind of warming up to each other. The word prejudice even comes up when Serkan asks if Eda can drive, she replies, “what kind of prejudice is this?” It’s the best kind Eda, the kind that will turn into love. :)
Prejudice comes up again in episode 29 when Serkan (suffering from amnesia and Selin’s manipulative lies) has a completely negative view of Eda on his return. In each episode he is progressively witnessing how his prejudiced opinion of Eda is wrong.
Episode #2: Courage
For me EdSer’s falling in love story consists of the first 7 episodes. I kind of feel like starting from episode 8 they both know about their own feelings although they don’t know yet if its’s reciprocated. The second episode is mostly EdSer trying to convince everyone that they’re in love while they both do things that they have never done and would never do which takes a lot of courage on both of their parts.
Although the whole falling in love trope unfolds with time, it’s interesting to look back to the first episodes because it gives you a different perspective. They were clearly very attracted to each other from day one, or else who could convince a business man like Serkan or a stubborn feisty girl like Eda to plot a fake engagement? This is why it makes sense that in episode 10 when they’re doing the interview, Serkan replies to one of the questions with “love at first sight” because for him it was.
What encouraged them was how they felt; excited, eager, curious. When I was watching for the first time, I remember thinking about Serkan and asking why isn’t he asking Selin not to marry Ferit instead of going to the extent of faking a relationship with a woman he barely knows? Now looking back it’s clear that he was smitten by Eda from their very first encounter. Eda at this point seemed like she genuinely wanted to help Serkan to get back together with Selin. Little did she know sneaky Selin would become her worst enemy on episode 29.
It this episode Eda’s decision to take responsibility for her actions takes courage. At the same time, for someone like Serkan, it takes courage to pursue a bold plan like this which eventually might ruin his reputation as a businessman. In the end it’s a risk he’s willing to take.
Episode #3: Boundaries
We all have our boundaries. Even with friends and family sometimes they’re hard to retain. When it comes to strangers we have to show them our boundaries or else they would step and cross over without our consent. On episode 3, EdSer discover each other’s physical and psychological limits.
We start building walls to protect ourselves at a young age. Especially those of us who have had a difficult childhood like Eda and Serkan. Some people learn to build walls around them to protect from getting hurt. Some people learn to share their feelings and let others in. As you may guess Serkan is the first and Eda is the second.
The thing I like most about the EdSer story is that even when they think they’re playing a game, they’re actually acting as if it’s real. That is why crossing boundaries, especially emotional ones disturb us mostly with our most-loved ones. Not because we rely on them but because they’re capable of hurting us the most.
Serkan’s expression on the photo above, as Eda is walking out and he’s holding the flower she dropped from her shirt, in his hands, speaks volumes. He looks mad but surely not at her but at himself. It is painful to build walls only to have someone in your life later who reminds you that the wall you built is what’s standing between you and things you wished you could have, like intimacy.
Although Eda crossed lines physically with Serkan twice; first by handcuffing him and second time by kissing him at the press meeting, Serkan upon Eda’s request on the contract did his best to maintain the boundaries she set for him and asked for her consent before touching her. We teach by setting an example, that is why when he lashed out at her in the office and later that night went to her house to show her he was sorry, she understood immediately she has crossed a boundary. Little did they know that soon they would want to demolish all those boundaries.
Episode #4: Attraction
One of the reasons I love SÇK is because attraction is portrayed in a genuine way. Attraction can be both emotional and physical and the show is not afraid to show us also the sensual side of it. I think this is one of the reasons the show was successful with international audiences.
In this episode attraction theme is running along not only with Eda and Serkan but for Melo-Kaan, Engin-Ceren and finally Fifi-Erdem. Other than Eda and Serkan, other types of attraction are being portrayed for us to understand better how mutual attraction works. Melo’s feelings for Kaan aren’t reciprocated, Erdem’s feelings are platonic, Engin and Ceren seem to like each other but attraction could be too strong of a word for them at this point.
In the episode we can see Serkan being attracted to Eda because he becomes protective and jealous of her. He worries about her health and gets jealous of her during the swimming lesson. Eda is attracted to Serkan but shows it in a more subtle way, she demands his attention, she gets offended when he tries to abandon the dinner party, she looks smitten in the kitchen when he’s cooking. She becomes more docile when he’s teaching her how to draw in the office. She is elated when she finds her lipstick in his bedroom. She worries about him being for being stressed and guides him to a more serene night routine.
Edser’s attraction to each other is genuine and warm. It’s a mixture of physical and emotional aspects. It’s about being curious about the other one’s quirks, being curious about what the other one finds attractive and sometimes being blind to the fact that we already possess those qualities. Just like Serkan trying to show off his hands to Eda. When we as the audience see how attracted EdSer is to one another we are mesmerized by the chemistry they possess. Chemistry is what’s kept the audience interested for 33 episodes even with lots of problems in the writing department.
Episode #5: Balance
Another fan favorite episode, this one brings the viewer not only beautiful visuals shot in Antalya but also a lot of things to think about choosing partners. The couple who is Artlife’s client in this episode, serves first as a great reflection of “opposites attract” theory but the actual message is how they balance each other. This is being paralleled with Ferit-Selin and Engin-Pırıl relationships as well.
Opposites don’t attract each other because they drive each other crazy with lust, they attract each other because they complete each other, they balance each other out. Serkan is organized, Eda is spontaneous but this doesn’t mean they can’t find common ground. These differences make them stronger. Her spontaneity allows her to make quick decisions and come up with quick solutions. Serkan on the other hand is good at planning ahead, he is patient enough to see his plans play out.
The couple in the episode seem unhappy and quarrelling all the time but they have no intention of leaving each other. This is a parallel to EdSer bickering all the time. Couples who look happy and in aggreement like Ferit and Selin aren’t necessarily happy. Eda had a great line in episode 32, in the cabin she said to Serkan, “Getting along with someone is not about approving everything they say like a notary”. This episode is a great depiction of that. A couple may not look like they’re happy but if they love each other, they will find a way to get along. Their differences may look like the relationship’s weakness, but in reality it becomes their strength.
***** End of Part 1
And that’s a wrap for the first one in this series. Did you like it, should I keep going, do you agree with my points, do you want to add anything, let me know. Also, let me know if you enjoyed this look at the first episodes. Do you miss them as much as I do? Are you excited about the new episode this Saturday? I have finished my chart with all topics for each episode and I’m curious to see what it will be for episode 33. Have a great day wherever you are in the world fandom, I’m sending you good vibes from a cloudy day in Istanbul.
*If you enjoyed this you might want to check my other articles about SÇK. This one about Eda, this one about all my complaints about the show’s writing and production problems and this one I wrote back in December comparing 3 romcoms I love the most, one of which was SÇK.