Last year I had a feature on the blog called 2022 in Movies, where I talked about the movies I watched throughout the year, and I enjoyed being able to discuss something I liked outside of books. This year that feature is turning into Watched in 2023, where I’ll talk about not only movies but also tv shows that I have watched recently.
Before starting with the post, I want to say sorry in advance because I basically wrote an essay on Sen Çal Kapımı (aka You Knock on my Door, or Love is in the Air) but I have been living in the world of this series for the last month (I watched 161 episodes!!), and I have no one to talk to about it, so I needed to share my thoughts and feelings.
Avatar: The Way of Water (4 stars): While I think this movie could have been shorter because nothing happens in the first two hours, I appreciated the visuals so much that after I got used to the meandering pace I actually quite enjoyed the exploration of this world. Beyond stunning visual effects, the movie tells a compelling story, introduces interesting new characters and new parts of the world, and explores complex and captivating relationships. I really enjoyed it and it made me tear up with the ending.
Glass Onion (4 stars): I have a very unpopular opinion: I liked this movie more than the first one. I found the first one predictable and Benoit annoyed me so much. Meanwhile, in Glass Onion, I actually liked Benoit, and I loved to hate all the other characters as well, which were very much caricatures and not real people. This was fun, and entertaining and I found the reveals at the end surprising (even if they weren’t the most mind-blowing plot twists ever). I really appreciated the culturally relevant satire and the overall humor of this movie.
Volver (4 stars): All of the main characters in this movie are women, who are strong, hard-working, and complicated, who support each other in the good and the bad, and who have suffered at the hands of men. The entire cast does a phenomenal job playing these very particular characters. I had so much fun following their story and rooting for them even when they did some questionable things. Men for their part are mostly irrelevant to the story despite the damage they have caused and its repercussions. The movie is full of reveals, filled with a good dose of humor, and it’s saturated with the bright, vivid colors that are common in Almodóvar’s movies; all of this makes it incredibly entertaining and captivating to watch.
Alchemy of Souls Season 2: Light and Shadow (4.5 stars): The strength of this series lies in its characters, I was rooting for all of the main cast (which is numerous!) and that made me feel invested in everything that was happening, even during the points where the overarching plot wasn’t advancing too much. The tension and pinning of the main couple were brilliant, the side couples were adorable, the humor was really good, the overarching storyline was interesting, and I liked the way it ended.
Sen Çal Kapımı (aka You Knock on my Door, or Love is in the Air) (4 stars): I watched this on HBO Max, which turned the original 2 seasons with a total of 52 episodes which were 2 hours each into 2 seasons with 161 episodes total episodes of around 45 minutes each. This is my first Turkish series and I watched 161 episodes of it in around a month, and I can’t really believe it. Overall, I really enjoyed this, mainly because I have never seen a couple that has more on-screen chemistry than the two main characters in this series, it was unbelievable and it made me feel invested in their relationship. I was rooting for them the entire time, their love story was dramatic, angsty, frustrating, beautiful, and epic. There were also some incredible side characters, and I was invested in all the relationships and dynamics between them. There was one character called Erdem who I hated the entire time and never understood why was there, he had even a couple love interests during the show and I thought that was the most unrealistic thing that happened in the show (and a lot of unrealistic things happened!). I didn’t even hate the villains that much.
In terms of plot, this was entertaining the entire time mainly because the plot revolved around the main couple and it was so easy to feel invested in them. Especially the first part of season one was really good. From fake engagements to evil exes to secrets of the past to controlling grandmothers to amnesia to secret babies to manipulation and deceit, everything happened in this series, and it was compelling but also a bit too much. I was frustrated at times, especially towards the end of season one because the characters didn’t get one episode of happiness before something bad happened again and that got to be a bit exhausting.
I think something that bugged me while watching is that often the timeline doesn’t make any sense and the continuity is often lost. For example, at one point they kept saying that months have passed but there was a woman who was pregnant and she wasn’t any further along her pregnancy even when “months” had passed. The last part of season one was particularly rough because Ceren’s storyline was unnecessary and felt forced, the way a character recovers his memory is ridiculous and the last 4 episodes made no sense, had zero connection with the rest of the series and they had a completely different tone. The second season was better and it went back to something closer to the beginning of the series. In terms of the ending, I feel like with so many episodes some characters (like Eyfer and Melo) could have had better endings, and overall I wished the last few episodes were a bit more epic, even if I overall like the endings of all the characters.