Newsletter from London Number 10

Newsletter from London 1st March 2018.
Istanbullu Gelin/ Istanbul Bride.
In Turkish.
Two Series.
Only to be found with English subtitles on paid Turkish drama fan sites.

 So I got tired of searching ceaselessly for the second series of Istanbul Bride with English subtitles.  There was a second series, it was in Turkish. This often happens unfortunately. With Turkish series. And I thought had the whole thing planned out in order to not to get disappointed again. I would check for every episode in English. And I did. for I.G. 

I just didn't realise it went beyond episode 21. That there was a second series. I thought I was sorted  for what I found in English.

 Newsletter from London 3rd day of March 2018
 So since writing about propaganda is akin to me of the image of walking in slush, that dirty slush, all churned up. On the side of the road. Instead of frolicking in the snow. 

The story of slush if you like. Not that this is a story at all. In fact quite the opposite. Which I guess is the whole entire point.

 I don't wish to dally here anymore, I think I already said somewhere, way back, that propaganda poisons your very work. Because it has forced you to write about that very thing.That very thing itself. And hence, you have become part of propaganda. Just in talking about it. Theoretically.

 So, I really don't want to talk about it anymore. I think that basically watching state, wait it's not even state directed, its plain politically, nay even culturally corrected. Oh yes and emotionally corrected too.

 And rather than state directed or based, this new, shall we say Brave New world, in a sarcastic way, is  fairly universal. If not quite global. Being mainly based instead on one particular political ideology. When you think about it.

 It was sad to give up the idea of waiting and looking forward to a particular new series on TV. The Saturday night Scandi-Noir excitement. Back in the day. Still watching Grimm on Sy-Fy. Those were the days.

 And that is where I arrive back at my original punchline (far back in these descriptions) of this long tale of my journey through the history of the advent of political correctness: 
which was that I arbitrarily declare that the last series of Grimm OK and add the ruination of Scandi-Noir drama: was the day that drama died. In Western television broadcasting. (Including American and Scandinavian. Excepting Norwegian).

 The BBC became exactly like the Australian Broadcasting corporation. And their series. They were all the same.

 I don't want to get into even more boring details the point is: that propaganda has ruined art. Corrupted it. and that's wrong. Is all I'm saying. And I refuse to watch any more of it. With the same recurrent themes.

 Because it doesn't matter that the makers of this propaganda most likely believe that this whole exercise is morally righteous, politically righteous indeed morally corrective and positively educational in their minds, it matters that they made propaganda at all. Instead of art.

 So to cut a very long story short I am avoiding probably, now, 99.9% of all drama series. And broadcast TV/ Television, cable and News channels. 

Don't even mention the News. Or rather-so-called news. I promised myself I would never use single sarcastic apostrophes on my site. And I never have. 

 And then there's the radio. Where I used to listen to music. And they have even taken that away from me. Yes, the eponymous they: arbiters of all culture. It seems.

Because  you can't avoid the propagandised quote news, on the hour, every half hour. The verbal warnings of some possibly offensive material. On the radio.Which turned out in that case, to be a piece on a rave in the desert. Where people sometimes get naked. Oh my goodness!

 I miss music and hearing new music but they ruined the actual music too. Or rather the makers of that music did. With their deep and meaningful passages and the destruction of the original song. By making alternate universe covers. That were so unrelated to the original song that they might as well be the anti-matter of music.

 Then there are the frequent breaks in to the latest charity run up a mountain or something that a D.J/ Disc Jockey is doing. Fair enough. But then we veer off into a sentimental segment on the charity itself. With appropriate respectful music. I could go on. But I won't.

 So now I just watch Turkish series. And they are really rather good.

 So far I have watched: Filinta, Intersection/ Kordugum, 
Ezel (author's note added later-no translation as Ezel is the name of the hero-as with Fininta) all of which have been mentioned along the way. (previously).

 Then I carried on with:
 Winter Sun/ Kis Günesi 
On Netflix in the United Kingdom in Turkish with English subtitles. 
And on Star Plus UK, a paid subscription channel. One series.
Love & Punishment/ Ask Ve Ceza,
 The Brave & the Beautiful/ Cesur Ve Guzel.
On You Tube in Turkish with English subtitles. One series.

 Then after that, Bu Sehir Arkandan Gelecek/ The Heart of The City/ This City will come for You (there are two titles in English that this series is known by).
This series is only to be found on various online Turkish drama sites, in the archive section.

 Then..Istanbullu Gelin/ Istanbul Bride, sadly truncated at the beginning of series two. An event which I had not predicted as explained. 

 After that I retreated back to Netflix. Retreated or even back, being meant metaphorically. Because I haven't watched Netflix for months. And months. I have become lost in the interesting world of YouTube and online.

 Even though searching for missing episodes can be a pain. And seriously: there is no English translation for episode number 9 in Bu Sehir Arkandan Gelecek/ In The Heart of The City. I gave up eventually, and watched it in Turkish. I did notice that i had missed some important plot developments. But mostly I caught up.

 The only reason I returned to Netflix was because I was suffering from a surfeit of searching for Series 2 of Istanbullu Gelin/ Istanbul Bride. Having spent way, way too long looking. I joined groups. I waited. 

Turns out you have to pay. But sometimes some kind person just whacks a translated episode up there. Including sometimes, one in Romanian. subtitles that is.

 If only they had multiple subtitles option on everything. Everything. That would be handy.. Wouldn't it. I have tried all sorts of weird and wonderful Google translate or other bright ideas that people have. 

Like an elderly lady explaining with great clarity how to use Google voice to text. With a video playing alongside with a second laptop. Clever. But would it really work for a whole video? Oh and then you Google translate. that was my idea. I wonder.

 So, bored with this annoying conundrum, which mostly means human interpreters can't match technology. Or rather, they supersede it. So translators are needed.

 So I ditched back to Netflix in search of handily already subtitled Turkish dramas. Oh yes and I am probably going to learn Turkish.

 Yep. So I jumped back to Netflix and watched Son/ The End. Then 46/ Yok Olan. 46 was only 13 episodes long. Which is a baby or midget size: compared to most Turkish series. which are an average of 50 episodes long.

 And now, after some searching around a bit, I settled on Gonul /Hatirla   Gönül.

 I did briefly watch Karadayi/ The Uncle in Black, which looked promising and probably good. Especially as it had the actor who plays Ezel. As the hero. Looking rather fetching in his 70's waistcoat and open necked shirt. But they had already flashed back to the 60's approximately: so I figured the 70's is the setting. Plus Ezel doesn't look a lot older in the picture for the series.
 However I wasn't in the mood for a sort of mafioso story in the 1980's. Too heavy at that point in time. I fancied something lighter. Trouble is: there's no such thing as light, in Turkish dramas. Although there is comedy sometimes.

 I did spot Johan from Cesur Ve Guzel in Karadayi/ The Uncle in Black though.
 So then it was on to Gonul..

 46/ Yok Olan.
One series.
On Netflix in the United Kingdom.
In Turkish with English subtitles.
Please note that this series is only suitable for adults.

 Well I thought Yok Olan was excellent and hugely enjoyable. Except that at some point towards the last part of the series: it lost credibility for me. I know the exact moment. But cannot say. 

I wondered if they had  been thinking about a second series since it kind of sped up a little. Who knows. I did seriously like the man character and I thought it was an incredible piece of acting. But overall things went on a bit of a downer. That's all I can say..

 The End/ Son
On Netflix in the United Kingdom.
One series.
In Turkish with English subtitles.
Please note this series is only suitable for adults.

 The End turned out to be really rather rip roaring fun. although a suitably horrific psychological thriller too. I can say no more. As often happens with Turkish dramas there is a familiar actor or two. Or actress. Or sometimes more.

 Apart from a little early confusion in the series as to time and place, eg. is this Turkey or Iran, this drama proved to be exciting, suspenseful and satisfyingly mind bending..

 The thing is having watched Son/ The End and 46/ Yok Olan in quick succession, I realise later that the faster pace as dramas may have kind of ruined me. For watching the regular ones now. 

I already know I reckon that the more modern Turkish series tend to be faster paced. But of course, there are timeless exceptions. Like Ezel.
 But I digress.

 However from 46/ Yok Olan I dilly dallied around in Netflix, they really should have a Turkish series section! In the main menu.  I mean, do they know that there is a huge online demand for these series. And especially, for them to be translated into English. 

I have seen Turkish series translated into variously: Arabic, Polish, Romanian and Russian. And presumably they are translated into other languages too. These series seem to be popular all over the world, including USA, Greece, India, Pakistan and various islands and of course the UK and the USA.

 March 25th 2018
 So after thoroughly enjoying The End followed by 46/ Yok Olan, I decided upon Gonul/ Hatirla Gönül. 

 Gonul/ Hatirla Gönül  
Gonul is the name of the heroine and this title roughly translates from the Turkish into: The Memories of Gonul.
On Netflix in The United Kingdom.
In Turkish with English subtitles.
One series.

 Gonul was a little wobbly for the first part of episode one: but then it got into its stride and was really rather good. Albeit a little bit disappointingly right-on just before the end.  Oh well. But overall it is a very twisty tale. Darkly sinister too at times. 

Although having yet another heroine who is beautiful and whom we are therefore doomed to about a million loving close-ups.I have come to the point in some dramas that I am examining the shade of the colour of the heroine's eye shadow. And remarking to myself: I see how she's done that shape, there. You get the drift.

 I am not huge on romance really. But luckily in Turkish dramas you usually have some kind of thriller/ gangster/ crime family or police procedural side to the drama. As well as the slush. And of course, a heroically handsome hero. Often with all his mates, colleagues, or actual brothers. Because they consider all their friends or fellow gangsters to be brothers.  No matter what.

 I like that in Turkish dramas you often have a whole story line that has  men joining up to solve something, a crime, a mystery or a puzzle-or fight something or someone of course. And always offer each other: solace and support.

 But I digress. The point of describing all this, the other side if you like. from the romance aspect of Turkish dramas is that Gonul was indeed saved for me by the story of Yusuf..and his merry men.

 Newsletter from London 29th March 2018.
 So I really enjoyed Gonul/ Hatirla Gönül  in spite of it going annoyingly teachy-preachy, right at the very end. But luckily most of the drama had happened by then.

 Since I couldn't find anything I fancied on Netflix, whether Turkish or not, although I put a few titles to the back of my head, on Spanish (set in the future) and one Italian one (set in the modelling world).

 So I dallied, if that is the correct word, back to YouTube. And I settled on Kara Para Ask. Black Money Love. Mainly on the basis of a nice big (YouTube) playlist box full of English subtitles videos. A goodly amount. Around 54. Which I am assuming is the complete series. 

I double checked on Wikipedia as to the length of the series. It's a scary business, checking anything like this, on Turkish dramas: since even wiki is replete with spoilers. Reviews are horrifically spoilered. Just so you know.

This series is now on Netflix in the United Kingdom.
Also on YouTube, see link at the bottom of this page.
In Turkish with English subtitles.
One Series.

 So here I go: Dirty Money & Love is how I am translating the title into English. Because black is their way of describing corruption or similar meanings.

 So Kara Para Ask/ Black Money Love appears to be hugely popular with Turkish drama lovers.  And the usual YouTube following, always including someone asking where they could find more Turkish dramas with English subtitles.

 Netflix really are missing a trick here. They should have a Turkish drama section. Well they do but you have to search for it. The section is not labelled as such. But I digress.

 So I'm on episode 14, well just ended, to episode 15. of Kara Para Ask/ Black Money Love. And I did enjoy it. Mind you, the episodes, as with all or most Turkish series, are 2 and a half hours long. 

But Kara Para Ask/ Black Money Love is just a wee bit dull. And I do confess to having fast forwarded through the episode several times. Out of utter boredom.

 Yet I wouldn't be at episode 14 if Kara Para Ask/ Black Money Love wasn't engaging enough to keep going. And it is enjoyable enough to watch. 

However overall this series is just a bit bla. I dunno why. There are all the right ingredients. It could be that the two main characters just don't have a lot of on screen chemistry going on. But they do try.

 It or my mild malaise with the series, my be due to having reached saturation point with close ups of this actress in Cesur ve Guzel. In which she is the heroine too. There's just a whole lot of walking around in perfectly co-ordinated outfits. And beautiful, limpid staring.

 Newsletter from London 3rd April 2018.
 So in spite of a fairly precipitous dip in my interest in Kara para Ask/ Black Money Love, nearly leading me to ditch: this series picked up again around episode 15 & 15. In it's best moments, Kara Para Ask/ Black Money Love reminds me of early series of Spiral. Which is a fond memory.

 Newsletter from London April 4th 2018.
 Yes I have settled in quite nicely now to Kara para Ask/ Black Money Love. it's not as much fun as Cesur ve Guzel was. Plus Kara Para Ask suffered possibly unfairly, in terms of pace, following on for me, from The End and Yok Olan/ 46. Both of those two series just mentioned were faster paced and tightly suspenseful.

 Whereas Kara Para Ask/Black Money Love is the usual slower, intense pace found in Turkish drama series. But you soon get into the zone. You have to build up to it.

 Yep, so Kara Para Ask/ Black Money Love has settled in nicely now as my reliable nightly drama. But it's not like you would binge episodes. And I still sometimes fast forward in bits, at the start of the next episode. I mean they are so very long! 

So in this case, with Kara para Ask/ Black Money Love, one episode is enough. 

I have developed and may maintain a theory: that the two main characters of heroine and hero are far more interesting alone. Than when they are together. The hero gives off an effect, of forever staring at a particularly wonderful gold fish or tropical fish perhaps. In an aquarium. Whenever he is with her.

 Newsletter from London 5th April 2018.
 So I am actually binge watching Kara para Ask/ Black Money Love now. I have finally entered the zone. Or rather the series has settled in nicely.

 Newsletter from London April 9th 2020.
 I did finally settle into Kara para Ask/ Black Money Love around episode 14 & 15. Once the focus moved somewhat wider shall we say. Away from the lovey-dovey stuff and endless close-ups.  

Luckily some of the  tedium could be argued to be made more pleasant, as the hero and heroine are simply gorgeous. So you can just generally admire them I guess. Like beautiful paintings of people, becoming the art of the photography and film.

 Newsletter from London May 3rd 2018.
 So I'm on episode 51 now I believe. And there are only 54 episodes. I say only because some Turkish series have more. 

I mean Filinta got into triple digits. However 50 is about average. Remember they are a good 2 to 2 and a half hours long. Episodes on Turkish dramas that is. When there is 2 series you can get up into the 80's. You stop counting after a while. Because you're in the zone.

 The lovely long length of Turkish series is one of the reasons I like them. A whole 'nother dramatic ball game and experience.

 Newsletter 11th May 2018. Kara Para Ask/ Black Money Love.
 So I finished Kara para Ask/ Black Money Love and after a false start, settled on a new series. 

False start because I tried this series for a few episodes then realised I had not checked the length of the whole series. Which is really important since you need to check all episodes are there and translated: before you go. 

In this case I discovered that this translator: had only done a few episodes. Objectively speaking I mean. 

Of course all fans of Turkish dramas including me: are eternally grateful for and to those who so kindly translate: into English:for free. Plenty people charge. On Facebook. I never had the full translation of Ask Ve Ceza/ Love & Punishment because of that. You had to pay. But I digress.

 Newsletter from London 19th May 2018.
 So I have actually finished this now and am watching Biya Siyah Ask/ Black & White Love. Although the future is looking a bit bleak now. For this series. Since the episode 12, where you go to Facebook page of the translator, click on the link which takes you to a YouTube page with yet another link which takes you to Open load-phew-where you watch the video.

 Well the Facebook link for episode 12 has gone kaput. This happens sometimes. Copyright I guess. Ssssh. 

Looks like it's back to the Facebook link for Albanian & English subtitles. That is where I started. However the translations wasn't as good. In my opinion. Whilst of course I am eternally grateful for the kind work done by all Turkish or other translators of these series. who do it for free.

 I guess I have just got used to the Turkish words now, not that I know all of what they are saying, I don't. But I do know the day to day words now. Cool.

 But I digress. Before anyone points out that how can I say a translation is good or not then? When I know next to nothing of Turkish. Well I am talking about the English translations. Just a few hiccups along the way.

 So Kara Para Ask/ Black Money, Love was hugely enjoyable if a bit tiresomely soppy in parts. I do blame the character of the heroine for being just a bit un-enthralling overall. Although she had her moments.

 The heroine's beauty is both pleasant to watch when you are bored in those scenes. Well I was.  Mostly. In the romantic scenes. And distracting at the same time. As were her forever perfectly coordinated outfits. Mo matter what peril or horrors: had befallen her. I guess she just had that wardrobe.

 The hero however mostly shoulders those scenes. Along with much of the acting. Yet it was another character for me, that stole the show..

 And of course I loved the tale of the hit men. I even kept writing about the hit men and my favourite hit man, Mumtaz, after I had watched the show. Tweeting.

 Tweeting about the hit men..

postscript added today 18th April 2020.
Kara Para Ask/ Black Money Love. 
Full You tube Playlist of the series with English subtitles. 
This complete series is also now available on Netflix in the United Kingdom.

Please note the usual rule for blurred out blood in Turkish series does not apply to this series. The hero, Omer, is a Police Detective and there is a crime scene in the first episode. 

Also I note from a quick look at this translation that some words that may not be clear to a first time viewer of Turkish dramas: abi and abla are present in the English subtitles. These are Turkish words for brother and sister. 

As previously explained in these Newsletters, brother does not necessarily mean that someone is a character's brother. The term brother means a close friend that the person considers to be their brother. Kardeche means a man's best friend.