Saturday, September 26, 2020

Erkenci Kus: The Turkish TV Show I Didn't Know I Needed

I have never, ever, ever been one for subtitles. Read along with a TV show or movie? No thank you. About two weeks ago, all that changed ...

I'm in a Facebook group for readers of sweet & clean romance. And someone posted about this Turkish TV show, Erkenci Kuş. Of course, I'd never heard of it before, but someone commented that it was the best romantic comedy they had ever seen ... so of course I was intrigued!

I looked for it on YouTube but couldn't find any episodes with English subtitles. Then, someone in the group mentioned that you can find a subtitled version in Facebook Watch. Sold! I watched the first episode, then the second, then the third, and so on. I'm currently on Episode 17, and I basically can't stop watching. It's come to the point where I have to promise myself I will only watch one episode per night. In essence, it is a soap opera without the sexual content, and I'm in for the long haul! (And it truly is l.o.n.g. Each episode runs more than two hours, and there are 51 episodes.)

Here's the gist: Threatened with an arranged marriage to the neighborhood fool (seriously, he's the worst), Sanem convinces her older sister Leyla to help her get a job at the advertising agency where Leyla's worked for several years. Somehow, Sanem gets a job as the lowliest of low assistants (her main job seems to be making coffee and tea), and she also gets invited to the company's 40th anniversary party that night. Of course, this being Sanem, she gets lost when she gets to the opera house where the party is being held and ends up in the dark in one of the boxes. But she's soon joined by a mysterious man who kisses her, and then she runs off before either can speak. All Sanem knows is that the man had a beard and was wearing shiny black shoes. Thus begins Sanem's search for the mysterious man (she calls him her albatross, but something was lost in translation, so I don't know why ...). That mysterious man turns out to be Can (pronounced "Jahn"), son of the company owner and Sanem's new boss, but she won't quickly discover the truth.

And then you have the evil advertising exec who was fired from the company and is now seeking her revenge while carrying on an affair with Can's brother Emre, the plot to sabotage the agency that Sanem is blackmailed into by Emre, a fake engagement between Sanem and her friend Osman (who is in love with Leyla) ... and that's just in the first few episodes!

Erkenci Kuş is so addictive in large part due to the chemistry between Demet Ozdemir (Sanem) and Can Yaman (Can). They have chemistry for days. It's chemistry Hallmark only dreams of. And it's almost completely told through glances and small touches; in 16 episodes, there have been maybe three kisses (which do pop up often in flashbacks), and all are of the Hallmark variety. It's often at the point where you want to take the two of them and push their faces together 😂.

I know you won't understand a word (unless you know more Turkish than I do!), but just look at these two ...

While I care the most about Can and Sanem, I also love (most of) the supporting characters! Sanem's parents are wonderful; her mom is quite the spitfire, and her dad is a big teddy bear. While I couldn't stand her sister at first, Leyla is now growing on me, and I'm interested to see where her love life goes. And I'm constantly laughing at Sanem's coworker Cey Cey (pronounced "Jay Jay"), who is utterly ridiculous but also lovable. There's just one character whose arc I always fast forward through: the annoying Zebercet, who fancies himself in love with Sanem.

And then there's the music. Maybe I'm just noticing it more because I'm not distracted by the spoken words (since at this point, I only understand about two of them: "Mr." and "good morning"), but the music definitely helps tell the story. There's a romantic theme, a Can theme, a "something ridiculous is about to happen" theme ... and on and on.

I've gone on long enough. Just know that if you're looking for a clean romance to watch/read, Erkenci Kuş is out there waiting for you! And if you've watched or decide to watch, please tell me! I'm dying for someone to discuss this show with!


  1. OK...I watched this show when it originally aired on Youtube...without subtitles. Then again on streaming sites that have them subtitled into English for a 2nd helping the next day. Like you, I became obsessed with this show. I've met many other Early Bird fans from all over the world, it's an international phenomenon. I loved Can/Sanem, even Emre and Leyla grew on me as the time went on. And in the 2nd season, even Muzzo grew on me, because in the beginning all I wanted to do was bop him upside the head (he was that annoying). And don't get me started on the comedic dream team that are Sanem/CeyCey!!! They are the absolute best!! I am glad that there are others who absolutely adore this gem of a program!!

    1. Jenn, thanks for commenting! I have fully fallen down the Turkish rabbit hole. After EK, I watched Sen Çal Kapımı, and then it was like, "Give me all the dizis!!!" But I still haven't found anything that I loved as much as EK. I'm hoping for some magic with the summer shows that are about to start!


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