Hi, My Name is Penny Reid and I’m Obsessed with Turkish TV Shows


Like the title satsy, I’m obsessed with Turkish TV shows. But here’s the thing:

I don’t watch TV.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and that’s not the reason. It’s not because I dislike TV, or don’t have time, or have moral objections to yada yada yada. I don’t watch TV because 1) I love romance and there’s not many romantic TV shows/series worth watching in the USA, and 2) I have difficulty living my life by halfsies. I’ve never been a casual anything.

Friendship? Nope. We are either best friends, or I have difficulty remembering your name.

Hobbies? Nope. Even my hobbies (e.g. knitting) are obsessive. I must know everything. I must engage in deep craft: shear the sheep, wash the fleece, card the wool, spin the yarn, dye the yarn, and knit the sweater my daughter never wears.

But back to TV.

I haven’t watched a full episode of a TV show in many, many years, (not because I’ve been sheering sheep!) which is likely why I made the mistake of watching a 3-minute clip of a Turkish Romantic Comedy TV series entitled, Erkenci Kuş.  

At the time, the action felt innocuous. It’s in Turkish. I don’t know Turkish. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? I’d join a Facebook group and check in daily for spoilers and pictures from the set? I’d feign intestinal distress every Saturday night just so I could watch the show interrupted (whilst in the bathroom with the best internet reception)? I’d become obsessed and teach myself Turkish?

So, the worst happened.

If you’re not watching Turkish TV shows, don’t. Don’t start. Your family will thank you. But if you are watching Turkish TV shows and/or you wish to abandon your loved ones in favor of weekly happy-feels and swoony-situational comedy, please come sit by me so we can obsess and discuss.

For today’s article, we’re going to discuss Erkenci Kuş. Meet Can and Sanem. They are both a freaking delight, separate or together.

Sanem is an adorable, genuine, funny and brilliant odd-ball with a loving family. She also has an eidetic memory (situational and photographic). She also wants to be a writer. She also loves to read (basically, we’re in a relationship in my brain).

Some might describe her as a free spirit. I wouldn’t. She’s not free, because she doesn’t know what it is to be free, to soar, to believe in the possibility of her own talent and greatness. Like so many people I’ve known, she has no idea of her true value.

This ignorance is somewhat the fault of her loving parents (who are also a freaking delight). They’re simple but lovely people who want what is best for their daughter. And yet, they have absolutely no sense of what to do with this special (albeit unsophisticated) soul. They do their best, but Sanem is capable of so much more than anyone (even Sanem) suspects.

Enter Can Divit. Can probably thinks of himself as a free spirit as the show begins, too restless to put down roots, too curious about life and its awaiting adventures to stay put for any length of time. But he’s not free. He’s caged himself within a protective shell, closed himself off to the possibility of developing a true connection with anyone.

More about Can: he’s a famous photographer, an artist, and the owner of an impressive set of clavicles (that’s right, I said clavicles). He is also adorable, funny, kind, unusually self-aware. However, his defining characteristic—in my estimation—is his unflinching integrity (. . .and his clavicles).

Before Sanem is introduced to Can Divit (who, good times, turns out to be her boss) there’s a case of mistaken identity, during which Sanem and Can share an unexpected kiss in the dark. Don’t worry. It’s f%$King awesome and you will love it.

But then, they do meet. He figures out almost immediately that Sanem is the mystery woman he kissed. Meanwhile, she has no idea! Dun dun DUN!!

And that’s just the first episode.


What follows are a bit of hijinks, shenanigans, wonderful comedic timing, a cast of engaging side-characters (Osman the butcher, HOLLA), several gratuitous shirtless scenes (CLAVICLES!) and a metric ton of slow burn, sumptuous sexual tension.

It’s the best. Watching it feels like reading a favorite romance novel. Though neither of the characters are without flaws, the hero brings out the best in the heroine and vice-versa. She challenges him, and he does the same for her. They slowly move towards each other, tentative but unable to deny the magnetic pull between them. We as the audience watch them try, stumble, fall, and try again, and we never stop rooting for Sanem and Can to find their happily ever after.

We feel like maybe, if they find it, then true love is possible for everyone.

Erkenci Kuş is hugely entertaining, sometimes angsty, frequently funny, and always hopeful. But, warning, it’s also a gate-way show to a whole new world (new to me) of truly romantic TV shows and movies I never would have known existed if I hadn’t clicked on that 3-minute clip back in August.

I hope you watch it and I hope you love it. Plus, bonus, you’ll also want to start teaching yourself Turkish…

Merhaba! Benim adım Penny. Erkenci Kus’a bayılıyorum. 😊


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3 thoughts on “Hi, My Name is Penny Reid and I’m Obsessed with Turkish TV Shows”

  1. Karen Castillo

    I loved Pájaro Soñador , Erkenci Kus found this lovely series on You Tube saw in Spanish and I’m seeing it again in the Turkish language with Spanish sub titles. The idea of being able to see romance by such a sweet man is wonderful. Can Yaman work in comedy romance is truly wonderful,but in Erkenci Kus you believe in love again. Can’t stop the tears lovely work.

  2. Oh my goodness! You have totally read my mind. I have watched the entire series about 6 or 7 times already. It is a delightful story. Before I found the English subtitles, I got hooked on it just listening to the expression in their voices and body language. It was also relatively clean compared to some shows in the USA. They are all delightful, talented actors—especially Can and Demit. I hope we see them together again —maybe even in real life! My hat is off to the entire cast.

  3. Yes I am hooked also. Don’t know how or when I got the snippet that I saw but I was instantly hooked especially when I found that it was translated in English. I’ve watch all 51 episodes twice and starting my 3rd time. My family complains but I love to watch Can and Sanem. I have laughed out loud and yes even teared a little. No onions were involved either. Hope they make another series together because they were great in Erkensi Kus. The whole cast did a great job actually. I now need to take Turkish.

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