Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3/5
With Netflix growing its international library, the list of Turkish delights on the platform is certainly a welcome sight. From the mysterious Atiye (The Gift) to action-packed The Protector, there’s a growing list of intriguing and interesting shows to dive into.
Next up on the list is 50M2, an action romp that blends thriller, action, spy and comedy together to produce a sort of mish-mash of ideas and influences that don’t always gel well together. Armed with a cliffhanger ending, some tonally confused dialogue and a storyline that meanders and sags during the second half, this one is unfortunately more miss than hit.
The story begins with an adrenaline-soaked opener, one that betrays the overall feel and pace of the narrative as we’re introduced to Shadow, a relentless hitman. He works for crime boss Servet who’s in the process of securing a lucrative deal with a man named Mumtaz involving a shipment of guns.
Only, Shadow’s motivations lie squarely in finding out what happened to his parents when he was a child. Haunted by visions of the past, Shadow sets out to learn the truth, eventually stumbling upon a shocking reveal that sees him desperate for revenge against those who have wronged him.
Unfortunately his vengeful mission completely backfires and he’s forced into hiding in a nearby tailors. There, he adopts the identity of Adem Yilmaz, a man unwittingly caught up in Shadow’s mess.
It’s here the season screeches to a half as Shadow meanders around town, helping the neighbourhood with a drug dealing problem and the tyrannical grip of local businessman Mesut. This man’s motivation lies squarely in his desire to buy up all the properties. Servet predictably gets involved too and all of this leads to a climactic ending where nothing is really resolved and everything is left up in the air for a possible follow-up season.
The biggest problem with 50M2, aside from its pacing, is the overall tone this one adopts. There are times where the dialogue bounces like it’s a buddy cop comedy while other times the show swings into dark territory, complete with tense one-liners and exciting one on one fights and foot chases.
This isn’t helped by the fact most of this season is more preoccupied with menial tasks around town than getting on with Shadow’s story. In fact, it’s not until the hour-long finale where things actually start to move forward. And by then it feels like too little too late.
The characters here are okay though and a few of them are quite well written. Others though, including Servet himself, suffer from inconsistent writing. Here, Servet has a sort of mid-season epiphany which seems to be building up to something big, only for this to be dropped and revert back to its more simplistic early season greed.
Likable Muhtar helps quell this disappointment though, while his son Civan is arguably the most compelling character in this ensemble. His arc across the season from weaselly sidekick to a front runner for what’s to come in season 2 is great to watch. If this is renewed, then it’ll be fascinating to see what the scriptwriters do with him as he could ignite this show into life.
Whether 50M2 is renewed or not though remains to be seen. This is one of those shows that definitely works better as a binge-watch but there’s far too many segments here that needlessly slow the pace down. If you can take to the slow pace of 50m2 and see this more as a patchwork of influences and tones than an adrenaline-soaked thriller, you should find enough here to enjoy.