The First Moment
A Special Moment
There are a lot of teen dramas on Netflix. From The Society and 13 Reasons Why through to Elite and Sabrina, every part of this genre has been rehashed, rehearsed and re-done making it difficult for any show to stand out unless it does something unique or different. Turkish series Love 101 unfortunately is not one to stand out, reveling in the usual cliches and tropes you’d expect from a show like this.
The story revolves around four (and soon five) troublesome teens; Sinan, Eda, Osman and Kerem. Together they cause havoc around their school and for their actions, face being expelled from school. Although the entire board are in agreement, compassionate Burcu stands up for the kids. Unfortunately she gets a transfer to another post, sending the kids into a frenzied spell to try and keep her around. In order to do so, they decide to set up Burcu with new teacher Kernal.
From here the show settles into a more consistent rhythm as this teen melodrama builds up each character into a consistent arc, with an equal emphasis on the teens, who are leveled out by the arrival of Isik in their group, and Burcu’s whirlwind romance.
What begins as a simple selfish plan soon changes and evolves across the season, with more melodrama and soapy romance thrown into the fold. All of this builds up to a climax that leaves things wide open for a second season after a cliffhanger finish.
While the four characters do grow and start to level out from the manipulative and gruff demeanor we see them all with early on, this is a story and character journey we’ve seen so many times before and unfortunately Love 101 doesn’t quite have enough in the bag to stand out. It’s not a bad show per-se, but it’s not a particularly memorable or outstanding one either.
As can be expected from a teen drama like this, Love 101 does take a while to get to the good stuff and along the way, there’s a lot of musical montages that are peppered throughout. Alongside this, the dialogue feels a little corny and over-exaggerated at times, with the early pizzazz of the series paving way for more simple melodrama. There’s a nice back and forth with the modern and historical timelines but the cliffhanger ending is certainly a disappointing choice.
If you’re in the mood for a teen drama then there’s a whole wealth of content on Netflix’s streaming platform to choose from. Love 101 is a simple, easy show to watch but there just isn’t enough here to help this stand out from the masses. It’s a perfectly acceptable and passable show in its own right but in this golden age of television, is that enough to stand the test of time?
Verdict - 5/10