Written by: Carrie Harberts
- Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
- Length: 13 Episodes
- Lead Actors: Kerem Bürsin, Hafsanur Sancaktutan
- Rating: 9/10
The experiences and traumas we experience in childhood have a deeply profound effect on us as we go through life. However, it’s when we finally face those traumas that we can actually grow, heal, and uncover our true selves. This is one of the key themes of Ya Çok Seversen, which explores the many layers that make us human, the meaning of family, the effect choices we make in life have on us and what happens when we love so much.
A family drama told with a romantic backbone, Ya Çok Seversen explores family dynamics, loss, resentment, and healing as we navigate life in all its unpredictability, while forcing us to face unresolved life traumas. It helps us learn how to find space for growth, learning and, ultimately, love.
Ateş Arcalı (Kerem Bürsin), the younger son of the Arcalı family, is a self-made tech millionaire who left his family home as a child. He spends his life rejecting his family after the death of his most beloved family connection, his mother, renowned fashion designer, Jülide Arcalı. In his self-imposed exile, Ateş is accustomed to a life of luxury and wealth as a playboy, without deep attachment, jumping from place to place with little regard for anyone or anything. Intolerant of lies, and set in his ways, Ateş has a deeper core that he hides away from others.
Leyla (Hafsanur Sancaktutan), after being abandoned as a child, resorts to a life of wedding scams in order to finance her ultimate goal of reuniting with her long-lost family. She, along with the group of swindlers she’s come to call family, run from scam to scam, each with their own set of scars, motives, and goals. Despite creating a life built on lies, Leyla longs to put down roots. She finds it hard to trust the world around her and has had to fight for everything in her life. A pure heart at her core, yet a fighter in anything she faces, she longs for the love and security of family and home.
Upon hearing the news that his estranged father, Vahit Arcalı, has passed away, Ateş is forced to come back to Istanbul after years of avoiding home, to face an older brother he detests, Umut (Aziz Caner İnan), a head-strong aunt who aims to stake claim on the family fashion dynasty, Füsun (Hatice Aslan), and the three younger siblings from his father’s second marriage, Ilgaz (Lara Aslan), Aydos (Adin Külçe), and Berit (Arven Ece Yavuz).
Upon his arrival to the hotel he bought and owns in Istanbul, Ateş and Leyla serendipitously meet in the hotel elevator and their worlds collide in the most unexpected of ways as Leyla is running from her latest wedding scam, avoiding getting caught by the family of her latest mark. As fate unfolds and the night progresses, Ateş and Leyla’s paths keep crossing as they both maintain their protective guard despite the intrigue they have for the other.
Per the last will and testament of his father, Ateş is awarded guardianship of his three half-siblings in addition to being announced as majority shareholder and new boss of the family Arcalı Holding company. Under strict and specific guidelines and rules for the family, Ateş is forced to move back into the family home he once abandoned. He is tasked with establishing routines, rituals and care for the children in order to maintain majority share interest of the company as well as guardianship of the children. In the meanwhile, Leyla finds herself accidentally ending up at the Arcalı home while running away from the family who was the victim of her and the gang’s most recent scam. Assumed to be the new nanny for the children, Leyla goes along with the misguided, accidental plan and, in her role as nanny to the children, establishes a trust and connection to them.
As Ateş returns back to the family home, he is inundated with past memories, traumas and fears that he thought he had left behind, making it difficult for him to adjust to his new role as guardian, big brother and family man. Meanwhile Leyla is faced with pressures from the gang to scam the Arcalı family by falling in love with Ateş and stealing from him as she has done in past scams.
As Leyla and Ateş work together to establish a new normal for the children while also trying to adjust to a new dynamic as a family while managing all the challenges the children bring, they begin to discover and reveal more of themselves to each other and to themselves. At the same time, their pasts continue to haunt them and dredge up feelings, insecurities and obstacles that continue to test the love and bond they develop.
As Leyla finds refuge in a family she has always longed for, and Ateş learns to trust and realize how important his role is as a brother and caretaker of his siblings, they both are forced to face their deepest insecurities and traumas. As these instances continue to unfold, Leyla and Ateş encounter a series of events that bring them closer together, break down their walls, and build trust with the children, and each other. All of the challenges that they face force them to lean on the other, and question what they think they know of themselves and how they see the world. It helps them to redefine what it means to be a family and to love. At the same time, secrets of Leyla’s past threaten to question what is a game, what is real, and who is playing who.
Ya Çok Seversen is a series that grabs you by the heart and does not let go. The themes intricately interwoven into the story are universal to the audience and relatable in every way. The writing and storytelling take an empathetic perspective as you see the characters face very deeply embedded pains and hurt that have been left unaddressed for years. Through the quiet, reflective moments throughout each episode, we see the process of healing in both Ateş, Leyla, and even the children as they all come to terms with loss, pain, resentment and fear.
While all the characters offer their own perspectives and relativity, it’s through Ateş and Leyla that we are able to see the authentically flawed individuals, both with their own hurt and reasoning, and experience their journey of coming together.
The strength of the characters with their own unique personality traits still leave room for growth and development, showing what it means to heal. There’s a consistency and an evolution that is effortlessly told through the lens of every character and every relationship dynamic in the story.
Ya Çok Seversen is a series that explores the dynamics of emotions, the consequences of our choices and how we overcome all of the unpredictability life throws at us. The familial relationships are the core of the story as both protagonists work through the losses they have experienced in their own lives and help navigate the children through the losses of their parents. Ya Çok Seversen reminds us that our traumas do not define us, that we all deserve the love of family, however we define it, and that even with the greatest of risks can come the greatest of rewards.
Ya Çok Seversen beautifully balances the essence of the story, supported by the incredible talents of the entire cast, but most notably, Kerem Bürsin and Hafasanur Sancaktutan. Their portrayal of Ateş and Leyla is not only authentic, but also honest and relatable. The story, the soundtrack, all set in the beautiful scenic backdrop of Istanbul, elevate the moments in the story that sweep you off your feet, hold your attention, and keep every episode unpredictably exciting and engaging.
In only 13 episodes, from Kanal D, Ya Çok Seversen tells a human story of loss, redemption, love and the bonds of family, both past and present, that reminds us that family is what we make it and that there is so much healing power when we love so much.
Article copyright (c) North America TEN & Carrie Harberts
All video clips and photos belong to their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended. Please ask for permission before reprints. Please provide proper citations if referencing information in this article. Sources are linked in the article.
Carrie Harberts studied business and communications and enjoys writing dizi recaps from character perspective, delving into the nuances of writing and plot. She enjoys multiple Turkish series and lives in the United States.