If you have read my written-updates for the Turkish drama ‘Bir Ask Hikayesi’ or ‘A Love Story’ you will know exactly what brought me to this drama. 🙂 If you are new to my blog then let me tell you that the hazel-eyed hottie Seçkin Özdemir lured me here. I follow Seçkin on social media so that is where I learnt about Ateşböceği. From the time the drama started airing I was dying to watch it. After searching for weeks and months, I finally found the subbed version on YouTube and I cannot tell you how delighted I was to watch this show. As expected, Seçkin was just superb in this drama. This guy has the most intense looking eyes I have ever seen. He can melt a rock with just his gaze. It is always a delight to watch his romance dramas and I can especially vouch for it after watching Ateşböceği.
Ateşböceği (2018) (17 Episodes)
Baris Buka (Seçkin Özdemir) is a rich and successful lawyer living in Istanbul. He has everything in life except love. But life looks upon Baris kindly as he happens to meet Asli (Nilay Deniz), a college drop-out who works as a taxi driver to make ends meet. Coming from a poor family, Asli still is cheerful and peppy. Circumstances arise such that Asli has to work as a personal driver for Baris. She is not aware that meeting Baris is not a coincidence and that he is hiding something from her. She eventually falls for him and so does he for her. However, they cannot be together unless Baris unveils the truth to Asli which will not only break her heart but will also ruin her trust in him.
Let’s weigh this romance drama on our drama beam balance and see what about this Turkish love manages to capture the viewer’s hearts.
I enjoyed watching Ateşböceği because…
…Asli and Baris’s love story is every romance lover’s dream. The show offers lots of screen-time developing Asli-Baris love story and as viewers, you get lots and lots of lovely moments to watch. Other than the main couple, the show also has three more couples that are madly in love with each other. Every couple and their story is unique and exciting to watch.
…Seçkin Özdemir was just too good in it. I feel romance is his forte. He looks at his girl with such loving eyes that even I fall for it. Other than romance, his portrayal of grief and anger is also commendable. Bir Aşk Hikayesi was a drama where his character would constantly be suffering and Seçkin always managed to look convincingly troubled. Here thankfully, he is under less stress and is rather seen blushing like a teenaged boy which is really cute. Imagine a serious, reputed, kickass lawyer grinning all the time because of a girl. Quite an endearing sight, isn’t it? Seçkin is the only actor who compels me to be disloyal to my celebrity soul-mate, my Ji Chang Wook Oppa.
…Nilay Deniz was fantastic as the lively and spirited Asli. The best thing about her acting is that she is never out of character. Asli is a taxi-driver coming from a humble background. Since she works in a male-dominated field, she walks and talks like a guy. Even while wearing a dress and heels, she still walks like a boy and never tries to be more lady-like. Asli can be very annoying at times but Nilay’s innocent charm makes you overlook that.
…I loved Ilayda. Ilayda is the antagonist and the thorn in Asli and Baris’s love story. Actress Seda Güven plays the negative character tremendously well. Ilayda is confident, ambitious and hot and Seda is just perfect for this role. After Seçkin I liked Seda the best in this show. She is a villain that I love to hate. Her performance was nothing short of excellent. In fact, I was actually rooting more for Ilayda and Baris than Asli and Baris because they looked better together.
…Gül and Teo’s love story struck a chord with me. Gül falls in love with Teo the moment she sees him and then chases after him till he finally falls for her. I like stories where women take the lead in a relationship. Gül is sincere and very loving. Teo too is an honest and hard-working person which makes their couple so endearing.
…I liked the true and loyal camaraderie between the three girls. Arzu and Asli are sisters while Gül is their neighbour and childhood friend. The way these girls have each other’s backs is what I liked watching a lot. Girls supporting other girls is always fun to watch.
I did NOT LIKE Ateşböceği because…
… Asli got on my nerves. I get it that Asli is strong-headed and independent but sometimes she behaved irrationally and acted stubborn like a little child. She was just being a typical drama heroine whose brains sometimes left her because her hero has to look like a hero saving her in the nick of time. Ugh! Wish she could be a little more normal.
…Nilay and Seçkin lacked chemistry. Now Seçkin is a master of romance so basically, he can give loving looks to even a leaf. I found both Seçkin and Nilay to be good individually but could not see that spark, that couple chemistry which is essential for a romantic pair. Seçkin looked like Baris Buka and Nilay looked like Asli Egilmez but together they did not look like a couple madly in love. At least, I could not see that in their eyes. I’m not saying that they were terrible as a couple. I just wanted more chemistry, more love on their faces.
…the episodes were too damn long and the subtitles were horrible. I feel interested in Turkish dramas but the two main reasons I steer away from them is that first, you do not easily find a drama with good English subtitles and second that these dramas are two hours long. Two hours! Who sits in front of a TV for that long? Also, the English subtitles are really bad. Grammar seems an alien and non-existent concept to the translators. It kinda ruins the fun of watching these shows.
…some instances in the drama were typically drama-ish i.e. impractical and illogical. For instance, how does Asli, who works as a driver, manage to wear trendy dresses, shoes and jackets all the time? She never repeats her outfit. Despite being the face and name of his law firm, how does Baris get so much free time to spend wooing Asli? These are actually minor issues as they are prevalent in 99% dramas. So, honestly, these points do not really affect my final rating.
Despite the bad weights, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Ateşböceği. I stopped a Korean drama mid-way to complete this show so you can imagine how hooked I was to Ateşböceği. If you ask me, Baris and Asli’s love story is certainly what drives this show. Their love story overshadows everything else. I often speed watched episodes by skipping scenes that did not involve Baris or Asli. And this couple did not disappoint me a bit.
I give Ateşböceği 3.5 out of 5 rating. If ‘Cinderella story’ or ‘evil step-mother’ or ‘deep dark secret’ are you favourite drama tropes then jump into this drama right away as it has it all. If you are a fan of Seçkin Özdemir then my dear friend, you HAVE to watch this show as he is toooo good in it. If you are just looking for a good foreign romance drama then Ateşböceği should be on your to-watch list.
All Screenshots and Feature Image Courtesy: Star TV