‘Love 101’ is an ambitious, erratic, and addictive teen drama. After ‘The Protector‘ and ‘The Gift,’ it is Netflix’s third Turkish original show and has the potential to be equally—if not more—successful as the other two. It follows quite a linear storyline that revolves around the highs and lows of five teenagers and two of their high school teachers.
Season 1 Recap
‘Love 101’ begins with the introduction of its four pivotal teenage characters—Kerem (Kubilay Aka), Eda (Alina Boz), Osman (Selahattin Paşalı), and Sinan (Mert Yazıcıoğlu). They are all misfits of the school and come from very different walks of life. But an accidental meeting at detention one day marks the beginning of an unlikely alliance between them. The school board decides to expel them multiple times but because of the decision of one teacher, Ms. Burcu, who still believes in them, their expulsion gets canceled. However, their only hope, Ms. Burcu, later gets transferred to a new school, leaving them with only two months to somehow make her stay. With this, along with a fellow classmate named Isik, they conceive a perfect plan to make her fall in love with the new P.E teacher, Kemal, hoping that it’ll make her stay.
Osman’s life seems to be far more simple compared to the others in the group. He is smart, has brilliant management skills, and is often supported by his father. His only biggest issue turns out to be his obsession with earning money. He seems so contrived in his desire to be rich that he disregards pretty much everything else. However, through his transformational journey, he learns the hard way that not happiness is only real when it’s shared with others.
Eda and Kerem
Eda is the popular pretty girl of the school who is known for having a scandalous relationship with one of the teachers. On the other hand, Kerem, too, is a popular jock who gets thrown out of the basketball team because of his anger issues. Sparks fly between the two but because of her own inability to make decisions for herself, Eda makes sure that she keeps her distance from Kerem. This, in turn, infuriates Kerem as his consistent attempts to get close to her keep failing.
It is later revealed that Kerem’s anger comes from how he’s treated at home. He may be a godly jock at school, but back at home, his father often insults him and looks down on him. Because of this, he often feels that he’s being forced to follow the perfect path laid down by his father. Pretty much like Kerem, even Eda wishes to walk on her path instead of doing what is expected from her. While her parents believe that she has a lot of academic potential, she only wants to be a graphic designer. This common ground eventually gets the two of them together.
Sinan and Isik
Compared to the other outcasts of the group, Isik initially seems to be a very ordinary girl. She never defies the rules of the school, is academically gifted, and has a clean slate. However, she somehow gets involved in the complex plot of the group. Because of all the dreamy expectations that she has from her love life, she starts getting drawn to Sinan, a boy who was abandoned by both of his parents. He struggles with depression because of his childhood abandonment and tries to drown his pain with alcohol. Isik tries to reach out to him and save him, but because of his fear of being left alone again, he protests. However, with time, he, too, begins to let go off all his fears and accepts live from Isik.
The Ending: Refusing to Fit In
In the end, despite all their efforts to avoid expulsion, all five of them end up in some deep trouble. But yet again, Ms. Burcu saves the day by convincing other teachers that these students need proper care and attention instead of expulsion. However, soon after this, she also learns that her relationship with the PE teacher was a whole setup created by these kids. With this, she feels betrayed and decides to leave. In the meantime, the five of them are asked to read to out an apology to the whole school to avoid getting expelled.
At first, thinking about their future, they decide to give in and apologize for everything they’ve done. But at the last moment, they unite against the corrupt norms of their school and use their opportunity to brashly insult their principal. One by one they step up on stage and express how much they hate their restrictive education system. Kerem, Eda, Osman, and Sinan, who were already misfits learn that they should take pride in how different they are from the rest of the school. Meanwhile, even Isik learns that although she always tried her best to fit in, she’s actually very different from most of her classmates. Along with this, they also learn that together, they can achieve anything that they want.
Love 101 Season 2: What to Expect?
‘Love 101’ concludes with a cliffhanger and many loose plot points. In the closing moments of its finale, the older versions of Isik and Eda talk about their good old high school days while reminiscing all the memories they’ve made at Sinan’s place. In the closing scene, they hear a knock at the door while the whole house begins to collapse. Now from the looks of it, it seems like, despite everything that happened between them, all of them were eventually separated after their expulsion. Although it’s hard to guess, it seems like something very tragic happened between them after they left school. Grown-up Isik also appears to be really sad about something, so it is possible that Sinan is now dead. The person at the door could be Kerem since they had decided to meet at the same spot 20 years later.
Read More: Love 101 Review