I just watched and finished season 1 of Gibi which seems to have been enough of a success for them to quickly put out a second season. It’s a Turkish dark comedy show that you can watch online on Exxen. I already wrote it’s a bit like Seinfeld but with a very dark undercurrent.
How dark? Let’s look at the next bit from an episode (S01E10 @ 16:30) where Yılmaz and İlkkan are accused of having caused the death of an old man. They are getting ready to host the deceased’s relatives at a restaurant and participate in the wake.
Did you hear anything from Ethem?
Man, look, they wrote something in fact. Hold on. Somehow we weren’t able to call the guy. (Sigh. Wails.)
His aunt has killed herself. Ethem’s. It was written this morning. I just saw it.
His older aunt.
I don’t know many other situational comedy shows that do something like this. It has no relation to the story and serves only to set the mood. Interspersing another death that’s just brushed off in an episode that’s already about death demonstrates how little a human life is worth. People die randomly and it’s received with a wail and a shrug.
They will most likely go to the funeral just like they did in a previous episode (S01E04) where Ersoy’s grandmother was eaten by an Erasmus cannibal.
Zooming out a bit, the real theme of this first season of Gibi has been pressure, pressure of all kinds: peer pressure, family obligations, social and societal pressure.
Kokariç: Press ganging into opening a kebab shop and invest in all kinds of goods
Wadding: Pressure from friends and the environment to conform to current fashion norms
Nu Model: Pressure from the extended family not to pose nude at the art academy enforced by force of violence
The Cannibal Coming with Erasmus: Pressure from friends to mourn and be visibly sad
Wrong Mentor: Pressure by a spiritual guide to follow a very strict regimen
Dark Force: Collective hysteria around bad things happening
Second Way: Pressure of belonging
Whitewash: Pressure by the house painter to go all the way
Renewal of Break Up: Pressure generated by magician
Blood Money: Pressure to make amends for somebody unrelated dying
Bathroom: Pressure to bathe and spend time with a couple of seniors
Discovery of the Horse: Proto-societal pressure between members of an outcast paleolithic group
Anybody who’s ever been to Turkey knows that the entire country is built on this kind of pressure, also known as genuine interest, shame, concern or emotional blackmail. It’s omnipresent and the only way to escape it is to exit.