Turkish shows are slowly going the Latin American way of storytelling and are getting good traction in the Netflix space. There are plenty of family-based, over-the-top dramas being made just to catch the eyeballs of the audience, which loves to indulge in the telenovela style of narrative. The Tailor created by Onur Güvenatam, is about a young woman who runs away from her fiancé and finds solace in the most unexpected of places.
The Tailor begins with the audience being introduced to Peyami Doku Maci, the protagonist, who is the most sought-after fashion designer in Turkey. The opening montage has a good time describing the high-voltage drama that goes on behind the stage just seconds before the model walks onto the ramp wearing Peyami’s prestigious collections. This was the extent of the high-flying artistic side of Peyami shown in this series. His profession makes him a tailor, hence the title of the show. This seven-episode-long season one introduces the audience to Peyami’s rich family, which comprises his mentally deranged father, his grandfather, and his grandmother.
Peyami is closest to his grandfather because his father was physically and mentally incapable of taking care of him. Right now, he is back in his hometown for the funeral of his grandfather and with that it seems he lost a part of his childhood. His dominating grandmother, Sülün, plans to move to the city to live with him, and with her, she brings Peyami’s father, Mustafa, who has the mental capacity of a child with no control over his faculties. Peyami is embarrassed by his father’s condition, and he has made sure not to let anyone in his circle know about him. Peyami’s shame, in short, talks about the society they live in, which has a hard time accepting people with ailments they have no control over.
Peyami’s best friend, a rich brat man named Dimitri, is in the hopes of inheriting his father’s business empire and is engaged to his cousin Esvet. Unknown to anyone, Dimitri has been emotionally abusive to her since the day they got engaged, and Esvet can’t seem to find a way to end it. She is from a typical patriarchal family where her parents are only concerned about the money the marriage will bring. Esvet is desperate, and she will do anything to get out of this situation and away from Dimitri to save her life.
To her surprise, she overhears Peyami looking for a caretaker for his father, and the contract is to keep the man away from the public. Realizing the caretaker will have to stay far away from the public light as well, Esvet absconds to take up this job. The Tailor so far is dramatic, and it will only pave the way for more convoluted storytelling. The kind of storylines that will introduce some outlandish subplots regarding both Peyami and Dimitri’s family, who seem shady. There is some explanation as to why Dimitri is a man-child, the result of a typical childhood saga where he was not treated right by his father. The father-son relationship is also a core of the narrative, but it is explored in the most overtly dramatic manner with zero emotion.
Esvet, as Firuze, joins Peyami’s family to take care of his father, Mustafa. Firuze can make a connection with Mustafa, which the rest of the family finds hard to do. Maybe it is because she is the first person to treat Mustafa as a human and not as a burden. Not appreciating the work she does, Grandmother Sülün gives Firuze the option of marrying Mustafa to be fully accepted as a family member. With nowhere else to go, Firuze accepts the offer, but as expected, Peyami is kept in the dark about this marriage. Such narratives of keeping secrets from the lead protagonists so that they can be used as a big revelation in the later part of The Tailor are a done-and-dusted trope, especially in dramatic shows such as this one.
Firuze and Mustafa turn out to be good friends, because of which Peyami starts opening up to the idea of accepting his father for who he is for the first time. Sadly, for Dimitri, he is obsessed with the idea of getting his fiancée back. Esvet/Firuze runs into her father at Peyami’s home, and she begs her father not to let anyone know of it and she is unable to reveal her reason for walking out of the engagement. Dimitri is certain Esvet’s father is up to something, and he is aware of his daughter’s whereabouts, so he goes about insulting his fiancée’s family in the most humiliating fashion. The narrative so far is unable to bring the intrigue factor onto the forefront.
From flashback sequences, the audience is made aware of Esvet being her parents’ adopted daughter and being left outside the orphanage as an infant by Dimitri’s mother. The plot at this point only got twisted unnecessarily because, from the looks of it, this angle was only included for the sake of acquiring shock value in the later part of The Tailor. Dimitri also hears his parents talking about Esvet being the actual heir to the empire without giving any proper explanations. Stories such as this one always leave subplots with no tied-up ends in the hope of carrying it forward to the next season.
Peyami finally comes to know that the woman living under his roof is Esvet, the woman his best friend is tirelessly searching for. He comes to know when she wears the wedding outfit that was originally meant for her, and it perfectly fits. Dimitri is also smart enough to conclude that his best friend is harboring Esvet, and he imagines the worst scenario because he is jealous and an insecure human being.
Peyami’s arc takes another twist when he is on the lookout for his mother, who has been away from his life since childhood, and he wants to find out if she is still alive. Another subplot is meant to be explored in the second season. A woman is introduced to the audience, but she has so far not revealed herself to Peyami. The subplots have many minor narratives that bring no end to this elaborate storytelling. The Tailor ends with several events that take place, leading to a showdown between Peyami, Dimitri, and Esvet/Firuze.
Peyami and Firuze kiss each other as they sense an attraction. Peyami, at this point, is not aware of her marriage to her father. Esvet also feels Peyami saved her from Dimitri by not letting him know of her presence in his home. Sadly, damsels in distress are the only way most men are comfortable viewing women, and the same woman feels a sense of safety and love just because of this. An age-old regressive tactic to show how the protagonists fall in love.
Dimitri provides an ultimatum to Peyami to bring Esvet back to him. As he tries to make his best friend understand the situation at hand, Dimitri starts threatening Peyami and accusing him of sleeping with Esvet. To save Peyami from Dimitri’s anger, Esvet shows up to kill Dimitri because she is adamant about not wanting to marry this horrible man. In the scuffle between the two, with Peyami trying to diffuse the situation, Esvet ends up accidentally shooting him. The Tailor ends with a cliffhanger. Esvet feels guilty of possibly killing the man she was falling in love with.
The open-ended climax is the perfect way to end this season, as it creates anticipation of what exactly happened. The writers, at this point, will not kill the lead, but there will be consequences that the female protagonist will pay for. This season was just the start of the soap opera style of storytelling, where the makers showcased nothing about Peyami’s passion for designing clothes. The story was more about the family dynamics than the tailor himself. Hopefully, in the next season, the viewers will get to see more of Peyami’s life as a professional designer apart from the crisis that is about to befall his family because of Esvet.