The first season of The Club ended on a positive note. Rasel's (Asude Kalebek) baby represented the birth of a new Istanbul - one that promised peace and happiness. It was a fairly satisfying conclusion, and there was no need for a second season. But here we are. The Club Season 2 once again takes us back into the premises of Club Istanbul. You think the situation of these characters might be different, given what happened during the last season's finale. However, nothing much has changed. The conflicts, for the most part, remain the same. One of the patterns the first season followed to produce drama out of the various events was that it didn't allow the characters to have a meaningful conversation. So many issues could have been quickly resolved if the characters had just sat down and talked to one another instead of avoiding confrontations.
The same thing occurs in the second season. Matilda (Gökçe Bahadir), after leaving Rasel's house, shows no interest in listening to her daughter when she comes to talk to her. This only increases Rasel's frustration, and she starts yelling at her mother. Moreover, Rasel never tells her mother she feels isolated at the club. Many moments in The Club Season 2 make you wonder how different the fate of these characters would have been if they had spoken freely to each other. But it's not just about having an honest chat. You could have gotten a wildly different show if one man had chosen to be kind to a woman. I am talking about Selim's (Salih Bademci) harsh words that he throws towards Keriman (Serra Aritürk). Forget about being always generous to her. If Selim had responded politely to Keriman when she had congratulated him after his bail, he could have probably avoided a disastrous turn of events.
What this all means is that The Club Season 2 is about choices. Rasel's daughter, Rana (Ada Erma), chooses to lie to her father, Ismet (Baris Arduç), when he sees her crying outside their house, and as a result, a fiery conflict is averted. Rana has a wonderful presence. She gets some of the most memorable moments. The scene where she admires Ismet while walking down the stairs is so lovely it removes negative emotions from your mind. In fact, I would say that every actor here is excellent. Melodrama comes naturally to them, which is why nothing feels cringy or imprecise. Even the people behind the camera know what they are doing. For instance, consider the moment when the characters get up from a table and return to their places after listening to Rasel. Something like this could have easily come across as laughable, but the cast and crew members work together and confidently sell each and every second.
The Club Season 2 has solid emotional beats. There is a lot of love and passion in the gaze of two people who behold one another from their windows. Also, you feel as if someone has stabbed you with a knife when Rasel remains mum after catching Keriman red-handed. Remember how Rasel chose motherhood over romance in the first season? Well, she again runs after Ismet and neglects her mother as well as the role of being a good mother. This is why you get the impression that the second season is recycling some parts from its prequel. Yet again, the political disturbance is linked to the inner turmoil of the characters. This time, you have students asking for democracy in their colleges.
At one point in the series, Selim warns Matilda that "snakes are being nurtured in bosom." When Çelebi (Firat Tanis) requests Fikret (Halil Babür) to help him get out of a complication, the former's situation is linked to that of the fishes caught by the latter (like those aquatic animals, he too gets trapped in Fikret's clutches). A father calls his son a cockroach, and we notice a man stepping on, well, a cockroach (in case you are having trouble decoding the visual, the son, like that cockroach, is squashed by his father). The Club likes to establish such connections between the humans and the animals. In the first season, we had birds that kept on returning to their cages (home). They were like Matilda, who constantly mentioned she would leave Istanbul and go to America, though she never left. Like those birds, Matilda was free to go anywhere. Still, she willingly decided to remain in the same place (you can consider Club Istanbul to be her cage).
We also saw Selim getting rejected in the first season. He was thrown out of many clubs before being accepted to perform at Club Istanbul. Thanks to Selim's talents, Club Istanbul achieved great results, but what about other clubs? What measures do they take to keep their business afloat? How much loss do they suffer due to Club Istanbul's success? The series doesn't go in these directions. It's rigidly confined to the main members, who are not related by blood, but the relationship they share with each other is stronger than any familial bond. And anyway, personal circumstances are not very pleasant. Selim's mother and father don't talk to him. Matilda and Rasel constantly argue with one another. Fikret's father tortures him, and his mother is out of the picture. The characters are in so much pain that all they really need is love. If this love had flown continuously in and around their lives, so many troubles would have never germinated.
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