can yaman series || Beyond the script: Is the Turkish Romcom a True Romantic Comedy

Case Study of Can Yaman's Dolunay

can yaman and doluney


Hmmm… a puzzling question which I have been mulling over for months. I’m a frustrated PhD. in Library Science (maalesef, without the sheepskin) and a total research geek. You that know me and my writing style in other blog articles will not be surprised to learn that the first thing I had to do was research the meaning of the term “rom-com”. This is what I found in three different sources:

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary

romantic comedy / noun

“a light, comic movie or other work whose plot focuses on the development of a romantic relationship; also called a rom-com.”

The Oxford English Dictionary

ro-man-tic com-e-dy” (rom-com) / noun 

“a movie or play that deals with love in a light, humorous way” 

Wikipedia: A longer but more descriptive definition:

“Romantic comedy” (aka rom-com) is a sub-genre of comedy and slice-of-life fiction, focusing on lighthearted, humorous plot lines centered on romantic ideas, such as how true love is able to surmount most obstacles. Typically, the two lovers tend to be young, likeable, and seemingly meant for each other. Yet they are kept apart by some complicating circumstance until, surmounting all obstacles, they reach a fairy-tale-style happy ending.” 

Romantic comedies are known to be money-makers, can spawn franchises and spin-offs, and are popular in books, movies, and on television. Sexual tension is fun to watch. We all like rooting for a “will-they-won’t-they” couple. Do these textbook definitions of a rom-com hold true for the series that are specifically categorized in the Romantic Comedy genre in the world of Turkish dizis

As fans of Turkish films and series, we all have our favorites. In the case of the series of talented young Turkish actor, Can Yaman, we watch our favorites over and over again. (Guilty!) His most recent series of “Dolunay”, “Erkenci Kus”, and “Bay Yanliş” are classified in the “Romantic Comedy” genre. However, each of these series does contain other elements besides the feel-good, lighthearted, comedic aspects one expects from a rom-com. 

Searching for an answer to the question in the title of this article, we will consider Can Yaman’s 2017 series of “Dolunay” (“Full Moon”; aka “Bittersweet”). 

Evet! In the context of the dominant features of a “classic “rom-com”, “Dolunay” does have lighthearted comedy, two young and very likeable lovers, complicated issues and circumstances, obstacles to overcome, etc., etc. As the storyline unfolds, however, dramatic events are revealed that take the main characters into dangerous, life-threatening situations with seedy underworld criminals. The series ventures away from the elements of a rom-com and over to the “dark side”. Intrigue, deception, greed, smuggling, blackmail, and even murder for financial gain, take over the storyline. Even to the point of our two main characters in one of the episodes facing a crazed criminal threatening their lives with a pointed gun. 

Don’t get me wrong. The series is one of my favorites. It is totally entertaining with the brilliant casting of Can Yaman as Ferit Aslan and Özge Gürel as Nazli Pinar, the two main characters. The story is funny, romantic, heartbreaking in some parts, and dramatic as dramatic can be. But… is it a “true” rom-com? Probably not. But this is just my opinion. 

Should these series be more realistically classified in the genre of “Comedy-Drama” or “Dramedy”? Considering that they combine elements of “comedy” and “drama”, I would vote Evet! But again, this is just my opinion. You decide!

Written for Can Yaman International 

By Mary Bloyd, Resident Editor 



  • The Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

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