TV Review: 'Innocent' ('Masum') Season 1

Innocent Masum Serkan Keskin Taner Nur Sürer Nermin Bayrakçi Haluk Bilginer Cevdet Bayrakci Okan Yalabik Tarik Tülin Özen Emel Ali Atay Yusuf Bartu Küçükçaglayan Selim
If a picture is worth, a thousand words than one’s context supplies a billion. The TV series, “Innocent” (“Masum”) is a daring tale that's secrets are best kept from prospective viewers, curious to watch. To state it directly. It is well worth your time to do so.

A slow-burn that unspools over the course of eight exceedingly well-paced episodes, “Innocent” builds its momentum from a compelling starting point. Like many mysteries, this one begins with a detective.

Assigned to investigate a case, Yusuf soon re-enters the orbit of Cevdet, the former chief-of-police.

Cevdet's family has recently endured a tragedy. In its wake, the atmosphere surrounding the family is thick with tension. As the Bayrakçi patriarch, Cevdet is trying to help them both navigate and circumvent its implications.

What sets “Innocent” apart is how it presumes the guilt of all of its characters at various points in the story. Effortlessly implicating them in one misdeed after another. How quickly you believe those assertions will decide a lot about how you respond to the truth.

As “Innocent” astutely points out, perception and fact are two distinctly different things. As is what one wants to be the truth versus its often harsh reality. The TV series expertly weaves an elaborate web of mystery that hits on all of this and more.

It is a character drama that requires intense concentration to keep track of it all. At first, an overwhelming jigsaw puzzle, all of the pieces slowly begin to come together.

The series weaves between the past and the present without telegraphing where it is going to next. “Innocent” keeps viewers on their toes as it goes down one track and then another.

There are no wasted scenes or stories. Everything serves a significant purpose.

Anchoring this crime drama is the stellar performances of its cast. All of them natural in their heartbreaking realizations of complex characters steeped in a turbulent grey area.

As a viewer, these are the performances you relish watching.  That is because they make the audience's job of trying to decipher the characters’ true nature, so tricky.

Viewers should have to wrestle with all of that while watching a TV series. Accordingly, there are no easy answers to be had in what to make of the various characters, “Innocent” introduces us too. Of course, as with any story, there are exceptions.

The cast brings natural dynamism to each character. Every member of the ensemble is absolutely incredible. Each actor bringing the Bayrakçi family and every other character who crosses their path is exceptional.

Haluk Bilginer is riveting as Cevdet, conveying how his grown children’s struggle has worn on Cevdet in every scene. Cevdet is a rarely glimpsed character. One who openly expresses both his frustration and love for his family. Bilginer never loses sight of playing that internal and external conflict in his portrayal.

Recently seen on Netflix’s “The Protector,” Okan Yalabik wows again as Tarik. “Innocent” throws him many challenging things to play during its run. Whether it is disconcertion, fury, happiness, or grief, among a vast swell of other emotions, Yalabik is extraordinary. He is raw and poignant, haunting and impactful.

As Tarik’s fierce mother, Nur Sürer brings naturalistic gravity to her role as the matriarch of the Bayrakçi family, Nermin. To speak of other performances could lead to spoilers, so suffice it to say everyone is excellent.

Family dramas are at the heart of many great stories, and “Innocent” is a prime example of one such entry.

The series is one of the few shows to delve into the complex nature of the difficult questions that many families deal with in silence. “Innocent” culminates with an ending that leaves the door open to more. All the while succeeding in bringing its initial installment to a shocking close. The verdict on “Innocent” is obvious. Watch it.

Rating: 9.5/10

The first season of "Innocent" is currently streaming on Netflix.

[Featured Image by bluTV]