Should You Stay For 'Midnight At The Pera Palace' On Netflix?

Midnight at the Pera Palace Pera Palas'ta Gece Yarisi Esra Hazal Kaya Netflix
If you love history, mystery, and time travel, Season 1 of “Midnight at the Pera Palace” (“Pera Palas’ta Gece Yarisi”) is the TV show you have been waiting for. It begins in beautiful Istanbul as an ambitious reporter, Esra, attempts to make a name for herself in her current position. Tasked with covering the famous Pera Palace hotel, Esra gets a bigger story than she could have ever expected.

After getting a grand tour from resident Pera Palace expert and manager Ahmet, Esra writes up her feature. (Be warned that if you are or have been a writer, this scene could give you PTSD.) Turning in for the evening, Esra (Hazal Kaya) believes that Ahmet (Tansu Biรงer) has left the key to Agatha Christie’s old room for Esra to explore. 

As midnight takes over, the room trembles, transporting an unwitting Esra from modern-day Turkey and into the past, specifically the year 1919. Hence, the significance of the show’s title: “Midnight at the Pera Palace.” Things are about to get dicey for Esra and many integral characters in the future of Turkey.

Prepare for a fascinating history lesson and the opening of a virtual Pandora’s box of questions. Will Esra ever be able to return to her present? Can she resist the romantic allure of the enigmatic Halit (Selahattin Pasali)? Will she even want to come back? How do the smallest of changes to the past impact the future? “Midnight at the Pera Palace” has its take on this important time travel trip.

Viewers who cheered for the romance of the time travel dramedy, “About Time,” yet enjoyed the gritty approach of Netflix’s “Dark” should also find “Midnight at the Pera Palace” engaging. It has the right stuff to entertain and inform in equal measure. In a similar stroke from “Gonul,” Esra’s complicated and mysterious past help charge her motivation as the story evolves.

There are a lot more stories left to tell where Esra is concerned when “Midnight at the Pera Palace” ends Season 1. That is exceedingly evident. Similar to “The Fame Game,” there is a sense that the time travel series knows where it wants to go if it continues which is an added bonus. The show’s definitive direction instills tremendous confidence in its prospective storytelling future.

For those of us who loved the intrigue of “Gran Hotel” and its self-contained mystery inside the walls of a fancy hotel, “Midnight at the Pera Palace” is a welcome experience. Both are gorgeous costume dramas and boast visits from Agatha Christie. This marriage between history and mystery keeps both series so compelling. 

As someone who has missed the abruptly-canceled Netflix series, “High Seas,” “Midnight at the Pera Palace” is the perfect salve. As of this review getting published, Netflix has not announced if it has renewed the Turkish series for a second season. Here is hoping that it eventually does. For now, though, you can binge Season 1 of “Midnight at the Pera Palace” on Netflix.