The Protector is far from perfect, yet it has all the superhero tropes to enhance the international thumbnails on Netflix.
Another week, another international series expanding Netflix’s grip on the global market; this week its Turkish series The Protector, which ironically feels like we’ve got an unbranded Marvel series about a man that realizes he has extraordinary powers and has to protect his city. The city is not New York though; it’s Istanbul, reducing the American feeling entirely. The Protector is a rags-to-hero series,
In the opening episode, the protagonist Hakan (Çagatay Ulusoy) lives a life feeling aspired, accepting his lifestyle yet has dreams to expand his family’s business. His confidence is apparent but skewed by this expectation to make it with hard work and determination. Hakan comes across as a simple-minded man, feeling contained by his current living situation and easily swayed by pitfalls like extremely frustrating job interviews. You could argue that his one-track mind is born from his father, who is determined to play it safe and keep their business standing where it is.
The Protector offers a story of a lower class citizen, protecting the city against dark forces that try to override it. After eagerly working to becoming a successful businessman, Hakan is your typical hero that has gained richness by gaining powers, not money, and the consequences of taking on such a burden after experiencing a tragic loss.
The Netflix series attempts a delicate balance of Hakan trying to protect the city, utilizing his friends to achieve his objectives, while at the same time coming to terms with who he is and seeking the truth about his past. He is the protector with loyalists vowing to serve him, yet a man of pride; the character is one that fails to grasp his destiny initially.
The Protector is an easy watch as it uses a formula that most super-hero genres use, which is gauging an exciting character, setting their circumstances, and providing a key objective very early on. It made me wonder why Netflix gave up their content so quickly, but then again, the prying Disney executives probably had a stronger hand. Hakan is not the most interesting character, but his standard guise taking on a world of the higher authorities is an uncomplicated story to follow.
As a footnote, I usually protest against dubbed versions of a Netflix series. However, The Protector pulls it off pretty impressively if you are in the lazy mode, and cannot be bothered following words on a screen. We may have all Marvel titles on Netflix, but The Protector is the closest thing we will get to another superhero series on the platform this Christmas.