Turkish airlines needs to work on its entertainment system’s film summaries

So thanks to my lovely wife, I was in Istanbul for a few days last week – which was lovely. We flew Turkish Airlines, which was actually very good, too, and we actually had an in-flight meal, although the flight was overly heated (in common with all the buildings in Istanbul) so it felt like a hammam at times.

There was even an on-demand entertainment system offering dozens of movies and TV programmes, both largely from the US and Turkey. The films section was a little underwhelming in terms of decent modern films, and the ‘classic movies’ section mentioned in the in-flight magazine was entirely missing (no State of Play for me…), and several of the movies were edited for violence, etc, which made something of a (greater) nonsense of Red 2 and Hercules, anyway. However, I did manage to occupy myself and sadly only discovered the rather good documentary Ivory Tower towards the end of the flight back.

Indeed, it needs to be said that whoever writes the summaries for the movies in the system needs to have a long, hard think about whether they’re really pitching things correctly. Take, for example, Watchmen:

Turkish Airlines Watchmen

That’s Watchmen “a complex, multi-layered mystery adventure”. Well, yes, it’s also a superhero movie based on perhaps the most famous graphic novel, and which critiques and undermines the whole genre.

Then there’s Hearts in Atlantis.

Hearts in Atlantis Turkish Airlines

“A mysterious man movies into Bobby’s house”. I mean, what? Is that supposed to make me want to watch it? Did they really think mentioning “based on a novella by Stephen King and directed by the bloke who directed Shine” would have been a bad idea?

To be fair, there’s a “More info” button, which has a better precis and often – but not always – has a trailer. But even just the drama section as you can probably see has 16 pages of movies, each page carrying six movies. By the time I’d read all the in-depth summaries and played the trailers, the flight would have ended.

So get to it, Turkish Airlines! Improve your summaries! And while you’re at it, don’t just fill the TV section with episodes of Dads and The Big Bang Theory – that’s inhumane.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.