Seonam Girls High School Detectives (2015) Kdrama Series Review

Seonam Girls High School Detectives (2015) #Kdrama Series Review

#SeonamGirlsHighSchoolDetectives #JinJihee #KangMinAh #LeeHyeri  #LeeMinJi #StephanieLee #Kdrama


How can I describe the “maybe” first season of  “Seonam Girls High School Detectives” (2015)?

I would say that it feels like a clunky first season of an American show that has potential but did not hit a home run right out of the gates.

I’m mixing sports metaphors here!
home run…. gates

A similar example of this type of problematic freshman series would be “Bunheads” (2012) created by Amy Sherman-Palladino who also created “Gilmore Girls” (2000-2007).

Love Gilmore Girls!
Liked and really wanted to love Bunheads!
It had too much problems.
Needed more development time.

“Bunheads” (2012)

Sadly “Bunheads” (2012) never got a second chance which may be the case forSeonam Girls High School Detectives” (2015). There are rumors of a second season but I am skeptical!!


Don’t get me wrong. Even with its problems, I did enjoy the show for what it is. However, considering the early cancelation and lackluster but rather conclusive ending, I do not see why the show would return.

It is NO “Parks and Recreation” (2009-2015)

The show!
So what is “Seonam Girls High School Detectives” (2015)?

It is basically an afterschool “Scooby Gang” detective show for preteens. This does not mean that older audiences could not enjoy it but this is the level of maturity level for the show.

You have the new girl Ahn Chae-yool joining the “Seonam Girls High School Detectives” which is basically an excuse to hang around after school for these High School kids.

Well I think more like middle school kids in how they are portrayed in the show.
But that is Korea for you.

The basic format of the show could be said to be a “case of the week” but, in practice, it is the “case of the next 2 weeks”. A single case is covered over two weeks. At the end of those 2 weeks, the “Seonam Girls High School Detectives” stage some elaborate intervention and people gain understanding and learn.

Hungs and Kisses.
Very afterschool special stuff.

While these cases are in the forefront, the heart of the show is how entertaining the characters of the “gang” are and their interactions are.  If you at least have an interesting set of characters, it is a decent foundation to start off from.

And this is one area that the show works!

The Problems
The reason why I say that this is a clunky season is that none of the other elements of the show really feel like they nail it. As a result, the show feels rather under-baked!

The Cases!

In regard to the cases, the quality of them ranges from okay to mediocre. The conceits of these cases are rather shallow and how the “gang” actually solves them are not particularities creative. I mean in terms of the writing!

It is an Afterschool special!

If each case were covered in a 45 minute episode, this would not be as big of a problem. The characters and their interactions are interesting enough to cover up a lame plot most of the time.

You know most shows in this genre actually operate like this!
Heck! Most Korean dramas operate in the same manner!

However, 2 hour episodes are simply too long to be supported by a lame plot.

What about the Meta plot?

In addition to the individual “case of the next 2 weeks”, “Seonam Girls High School Detectives” has a larger reaching Meta plot to the show starting with the first case of the show: “The biting man”. Tidbits of the meta plot are scattered throughout the show which culminates with the final case of the show.

The problem with this meta plot is that it is very under developed. Up till the last case, I thought that the meta plot would span multiple seasons considering how the story had been progressing. However, the show just ends the meta plot abruptly. As a result, the meta plot really does not make any sense as the show did not earn it.

Symptoms of early cancellations?

I mean really the show tries to make the relationship between Ahn Chae-yool and her mysterious teacher Ha Yeon-joon into this huge relationship that the whole meta plot can built upon. However, in practice, the interaction between the two was minimal. In contrast, the similar meta interaction between two characters in the Japanese drama “Gakko no Kaidan” (2015) has more development done only in 8 episodes.

This flimsy approached is not only limited to the main meta plot.

What about the individual character subplots?
Did any of them actually go anywhere?

Ahn Chae-yool’s family subplots went really nowhere especially the one with her mother. The brother’s subplot had some more development but ended up just fading away. This is the same for all the other characters in the gang. In fact, other than basic character mannerisms, were any of the characters actually given much of a backstory or character arcs?

Stuff that I liked!
 I did mention the character stuff before.

While not always even, I think acting among actresses who played the gang were decent and consistent for what they were given. Even the Jin Ji-hee as Ahn Chae-yool got more comfortable with her role as the show went along. Her acting was rather unbalanced initially. However, I would have to say that the characterization of her role was not solidified in the beginning. So, not the responsibility of Jin Ji-hee?

In addition to the cast, I have to say that I enjoyed a lot of the “theater play” like visual and directional approaches incorporated to the show. I had seen similar approaches in some Japanese dramas but not so much in Korean ones.

At the end
Seonam Girls High School Detectives (2015) is an interesting attempt for Korean dramas. And you do have to give point for that especially in the Korean drama arena. However, a lot of the stuff did not work as they should have on its first try and I do not think they will be given a second change.

This is a shame!
Score wise…
I'm feeling generous..

So, B it is!

Score: B or 6.75/10

Thank you for reading this article!

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