The Girl Who Sees Smells (2015) #KDrama First Impressions: A brain dead couple solve crimes!

The Girl Who Sees Smells (2015) #KDrama First Impressions: A brain dead couple solve crimes!

Keywords: #냄새를보는소녀 #ParkYooChun #ShinSeKyung #SensoryCouple #Kdrama #TheGirlWhoSeesSmells

Hello. This is Prof. AKIA Talking! TWelcome to my #Kdrama Lecture. This is my First Impressions of The Girl Who Sees Smells (2015) after seeing the first 2 episodes.

Do you like Shin Se-Kyung of Blade Man (2014)?
Do you like Park Yoo-Chun of 3 Days (2014)?
Do you like Crime Procedural?
The Girl Who Sees Smells (2015) may be the show for you!
It is maybe with the capital “M”.

If you have been following TV for the past decades or so, you will be familiar with the “quirky” person with some kind of figurative or literal “Superpower” and the sidekick “straight” cop dynamic in modern procedural detective shows. It is a very traditional character dynamic reaching way back to “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson”

A variant of this is when the “quirky” person actually has some kind of literal “supernatural” power. You can see this in shows such as “Tru Calling” (2003-2005), “iZombie” (2015-), and “Forever” (2014-).  Usually, the “supernatural” power in mention is somewhat of a shortcut to make information accessible to the detectives without the need to even do the CSI stuff.

“The Girl Who Sees Smells” (2015) is a criminal procedural show that uses the gimmicks of cute Korean drama celebrities and the setup of “a normal cute girl being able to see smells in crisp computer graphical overlays”.

Now let’s talk about the setup in detail.

The Set up
On one side, you have Shin Se-Kyung playing the girl who, after a traumatic event involving the murder of her family, gets banged and becomes able to she sees smells.

I do not mean that she can smell well.
I show says that straight up.
Her head seems to be analyzing smells and representing them as icons in her head.

In other words, she is a walking particle detection in a cute Kdrama actress' body. 

Where is tricorder when you need one?

As a side note, getting in a car accident some how changes her eye color toi a weird pattern somehow.

This was when she was in highschool. Now she is in her early 20s and is trying to be a comedian.

She is not actually funny at all.
And I mean both the character and actress
who knows?
Don’t expect much from the setup.

On the other side, you have the cop played by Park Yoo-Chun who is trying to get promoted to homicide in order to find his sister’s killers. Why do you have to get a promotion to do this?
Who knows?

Also, he is not able to feel pain because of a Neurological disorder

That is an odd character dynamic!

The two get entangled and end up fighting crime together. The cop agrees to this because the cop needs to score some brownie points in order to get a promotion.
He is not a good cop.
I mean he is terrible at his job in addition to having a disorder that should not allow him to be in the field at all.

Shin Se-Kyung agrees because she wants to be a comedian but she is so terrible at it that she cannot get a partner for two person standup comedy bit. This is where Park Yoo-Chun comes in. He will be her partner. But he is also terrible at it too.

Is it any good?
It is just bad.
And I am not talking about the comedy bit.

From the setup itself, you see the problem with it. Why have both parties of the crime fighting duo have weird “powers” if you can call not being able to feel pain a “power” which the show treats it as one. It so bluntly repeats showing us it. This setup messes with a standard dynamic that has been proven to work well over decades.

I also have problems with the power Shin Se-Kyung has. Why have her see smells?
Is there any story telling difference between just having super sense of smell and seeing smells? Visually the way that the show treats this power is similar to how being able to see mathematical equations in TNTs “The Librarians” (2014-) is treated.  At least, that power made more sense visually than seeing smells visually.

The Librarians
The Girl Who Sees Smells

In practice, the seeing smells power is used to skip over the actually CSI stuff like analyzing evidence. It is basically the same as having touch trigger visions of the past or eating brains triggering memories like in “iZombie” (2015-). But seeing smells is much more gimmicky. The show actually spends a lot of the first two episodes with Montages about this power.

I do not want to rant on so I will not talk about the stupid “not feeling pain” power.

Back to whether the show is any good. You may have gotten a hint about how I feel.

The scenes with Shin Se-Kyung as a high school student reminded me of Miley Cyrus.  Shin Se-Kyung’s acting skills seem to be on par with Miley Cyrus when she was doingHannah Montana” (2006-2011). This is not a good thing as it means that both do not move beyond child actors. At least Miley Cyrus had more personality in that show than Shin Se-Kyung had in any other show.   

Shin Se-Kyung
Miley Cyrus 

The best thing about this show is that it shows that Shin Se-Kyung is not the worst big name Korean actor/actress in Korean dramas.  Park Yoo-Chun is actually worse in the show.

Yes, I had a problem wrapping my head over that one!

If you think that this would ironically make the two more compatible, you are wrong! The two have literally no chemistry!

This show has literally the least amount of chemistry between main leads in a Korean drama I have seen ever. I am not joking. And chemistry is a huge part of Korean dramas appeal. It is not the writing you know. Since I touched on the writing, let’s segue into the writing.

The best I have to say it that it is at least better than the acting. This does not mean that it is good rather that it is barely adequate. The cases are not interesting and the lead characters are stupid to the degree that I just want to shoot them in their head. It would actually improve their I.Q.s. The supporting characters are almost useless and fail to support anything.

In a lot of ways, “The Girl Who Sees Smells” (2015) reminds me of “iZombie” (2015-). However, I think this comparison comes to mind because both do not really work in concept.  There something just wrong with them from the starting line that needs some serious retooling.

I think that more direct influences on “The Girl Who Sees Smells” (2015) are not American Procedurals but Japanese’ ones. Starting with the 2010s, there were more Japanese Procedural shows being made and most them did not really work simply because they do not really nail/understand the basic formula of the genre.

They are second hand copies!

“The Girl Who Sees Smells” (2015) feels like a third hand copy of a genre that Korean dramas do not really understated just with bad actors and poor writing.

I will give “The Girl Who Sees Smells” (2015) a D. It may get better but even then I don’t expect it to get higher than a C- at the end of the show’s run. However is should be less convoluted than the last Shin Se-Kyung show "Iron Man". In any case, I do not think I’ll keep watching the show.

Score: D or 2.25/10

Thank you for reading this article!

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