Schoolgirl Detectives – Review

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Based on a novel by Park Hi-ik, this South Koren TV series follows a group of 5 girls from Seonam Girls High School as they investigate numbers mysteries and cases that happen in and around their school. Many of them focusing on bullying, cheating, abortion and suicide. I stumbled upon this on Netflix and after the first episode I’ve been hooked and finished the first season in only a couple of weeks.

We start the first season off with a suicide. A girl from the Seonam Girls High school throws herself off the building. Then – fast forward 4 years. Yeah I know what a tease! Without giving too much away this suicide is cleared up in the final episode of season 1. Anyways, four years later we meet up with Ahn Chae-Yool, a new girl to the all girls school, classy and snobbish. First day walking to school she is attacked by a mysterious guy who bites her on the wrist and gives her a sucker before running away. Using this event, the Schoolgirl Detectives manipulate/invite Chae-Yool into their club to help her catch the culprit.  This first case takes an unusual turn as Chae-Yool discovers the reason for her to get bitten and she begins an unusual friendship with a teacher who seems intent on training Chae-Yool for some unknown reason.

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As mentioned above, the series tackles a lot of issues. In fact, upon searching the background of the show an episode featured the first on air lesbian kiss on South Korean TV. I found that episode to be one of my favourites. They do a good job and approaching these sensitive issues with class and tact. In the episode with the lesbian kiss, two of the detectives have strong opposition against the couple, bringing discussion to the table. In the end, they made it clear that it doesn’t matter who their client dates, only about solving the crime and keeping the other girl’s identity safe. Their personal views/beliefs should not interview with their case. I found this view very mature, and made sure to give the girls respect.

It’s not only the cases/mysteries that captured my attention but the personalities of the girls themselves. Chae-Yool is a classy, snobbish new girl who eventually warms and creates friendship among the other girls in the club. Mi-do is the leader, and the most enthusiastic about the club. She also teases Chae constantly when it is revealed that she’s been dating Chae’s older brother online. Ye-hee is the pretty one and wants to be an actress. Ha-jee is the computer expert and has a hobby with the occult and spirits. Then there is Sung-yoon a very tall girl who enjoys baking and acts tough. They all have their quirks and get on each-other’s nerves but in the end they are all friends and pull through to help one another out.

Another interesting point, is how the group of detectives learn and grow their skills over the episodes. In one episode they were sloppy, diving too much into their client’s past that made her uncomfortable and attempted to commit suicide. The girls learn from this mistake and use more tact in future episodes, continuing to bring up this one case as a reminder before they rush into anything. They become more considerate and aware of the sensitivity of their cases and clients.

The first season was solid and didn’t leave any loose ends, however I am still wanting more. Unfortunately upon reading a few articles, it seems the show did not even make it to it’s originally planed 16 episodes. If that is true, they did a good job wrapping everything up early. It just means I won’t get my season 2. 😦

It’s too bad but I hope you all can enjoy the series as much as I did.

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