[REVIEW] Seonam Girls High School Investigators (선암여고탐정단)

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Seonam Girls High School Investigators


With talk about Hyeri being the main lead for "Reply 1988" there has been many comments about her acting. However, Hyeri already has previous acting experience from "Hyde, Jekyll, Me" and "Seonam Girls".

Today I'll be doing a short and general review of the series as there was some buzz amongst international fans due to how the series continuously tackled social issues.


Based on a Manhwa by Park Ha-ik, Seonam girls is about a young girl, Ahn Chaeyool who fails her entrance exam and transfers to Seonam, afterwards she becomes a member of a high school "detectives" gang who try to solve mysteries surrounding the school.  Infamously known, many come to them seeking help.

Our main girl is Chaeyool, an average 16 year old who is currently admist the pressures of society and achieving high grades. After Chaeyool fails an entrance exam to study abroad, she is transferred to Seonam Girls' High School where she meets a self-made group of investigators who meet in the theater stock room. 
Chaeyool's mother does not approve of her spending her time on "silly antics" when she should be better yet - studying.
 Chaeyool's brother is currently studying at Harvard and so there is some underlying sibling rivalry. This builds further once he begins to get entangled in a love triangle as the members of the detectives are only interested in Chaeyool due to their admiration for her brother. The love triangle ends up bringing lots of humour throughout the series.

The series begins with the ongoing case of the suicide of a previous student, Mi-rae, and the playwright left behind.  This case begins to blossom during the first episode, when English professor, Ha Yeon-joon starts to give Chaeyool cryptic assignments.
 Each episode features him taking interest in the activities of the girls, bringing an unsettling feel to the whole series.  

The case involving Mi-rae gets solved during the finale, however along the way our Seonam girls encounter a number of cases. Homophobia, Bullying and Abortion to name a few but the problem is that often the culprit for each case is too obvious. The series is one that gets viewers talking about social issues which is why I enjoyed it so much. With many kdrama's having the same plot involving a stern mother in law... this feels like a breath of fresh air!  



The main character, Ahn Chaeyool is played by Jin Jihee, a child actress who has lots of experience and it shows. Her character was developed well to show both her feelings of affection and dissent towards the other girls, mainly Mido.

 Mido, played by Kang Minah was also a strong actress alongside Jin Jihee, their chemistry was well established and provided lots of humour. Her character is the leader of the group and is the glue holds them together. Her character has a crush on Chaeyool's older brother and throughout the series she tries to win him over to the dismay of Chaeyool. Currently, Kang Minah is in "Sassy Go! Go!" with Jung Eunji from Apink, a series which I am looking forward to watching and hopefully review.

Whilst, Eunji made herself known for her acting skills, Hyeri on the other hand became known for being less talented. My main focus on Hyeri's acting was her pronunciation, it felt off.
The writing for her character however helped to cover up Hyeri's lacking skills as her character, Ye Hee was written dramatically, and she wanted to also be an actress. Hyeri's busy schedule meant that her character ended up being written out before the series ended.

Kim Ha-jae played by Lee Minji – Her character seemed to be the least developed out of them all as she seemed to be written to be laughed at times, and as a computer expert plot device. Her back story of being bullied wasn’t properly explored and seemed to be a way to gain sympathy. If there was a second series, I would like to see this explored but I didn't warm to her character throughout the series. The actress will once again be playing alongside Girl's Day Hyeri in "Reply 1988"

Sung Yoon is the last of the main cast, played by Stephanie Lee who did a good job, her character like Hyeri’s was exaggerated but it was not performed excessively. The episode with the bakery was pretty good, Sung Yoon had some good moments in the drama and hopefully season two will bring more of her into the spotlight. I've heard praises about her performance in Yongpal, which is great.

General Thoughts

I enjoyed watching this series, but the finale fell flat as after watching interesting cases about abortion and homophobia the main case about the English professor came a little too late. His lurking around the school after hours and taking interest in the main character, Chaeyool felt uncomfortable to watch.

 While I think it wasn't meant to be predatory, his behaviour was unnerving. The show did feel addictive to watch with each case spread out onto two episodes. Something I noticed was that the budget for this show was also a bit small as I saw different characters re-wearing the same items of clothings.

In terms of Hyeri, maybe she will end up similar to Yoon Eun Hye as both became hits from variety shows, idol group maknaes who only sing a few lines - but in terms of acting, there seems to be criticism. 

Thank you for reading!
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