Mid-way Review of The Girl Who Sees Smells

Oh boy does it feel amazing to be done with exams. Slogging through hours of physics, statistics, western philosophy, history and – to top it off – french, was made slightly more bearable by the super fun slew of dramas that exploded on the scene recently. It’s hard to believe it’s been over a month since my last post (where has time flown!) but with all the nitty gritty head churning necessities of university now gone, I can thankfully throw myself into reviewing and squeeling away.

First up, Sensory Couple aka. The Girl Who Sees Smells. I was impressed straight off the bat with that first episode. I mean whoa, talk about speedy exposition, five minutes in and we have three murders and a car accident, a killer, an amnesiac, a distraught brother, and a policeman who’s making questionable decisions. Right up my alley. Add that to Shin Sekyung’s surprising talent for comedy and Yoochun’s brilliant blank faces, and you’ve got me hooked. Yoochun’s Choi Moogak is hilariously petty which only makes his overly serious (rather deadpan) side when playing good cop that much more fun to watch. Did anyone else think of Perry Park, that time he broke out the satoori in the men’s change room? (*sobs* Perry-sshi you better be going places on that boat, I’m still not over you). And please don’t even get me started on that Chuuuuuullllll. I love it when actors act without a care for looking pretty/their own image, which is thankfully occurring at a greater frequency (Lee Boyoung’s badass lawyer Jang, Chun Songyi, etc).

And so I’ll leave you with this.

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Lieutenant Yeom’s face says it all. I was too busy choking on dinner to do the same.

Shin Sekyung’s Oh Chorim is as sweet and bright as they come, with enough bad jokes to make me relate to her. The two have sparkling chemistry: the warm, caring, lean-on-each-other kind, as opposed to anything obsessive and consuming (a la a certain novel about a Mr. Grey) which has to be this show’s greatest strength and is definitely what’s keeping me hooked.From their squabbles to them making up (how much do I love how he went to the head of the gag troupe and got her job back!)

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to piggy back rides and both of them being unconscious at separate times leaving the other to take care of them, this couple is so much win. It’s the not-cloying sort of cute that I enjoy so much. I loved Moogak’s immediate reaction to the reveal of Chorim’s smell-seeing power, and the petty way he stuffed the candy  in his mouth instead of one of the cups, but what solidified and ensured that I would be coming back for more from this show was how it handled the reveal of Chorim’s eye. Now it is a little hard to suspend belief with regards to that eye and everyone believing her a monster because of it (sure the hospital nurses thinking may have reason to think so, I mean both her eyes were brown when she came in) but the general populace certainly has no right or reason to call her that. Regardless, Moogak’s reaction here was what I found so perfect. He just swept after her, instantly revealed his own weakness and we had this awesome moment of shared understanding only furthered by his admission that he sought his sister’s murderer. I really enjoy a show where the leads open up to each other soon instead of dancing around each other until we’re three episodes from the end. The latter sort of show goes right on my list of ‘Dramas I Hate’ including plots spun around ‘The Reasons We Cannot Be Together’ or ‘I Am A Lonely Monster Who Does Not Deserve Happiness’. Those just make me want to bitchslap everyone involved for excessive stupidity. Tangent aside, onto more reasons why I like the handling of this couple. Perhaps it’s because this is a mid-way review but it feels like I’ve so much to say on this show and not nearly enough words/time.

So off we go towards the smooching. Because that’s what really makes with this OTP. I have never seen such awesome reasons for skinship and swoony confessions before. And Moogak just laps it all up, offering a token protest before happily going along with whatever Chorim says.

Case in point #1: The Disappearance of Moogak’s Car

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Chorim totally gets me. That would definitely be my face at a confession like that

Case #2: The Duplicate Selfies

Yeah, reenacting every picture from our culprit’s blog is definitely necessary. Riiight? I’ll just let the picture speak for me.
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That would definitely be my reaction on that ride. I saw that hug, Choi Moogak!

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Of course it was, Moogak.

Case #3: And how was your day, honey?

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Case #4: Worrying about Moogak

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I love it when actors have just as much fun filming scenes as we do watching them. Look at them in that last screencap, gosh they’re adorable.

Case #5: Go-stop

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Would you look at that incredibly satisfied expression on his face and the way he’s flexing his hands in the third and fourth cap? Love this guy.

Case #6: I’m injured, go shopping for me?

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I currently have this irresistible urge to squeeze Yoochun’s cheeks really hard.

But let’s not forget the kiss, shall we?

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*swoons*

Case #7: Purely for ensuring that you get enough sleep

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which promptly sets of a chain of ‘are you asleep’ messages and ensures that no one gets any sleep. Seriously though Moogak, you sure all pulling out the moves. And I love how Chorim has no complaints whatsoever.

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This review is getting very close (if not already past the point) to being a screencap fest because I’ve the self-control of a rabbit, so I’ll hold off here. Point being, this couple is awesome. But they’re actually not the sole reason I’m watching this show.

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Jaehee is brilliant in his evil, methodic and sure of his every action, from a double decoy at the cops’ last stakeout to ensuring that they suspected him, went to great lengths to pin him down and failed to do so, which means that procuring a warrant for his arrest a second time around is going to be that much more difficult. Being damn certain that Jaehee’s the killer is worth nothing in court and the cops four + Moogak need to find hard cold evidence to bring in Jaehee’s ass on a plate. And what a fine ass that is.

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The man is built like a horse. I have a hard time getting drool off my shirt when watching that hanging-from-a-pole- sit up sequence. It’s a purely superficial interest of course. I mean, he’s a serial killer. Yet that body belongs to Nam Goongmin who, despite always having this aura of creepiness in his dramas, is a babe with a smile that makes me wish that he’d gotten the girl in My Secret Hotel. My superficiality aside, I find myself more interested in his character and Lieutenant Yeom’s than any other in this show. Moogak and Chorim are cute and perfect for each other, but they’re unfortunately not that interesting. There’s not as much emphasis on their respective abilities (seeing smells, not feeling anything) as I might have liked and these are often rather inconsistent with their actions, especially in Moogak’s case. I though he couldn’t feel anything, hunger, happiness, sadness, and yet he’s pure win around Chorim. I love how smitten he is, but I can’t help but wish for the brooding policeman I thought I’d be getting (I have a Shin Segi fetish, honestly). In Jaehee though, there’s clearly more of a story. He’s definitely responsible for the murder of his parents but why did he do it? Was he perhaps abused as Lieutenant Yeom suggested? Does he know the identity of his birth parents? Is that why he’s back in Korea? What set him off on a killing spree? Why only once a year? There’s much more depth to his character, layers upon layers that are peeled back with each episode to the point where this almost feels like two dramas: a cute romantic comedy (whenever Chorim and Moogak show up together on-screen) and an OCN-style murder mystery (when Lieutenant Yeom and JaeHee are on-screen). While it’s nice to get the best of both worlds, the blending of the two leaves a great deal to be desired. Our three bumbling policemen are as bumbling as they come and even writing the rather competent (and well played) Lieutenant Yeom as being capable of missing/ignoring the idea that Joo Mari’s car could have been transported via truck is just that, sloppy writing. Yoon Jinseo plays Yeom Mi with this aura of competence, and badassery that I adore and seeing the writing reduce her to a bumblehead is quite jarring. I wouldn’t have minded if the first half of this show went the romantic comedy route with Chorim and Moogak getting to know each other, falling in love and then tackling this case head-on with grit and determination (upon which the tone darkens into that of a police procedural) but this abrupt to-and-fro shift we’re getting is passable at best and head-scratching at worst. There’s no way Lieutenant Yeom is stupid enough not to have realized that Chorim is Eunseol after all she’s seen, yet the revelation was drawn out until episode 10. There’s no way she’s inconsistent enough to allow Moogak to work on a case that involves his sister (understanding his position as she’s working on the case that killed her father) and abruptly cut him off upon realizing that Chorim is also involved. That’s just setting up secrets within secrets and leaving room for too much misunderstanding. In a case like this, all hands need to be on the table, no one should have more information than the other (unless someone on the team is a spy). If anything, Yeom Mi should know that revealing just who Chorim is would mean that she’d be protected around the clock by the detectives. So long as nothing’s done through text messaging/ phone calls, (due to the wiretap) they should be fine. I get that suddenly dumping a load of cold water on her with the reveal of her real identity and that her birth parents were murdered is pretty cold. But Jaehee’s also closing in on Eunseol (that cliffhanger!) and leaving her unknowing of the situation – of her situation – could lead to the worst possible situation, her death. I’m currently also not sure if the show is setting up a possible sibling misunderstanding here with Chorim having read Dr. Chung’s letter. She might confuse herself to be Moogak’s sister or something which is a reasonable assumption to make for all of 10 minutes. If the show goes beyond that, I will definitely begin banging my head on the table and tying my hands together to resist throwing my laptop out of the window. Tension and angst are great when played right, and faux-cest misunderstandings are so 10 years ago. The real question is what’s going to happen now that Chorim has some inkling that the person she believed was birth father may actually be someone else, and how she’s going to handle that reveal. We’ve six more episodes to fill and the show’s already begun to drag a bit so I’m worried about how this may turn out. I’ve seen too many shows shine brightly at the start of their run only to crash and burn due to sloppy writing (*coughcough* Doctor Stranger) so excuse my paranoia. But let’s move back to Yeom Mi and Jaehee instead of focusing on what-ifs. Yeom Mi, I sense, is just as layered and complex a character as her opponent and putting the two of them in one room led to a delicious moment of tension with frissions of anger, wariness, cunning and stark coldness.
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This scene gave me goosebumps and revealed a great deal about both their characters. I was honestly reminded of two predators warily circling each other. Firstly, Yeom Mi was able to rattle Jaehee for an instant there just by mentioning the word ‘abuse’. Secondly, the moment she mentioned that people to speak at length with regards to excuses often have something to hide, Jaehee’s eyes turned amazingly cold. Thirdly, Yeom Mi has some scars of her own, scars that I truly hope this show focuses on. She was equally rattled when Jaehee mentioned sleeping with the lights on, and always standing at the back of the room, leading me to wonder whether she witnessed her father’s murder. I love cat and mouse games and this is no different. It was honestly the highlight of last week’s episodes and I can only hope that we get to see more because sloppy writing aside, I love Yeom Mi’s character. She respects Moogak but isn’t the typical second lead who wants his affections. The show did initially set up this awkwardness between the two during the first few episodes which left me a little confused, but perhaps they wrote away the love triangle for later episodes, for which I’m highly grateful. I like the strong, tough woman she is, and the sisterly relationship she has with Chorim. There’s no need for any romantic complications. Speaking of which, Jaehee’s gotten mighty interested in Chorim, hasn’t he? Looking at how methodic he was with his killings I couldn’t imagine him every slipping up, but now that his tendre for Chorim has been established, it’s clear that the big reveal is going to be what brings him down. I can see him going after Moogak as well, out of jealously, but there’s no doubt that he could accomplish the murder as swiftly and efficiently as he did all the others. Chorim, however, is going to be very difficult, not only because of his affections but because she doesn’t remember a thing. At any rate, his reaction to her having read the letter as well as Moogak’s to being kicked off the investigation this week will set the tone for the last six episodes. Plotholes, bumbling cops, and overly coincidental coincidences aside, I am liking this show. And I can’t wait to see what Jaehee will be up to tomorrow.
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4 thoughts on “Mid-way Review of The Girl Who Sees Smells

  1. Pingback: THE GIRL WHO SEES SMELLS. SBS. | IKurate

  2. Great review! I love this couple so much…one of the cutest in dramaland. Even I want to pinch Yoochun’s cheeks…and when he was sitting by those stairs while Cho Rim was making food….he looked So CUTE.
    The policemen are so incompetent! Even defective Yeon doesn’t do.much. And there are many plot holes too. So yes, the drama is not efficient as far as thrillers go….but…it is successful in giving me enough thrills and chills….and the pace is fast so overall, a very enjoyable show.

    • xD I did the same thing so many times when typing that review 😛 And YES! this couple is super duper adorable! Regardless of how incompetent the policemen are and how many plot holes show up there’s something about this show that keeps me coming back for more. Can’t wait to see today’s episode!

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