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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 10


The episode starts out somewhat promising- important facts regarding the mystery of Cho-rim's past are established. Moo-gak and Cho-rim continue to look cute together. And there's even a brief little piece where Cho-rim has to use her powers to apprehend a strange man found in a place he should not be. Unfortunately, this is resolved very quickly and abruptly as we get back to the age-old question of what improbable chain of events Jae-hee will use to impede the investigation this time.

First, he has to not be busy with something else at the same time Moo-gak makes a random phone call- a random phone call which goes into specific information Moo-gak doesn't actually need to know. Next, Jae-hee requires perfect timing to arrive at the appointed destination before either of the two people who are actually meeting, without their seeing him or each other during this interval. This is a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that we'd expect the location to be decided with the intended parties in mind- not the interloper.

Beyond that it's just the usual improbabilities. Like how Jae-hee is famous enough to be easily recognized but this is something that only happens when it's useful to him. Or how no one ever notices that he's behaving somewhat suspiciously. Or how Jae-hee can perfectly predict the behavior even of people he's never actually met. With all these ridiculous points in his favor, it's little surprise that the cliffhanger doesn't even register as all that improbable.

Bear in mind that for me at least, the main tension isn't whether something bad will happen, but the way the bad thing will happen. The way Jae-hee's abilities have been constructed he might as well be a wizard. Guessing about future story events isn't a matter of working the plot out organically, but trying to figure out the way screenwriter Lee Hee-myeong thinks. The script is very much goal-oriented- we're supposed to only pay attention to the end point, not question how the characters got there.

It's a shame that "The Girl Who Sees Smells" insists on bogging itself down with this plot- the production might actually be somewhat cute otherwise. The problem is that if we know Jae-hee is a murderer it's hard to accept cute, fun scenes as actually being cute fun scenes when the smiling serial killer is one of the people joking around. The serial killer plot taints everything about "The Girl Who Sees Smells" at this point, rendering the drama nigh-unwatchable.

Review by William Schwartz

"The Girl Who Sees Smells" is directed by Baek Soo-chan, written by Lee Hee-myeong and features Park Yoo-chun, Shin Se-kyung, Namgoong Min, Yoon Jin-seo, Kim So-hyun, Choi Tae-joon, and more.

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