Cho-rim and Moo-gak manage to very quickly make really dumb promises to their immediate superiors at work, and are consequently forced to work together in order to solve their problems. As set-ups go "The Girl Who Sees Smells" is rather oddly convoluted. I'd think these two would be more likely to search for help from actual friends rather than a stranger they only just met yesterday but...OK sure? The story might be convoluted but it's not really contrived, and that would be the much worse sin.
The lack of real humor is a bigger problem. And what really makes this issue confusing is that it appears to be a plot point that Cho-rim and Moo-gak aren't actually funny. I'm honestly unsure whether the actors are actually this bad at doing comedy, or whether they're just confused because of the way director Baek Soo-chan keeps telling them to try to be funny one scene and to try not to be funny the next. Being unfunny in a funny way is a really difficult skill to master, and one that necessitates the skills of a serious comedian.
And to date, so far Shin Se-kyung and Park Yoo-chun have only really demonstrated much skill in the "looks cute" department. Which isn't necessarily bad. They do have decent enough chemistry. Cho-rim is the upbeat, forward woman who's so confident that she can achieve any challenge Moo-gak can give her. And Moo-gak, for his part, is a very grumpy man who refuses to be amused by Cho-rim's antics just on general principle.
The visuals are nice enough- although with a concept like a girl who can see smells, it would be difficult to make that look visually boring. Also, it's confirmed this episode that Cho-rim really does literally see smells- this isn't just an editing trick that's being used because monitors can only project images and sound. Although aside from Moo-gak's challenges it's hard to see how this plot point could ever be relevant.
The weaknesses in "The Girl Who Sees Smells" are mostly evened out by the end by a decently interesting mystery. I do hope, though, that we're not going to make a huge plot point out of the importance of keeping Cho-rim's abilities a secret. It shouldn't even be that hard, really, because Moo-gak could very plausibly claim that he deduced the likely location of the car because there surely must have been some sort of evidence on the hill. In any event, my current appraisal has gone from "bad" to "lukewarm", so take from that what you will.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 2"
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