7.4/10
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Detectives of Seonam Girls High School 

Five high school girls form an after school detective club and solve mysteries involving their classmates. Along the way, they learn lessons about life and deal with problems that modern high school girls face.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Seung-Yun Lee ...  Oh Yoo-Jin 14 episodes
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Storyline

Five high school girls form an after school detective club and solve mysteries involving their classmates. Along the way, they learn lessons about life and deal with problems that modern high school girls face.

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [South Korea]

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

16 December 2014 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Schoolgirl Detectives See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

JTBC See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

 
A decent, but silly, life lesson KTV melodrama for young girls.
19 May 2015 | by cremeaSee all my reviews

Detectives of Seonam Girls High School (aka Seonam Girls High School Investigators): 14 episode 2014-2015 Korean TV drama show. Premise: Five female high school students form an after school detective club, then solve "crimes" while providing numerous life lessons for young teen girls.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Story: This show rarely has anything to do with crime solving...instead, what it mostly does is serve as a medium to deliver episodic Public Service Messages to young teenagers. The general plot has the "detectives" helping their classmates overcome various dilemmas that any young girl might soon encounter (i.e. dealing with school grades, bullying, problems at home, teen pregnancy, depression, suicide, sexual orientations, etc.). The rough layout of the show consists of an episode or two devoted to one particular "mystery" for our detectives to solve; they sleuth around and figure out what's happening, then they try to help whatever school girl that's involved to solve their problems as best they can. Then, repeat this formula until the show is over. The mysteries aren't very difficult for a viewer to understand or follow along with, but they aren't meant to be; solving mysteries is really just a means by which to discuss and explore several topics teen girls face these days.

The detectives consist of 4 freshman girls until they incorporate the reluctant transfer student as their 5th member. Jin Ji-hee plays the primary character as the transfer student. Ji-hee has been in many productions since she was a child...she's an experienced teenage actress now, and makes a perfect fit in her role as the level headed high school girl dealing with tiger mom and creepy teacher issues, and she is very effective at playing the part. The leader of the detectives, played by Kang Min-ah, gets the next meatiest part. While not as experienced as Ji-hee, Min-ah is quite impressive in her role as well, as she tries to keep the detectives together while dealing with her own puerile recurring love interest side story. Both of these young actresses performed very well overall, and I'm sure you'll be seeing more of them as they get older.

The other 3 detectives are played by relative newcomers, and as such, they are each assigned more of a supporting role while working on their acting chops; they are primarily tasked to just supply aegyo or be slightly odd, until they are called upon to have a scene of some significance. I recognized only 1 of these actresses offhand due to her popularity as K-pop star, another must be a model of some kind due to her height and strong facial features, and there's another interesting young actress among them, and the three of them represent themselves OK enough while they gain some experience in this field. Together, the five detectives make for an eclectic mix of personalities, abilities, and quirks that are often equal parts likable and annoying; they aren't overly one dimensional, but they aren't too dissimilar to how a K-Pop idol group is portrayed (i.e. there's a clear intent to peg each specific girl as the normal one, nerdy one, smart one, goofy one, etc).

Most of the adults and male characters on this show are portrayed as caricatures that are either: A) an idiot or weirdo, or, B) a character who's relatively non-essential to the story. This is a show for young high school girls, so it's not surprising that anyone who is not a young high school girl is usually shown as nothing more than a complete buffoon, or is used as an occasional plot device. I kinda felt bad for these actors and actresses, because these are some pretty crappy roles for an adult.

Direction, writing, and production is often hit and miss, but workable. The show has a very limited budget, but it does manage to avoid looking cheaply made. The writing and dialogue is satisfactory enough and rarely outright terrible, and the show was paced well overall. There's also a series of interludes throughout that are sometimes interesting and sometimes just strange; from recurring 1st person Q&A sessions with the lead character, to actors playing multiple parts as various extras, to semi commercial tie-ins involving the detectives, and so on.

Overall, there's some decent stuff to be had here (even if you're not a teen girl). It does have some problems though; It is frequently childish, serious issues often get too easily resolved to the tune of "everyone can learn & grow & live happily ever after", and the underlying & continuing "murder" mystery involving the primary character and some weirdo teacher is TERRIBLE!; this story line eventually results in the climax of the show, and, I absolutely hated it! it is by far the worst part of this show, completely unnecessary, poorly handled, and takes away from the single episode life lesson feel of the show.

I would have never watched this show if it weren't for the fact that my 13-15 year old nieces wanted to check it out and required some adult supervision. This show was certainly geared towards them, but, I surprisingly didn't hate it myself. It actually made me chuckle several times, and it did have some occasional semi-poignant moments. I also rather appreciated its efforts to broach some important & relevant topics that all young girls should know or be ready to start thinking about. It is somewhat baffling how it will go from ultra-silly nonsense to dealing with serious topics at the drop of a hat however.

Summary: I'm not really sure how to rate this (because I'm not a girl or Korean, and it's been many years since I was a teenager), so I'll average my nieces ratings instead (because they are fairly reasonable for their age and they are the target audience). They liked it well enough. Their biggest complaint: not enough hot guys on the show who weren't idiots or creeps.

Bottom Line: 6.5 to 7 out of 10 stars. Cannot really recommend this for adults, but it does sorta work for what it is!


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