Monday, August 20, 2018

REVIEW: Detective Alice, Season 1 (live action TV series)

(I didn't take notes on name Romanizations while I was watching and ended up having to rely on other sources in order to write this post. Name spellings therefore don't necessarily match what was used in Netflix's subtitling.)

Detective Alice is a comedic Korean crime series. Each episode is approximately 15 minutes long.

Cheon Yeon Ju, a bubbly young woman who loves food, is partnered with Jung Re Oh (or Leo? I don't know if that was a nickname or an oddity of Netflix's subtitling), a serious and by-the-book guy, to investigate crimes for the Food and Drug Administration. Their investigations frequently result in them crossing paths with a criminal mastermind named Red Jung, who has connections to Re Oh's past.

I didn't realize this going in, but Netflix only has half of the series. The full series is two seasons long, 16 episodes total. The other streaming service I use for K-dramas, DramaFever, also only has the first season. Be warned that the overarching Red Jung storyline is not resolved by the end of the first season.

I'd be more annoyed by this if I had actually liked the show. I suppose it's fortunate that I didn't. A large part of my problem with it was that Yeon Ju was massively stupid. She had somehow become an investigator for the Food and Drug Administration despite apparently having no relevant skills or knowledge beyond her love of eating. Her best friend, a lab analyst (maybe? I'm not sure what her actual title was) for the Food and Drug Administration, had to explain to her how and why to wash raw fruits and vegetables. Re Oh repeatedly had to explain basic food safety information to her, like why it's necessary to wash your hands before working with food.

And then there was the random crap she kept putting in her mouth. She went to a spa and was so taken by a woman's weight loss drink marketing spiel that she bought several cases of the stuff without bothering to ask what was in it or how it worked. She accepted food and drink provided to her by people she was actively in the process of investigating, and ate food that had potentially given people food poisoning because she thought it looked perfectly fine. I'm sure all of this was intended to be funny, but it was so incredibly stupid that it just annoyed me. I suppose parts of the series would have made good food safety PSAs, though.

The main reason I continued watching this show was because the episodes were short and easy to watch during my lunch breaks. Had they each been an hour long, like many K-drama episodes, I'd likely have abandoned the series after the first episode or two. It didn't help that Netflix's subtitling was sloppy.

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