Review Series Korean The School Nurse Files of Korean Let me be the first to say that I’m not sure I “get” this show,The School Nurse Files so this review will only be my best attempt at understanding this show. I just.. was too curious about this one, after seeing the quirky trailers and posters, to pass it up.
To help us gain more insight and understanding into this show, Dame Holly, metaphor whisperer extraordinaire, who recently brought us a guest review of Greasy Melo, will be back to give us her take on this very different snowflake of a drama, probably in the next week or two. Stay tuned for that! (Update: Dame Holly’s guest post is here!)
In the meantime, allow me to share my (probably mostly) half-baked thoughts on this show with you guys.
Here’s the OST album, in case you’d like to listen to it while you read the review. The OST is as quirky and offbeat as the show itself, so I’d say it’s on point and well-matched.
I didn’t love nor hate this show, and I feel the same way about its OST. I didn’t love nor hate it; it worked well for what it was supposed to do. Still, I do have more affection for the first track in this playlist – 도망가자 – because it’s got a fun, lightheartedly quirky sort of vibe. I also rather like that slightly badass feel of the 3rd track on this list, 보건교사 안은영.
I feel like there are two main things that would be helpful to know, going into this show, and two potential lenses you could choose from, for your watch.
1. Logic need not apply
This show does not employ a straightforward storytelling sort of approach, and as a result, there’s no clear cause and effect between plot points. Sometimes, the different plot points just seem to exist side-by-side as almost unrelated vignettes that just happen to sit in the same drama world.
I learned that it’s best not to try too hard, to apply a logical lens to this drama world. It’s not built for that logical lens, and so trying to use one, honestly mostly feels like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole: effortful and sweaty work, but ultimately fruitless.
2. This leans dark
From the quirky promos, and from Jung Yu Mi’s colorful toy sword, I’d expected this show to lean tongue-in-cheek, light and nonsensical, but surprisingly, it actually leans dark and rather serious. I was a little thrown to realize – right away in episode 1 – that Show touches on darker, somber themes like suicide, death and rejection. There is no tongue-in-cheek in this – that I could pick up on, anyway.
I think it’s helpful to know that right off the bat.
3. Your choice of lens
I conclude that there are two main choices when it comes to the viewing lens that best works for this show.
The first one, which I think is the easier one, is to just let go of all need for logic, along with any desire to actually understand what Show is trying to say, and just sit back and enjoy the ride.
The second one, which I attempted to use, is a metaphorical lens. I went into this watch putting aside my usual modus operandi for understanding a drama, and tried to keep a much more open, fluid sort of mindset instead, while attempting to think in terms of symbols, metaphors and themes. This yielded some.. interesting results, which I’ll share with you in a bit.