If you enjoy it when someone comes up with new and original ideas for a story, then you’ll love Sensory Couple. It introduced me to three very real, interesting disorders I wasn’t familiar with – synesthesia, analgesia, and prosopagnosia.
The whole Kdrama, is based on synesthesia, “a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.” The heroin in this Kdrama can see smells.
Oh Cho-Rim was hit by a car when she was a teenager and has been able to see smells ever since she woke up from her coma, having one blue eye. Even though the poor girl has no memories of her life before the accident, she still manages to have a positive attitude and is a happy, selfless person. Her dream is to become a comedian but the director of the group she wants to perform with doesn’t see any talent in her at all. Should she give up or find a way around it?
There’s no rhyme or reason as to why Choi Moo-Gak’s teenage sister, the only family he had, was murdered while in the emergency room of a hospital but he is determined to do whatever it takes to avenge her death. He even abandons the job he loves, working at an aquarium, to join the police force all in an effort to find her killer.
One day, while chasing a robbery suspect, Officer Choi literally bumps into Oh Cho-Rim as she is running an errand for someone in the comedy group. He takes the car she was driving to peruse the criminal and they both go after the guy. Officer Choi is finally able to make the arrest only after some help from smell-seeing Cho-Rim, and so begins their relationship, professional and private. Together they solve crimes, Cho-Rim following the scent clues and Detective Choi unscrambling and making sense of all the evidence. What a team! Eventually, Moo-Gak discovers his sister’s death is linked to a chain of murders committed by the notorious Bar Code Killer. Will he be able to track down the monster responsible for the death of his sister and so many other innocent people before the murderer strikes again?
Choi Moo-Gak suffers from analgesia which is “a neurologic… state in which painful stimuli are moderated such that, although still perceived, they are no longer painful.” That might sound nice (someone runs into your heels with a shopping cart and, no problem) but it actually could be dangerous, especially for someone like a police officer.
“Prosopagnosia (also known as ‘face blindness’) refers to a severe deficit in recognizing familiar people from their face” and it’s something Cho-Rim’s boss, Chef Kwon Jae-Hee, deals with on a daily basis. Although it is difficult, he has learned to compensate for the disorder by memorizing voices or the clothing people wear. As if that’s not difficult enough to handle, Jae-Hee now has to come to terms with the fact that his girlfriend was the latest victim of the Bar Code Killer.
There are several other crimes Detective Choi, his seeing-sniffer partner, and the guys on the homicide team solve throughout the show. Yes, the main thing is to find and catch the Bar Code Killer but they also arrest people who grow marijuana, track down a murderer, capture a robber, shut down a gambling house, figure out who was involved in an accidental killing and cover-up, and locate a kidnapping victim throughout the 16 episode show. In other words, the show is fast-paced and interesting. Do they ever catch the Bar Code Killer or will that psychotic person slip through their fingers?
I’m not going to tell you anything about why the murderer is known as the Bar Code Killer because I want you to be surprised. I’ll just say that we don’t find that out until the 15th episode. I bet you won’t be able to guess why. It’s so creepy! The writer of the original story has a very creative imagination!
You get no hints from me as to who the murderer is but I will say the actor/actress portraying the psycho killer did an excellent job making me feel uncomfortable. You know an actor/actress has done their job well when they actually make you feel something, good or bad, as you’re watching them perform.
If you’re wondering whether or not you’ll be able to “see” the smells Cho-Rim does, the answer is yes. The visual smells show up on screen as tiny shapes of colored sparkles. It was quite clever to let us see what Cho-Rim does. I don’t know who came up with the idea and designed the smells but I give them a big thumbs up.
The whole Kdrama, is based on the webcomic The Girl Who Sees Smells by Man Chwi. The guy is very talented and has a wonderful imagination. I hope the world of Kdrama will count on him for ideas in the future.
Sensory Couple boasts several talented stars –
Park Yoo-Chun is Detective Choi Moo-Gak, the “Y” part of Kpop group JYJ. He wasn’t given the chance to serenade us but his acting is fantastic. I loved him in this! Moo-Gak’s personality is attractive and romantic and Yoo-Chun played it perfectly. He was good in I Miss You but he’s wonderful in this.
Oh Cho-Rim is played by Shin Se-Kyung. The role she had in When a Man Loves ruined her for me, for awhile. I really disliked that character a lot and ended up taking it out on Se-Kyung. Fortunately, I enjoyed the gal she played in Blade Man so it gave me some hope of liking her in this – and I did… big time!
Namgung Min is Chef Kwon Jae-Hee. Wow, wow, and wow once more. Superb acting! He truly was at his best in this role. I’ve seen him in seven of the twelve Kdramas he’s been in, impressed by his performance in each one, but he outdid himself as the famous Chef Kwon. Note: This guy has the most charming, attractive, cute, romantic smile in the entire Kdrama industry!
Yoon Jin-Seo plays the part of Yeom Mi, the officer in charge of the Bar Code murders investigation. Her character is a diligent, fearless, intelligent, second generation law enforcement officer whose speciality is profiling. This role was my introduction to Jin-Seo and I thought she was great.
Park Jin-Joo plays Cho-Rim’s best friend, Ma Ae-Ri. She has a fairly small part but she’s darling in this and has been superb in everything I’ve seen her in.
Sensory Couple (aka The Girl Who See Smells) has a very good soundtrack. The instrumental songs having to do with the murderer, Psychopath, Serial Killer, and one who’s title is the person’s name Theme (I can’t say it or you’ll know who the killer is before you watch it), are excellent. Psychopath has an extremely tense and unsettling feeling to it. It fits the title perfectly. Check out the songs Confusing, First Time, and Again Today – three of my favorites. There’s also a couple really good romantic ballads. You can find several songs from the soundtrack on YouTube.
The scenery is nothing spectacular, but Chef Kwon’s house is awesome, inside and out. I guess a famous restaurant chef who also writes books and has his own TV show can afford an amazing house.
I was pleasantly surprised at just how entertaining Sensory Couple was. It’s a wonderful mystery full of likable good guys and one very creepy psycho. I buzzed through it very quickly and loved every captivating minute. I also added it to my top 20 list, removing Personal Taste. This one is worthy of repeat viewing.
Moo-Gak and Cho-Rim’s chemistry/relationship
Interesting new medical disorders
Namgung Min’s smile
Holds your attention
I didn’t find any
2 thoughts on “Sensory Couple”
Finally watched it mainly because of Namkoong Min. I know I am bias, but I really think he was the highlight and bright spot of this Drama.
I agree with your opinion. Namgung Min received the “Special Award, Actor in a Miniseries” award at the 2015 23rd SBS Drama Awards for his performance in this drama. The man’s acting was nothing short of phenomenal.