Guest Post: The School Nurse Files [An Alternative Lens]

I’m so pleased to announce this guest post today, you guys!

As promised, friend of the blog Dame Holly (also known around the interwebs as Lee Tennant), who has a seriously impressive affinity with metaphors, is back to share her thoughts and insights on the very quirky, very different The School Nurse Files. I LOVED reading her thoughts on this show; I now literally feel like I have brand new eyes with which to appreciate Show’s unique appeal. I hope you guys enjoy her post as much as I do!

You can find Dame Holly at her blog Invisible Pink Dragon, or at her Dramabeans fanwall.

PS: You might also like her previous guest post, where she shares insights on 2018’s Greasy Melo. You can check it out here.

~kfangurl

The School Nurse Files and the tension between conformity and diversity

By Lee Tennant (aka Dame Holly)

My heart in the sky

There are some shows that get you on every level: emotionally, intellectually, viscerally. While you’re watching, you’re so completely immersed that when you finish you simply turn around and press play again. The images play out in your mind over and over again. You write more stories in your head. And yes, you press play yet again hoping to recapture that feeling.

School Nurse Files was one of those shows for me.

Thankfully, Kfangurl has done such a wonderful job of reviewing the School Nurse Files that it has freed me to concentrate on why I personally loved this show. And that’s what this review is. Not a review at all but a love letter. An insight into what School Nurse Files meant to me and why it’s in contention to be my favourite drama for 2020.

Maybe not the best drama. But my favourite drama.

Like A Piece of Your Mind at the beginning of the year, School Nurse Files is surreal, deeply metaphorical, sometimes confusing. And short by several episodes. Nonetheless the show spoke to me. Powerfully. And that is what this piece will focus on. For a fantastic deconstruction of the show, see Kfangurl’s comprehensive overview here.

It’s better to be weird than ordinary

If School Nurse Files could be summed up in one sentence, it would be with this quote that the male lead, Hong In-pyo delivers right as we head into the finale’s explosive denouement. “It’s better to be weird than ordinary.”

As long as you’re not hurting anybody then being weird is a positive thing. Being normal is all very well and good. But allowing yourself to be different is better.

The School Nurse Files embraces its own philosophy from scene one. The show is unconventional and original and flat out weird. In fact, it’s a celebration of weird where everyone is encouraged to let their freak flag fly. With a disabled male lead as a love interest, a non-gendered character, a lesbian relationship and a female lead who aggressively does not fit in, The School Nurse Files celebrates non-conformity and giving yourself permission to step outside of the box.

And one thing the show does is walk its own talk. The show’s fun, surreal and bizarre beginning was like a message in the sky that they’re going to do their own thing and make their own show and they don’t care if we’re confused or bemused or can’t keep up. That’s our problem, not theirs. And then in the back half, show brings it all together in a truly glorious finale that says, “Hey, this is me. Love me or not, this is who I am. I won’t change because I’m wonderful just the way I am.”

And ultimately, that’s what The School Nurse Files is all about. Celebrating you being you, even if it’s a bit different. You’re wonderful just the way you are.

Jellies as human emotion

From the time she was young, our eponymous school nurse, Ahn Eun-young, has seen ‘Jellies’. From the first scene, the world as we see it through Eun-young’s eyes is littered with them. They cover the hallways of the school she works in, stretch between people who’ve made a connection, and come down from the ceilings to threaten her. They bounce and squish and float through the air around her. They are her constant companion and a constant reminder that she is different. More than that, even, they are her responsibility. Because while Eun-young is not the only person who can see Jellies, she’s someone who feels a sense of obligation to the people around her. She’s driven to fight them. Not because she has to but because helping people is her natural instinct.

Eun-young fights the Jellies armed with a toy gun and a rainbow toy sword. She is in a position of authority at the school: a medical professional, an adult. And yet the show’s enduring image is of her armed with glowing toys attacking things that most people can’t see. It adds only to the sense not only of our protagonist’s weirdness but of the show’s surreality.

The show’s opening sequence ends when the child Eun-young starts running and merges into that of an adult Eun-young still running. The message is clear. Eun-young can’t stop and neither can we. The School Nurse Files unfolds at a break-neck speed barely stopping to let either ourselves or the characters rest. It is a frenetic show that refuses to stop to let anyone breathe and you will either love or hate that about it.

More importantly, while Eun-young struggles with whether it would be better to be normal, the show never does. I can’t help thinking that a standard network drama would have insisted that she learn a Very Special Lesson about fitting in or softening her edges to find love. But The School Nurse Files never forces any of its characters to compromise on being themselves to find their happiness. If anything, the show says instead that the path to happiness is finding the courage to be yourself and embrace all the parts of you – even the parts that don’t mesh with social expectations. And the show celebrates this in every crazed, colourful scene. And despite every word that I’m about to write deconstructing the show’s imagery, that joyful celebration of weird is where the show hits emotionally. And no words can convey that adequately. You can only feel it.

Promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep

While Eun-young spends the show wielding a rainbow sword and a BB gun like a crazy person, what she’s really drawing on is her own emotional energy. And like most people who help others, she only has a certain reservoir of energy she can draw on at any one time. After that she needs to recharge. Helping people is exhausting and when you’re as empathetic as Eun-young is, the emotions of others are all around you. They saturate your world and you have no choice but to try to do something about them. And although there are people who see what others are going through and try instead to manipulate, exploit, control or ignore them, Eun-young is not one of them. She’s our hero for a reason.

It’s important here to recognise that the Jellies are not good or evil. They just are. It’s when our emotions get out of control or threaten to overwhelm us that things get dangerous. As a metaphor, the jellies work incredibly well for human emotion, whether you believe there is such a thing as emotional energy or not. Societies ultimately are just collections of people and how they feel, both collectively and individually, impacts everyone. But they especially affect those who sit outside what society has deemed normal or acceptable. And they especially affect us during adolescence when we’re trying to work out who we are.

The school that Eun-Young has ended up at (been herded towards?) has made a business out of forcing students through a cookie-cutter; insisting on a mould for social success that pens them in with strict parameters of acceptable behaviour and emotion. It’s no wonder that repression is building up below the surface and is about to explode.

Yes there’s a hell mouth something brewing in the basement. And a school nurse ready to help her charges fight their demons. But if she has to draw on her own internal reserves to do it then is it a marathon she can keep running?

Emotional resilience as a superpower

As the first few episodes unfold, Eun-young gains the support of Hong In-pyo, the grandson of the school’s founder. In-pyo has a disability following a motorcycle accident when he was younger but is also gifted with a powerful aura that acts as a supernatural shield. Eun-young is able to recharge by holding his hand, although it becomes quickly apparent that’s not her only reason for wanting to hold it.

In-pyo not only has enough strength to endure what the world throws at him, he has reservoirs of emotional energy to spare. And unlike Eun-young who struggles with her difference and longs to be ‘normal’, In-pyo is fine the way he is, even with a leg that doesn’t work. Would he choose to be able to walk as he did before? Of course. But it doesn’t get to him. He accepts it. Negative and harmful jellies literally cannot touch him. He is protected by the force of his own emotional resilience.

It is this resilience that allows him to simply accept the unseen world around him, to support Eun-young unconditionally, to put the welfare of his students before himself and to allow Eun-young to draw on the large reserves of emotional energy that she needs to keep fighting.

Or, as kfangurl astutely pointed out in her review: when you have someone on your side, who’s able to lend you their strength, like In-pyo lends Eun-young his strength, you will be able to stand firm in the face of the monster (of negative feelings), and destroy it, and come out victorious.

I can’t count the number of Korean dramas that portray a male lead’s disability as something that needs to be fixed. And yet show tells us that In-pyo is not just fine the way he is, his disability is part of what makes him him. And what he is is pretty wonderful.

In-pyo is not just a disabled male lead or even a disabled love interest. He’s a disabled superhero whose special power is emotional intelligence and support.

Henry, Mackenzie, Normality and Emotional Burnout

Make some money.
Buy nicer clothes.

Get a better car and a bigger house.
Stop being a dumbass.

Is a life of service stupid? Are you an idiot for pursuing it? What are you fighting for after all? Is helping others instead of yourself a thankless task that will lead only to personal burnout and poverty? In a society where status is judged by our material possessions, should Eun-young use her gifts to help others or to make something of herself?

Eun-young’s fellow teacher and Jelly whisperer, MacKenzie, represents the siren call of mercurial self-interest but also the lure of normality and the fixtures and fittings of it in your life. MacKenzie has decided to use his gifts solely for his own self-interest. But he is not just selfish, he’s a cynic. One who believes there’s little point in devoting himself to a never-ending battle against basic human nature. Instead he’s decided to be “smart” about it and monetise his gift, selling jellies to students who need them.

BREAKOUT QUOTE

“I know all too well what happens to naive people like you. You end up fighting, you end up poor, and you end up dead. Nobody even knows what you’ve ended up fighting for. No no, even better. Nobody knows that you’re even dead at all.”

MacKenzie

Throughout the third episode, the weight of Eun-young’s thankless responsibility is represented by the burden of Henry (Okay, so the show never calls him this). I dubbed him Henry while he was secretly and quietly present in all the sick room scenes. On the table, on a bed, peeking out from behind the wardrobe. And being lugged around the school on Eun-young’s back as she carried him from classroom to classroom alone.

By episode three, Eun-young’s responsibility for her students is a burden that is visibly weighing her down, just like Henry does. Eun-young’s fight against the Jellies draws on her emotional energy and by the time her childhood friend and confidante dies in episode 5, she has been almost completely drained. You could feel her exhaustion as the endless fight at the school coupled with grief at her friend’s death drains her to the point where she loses her ability to fight altogether. When Mackenzie said to her that she would “end up dead and nobody would even know that she was dead”, I think this is what he was referring to. Complete emotional burnout.

It’s not surprising then that MacKenzie’s own Jellies end up infecting her with a growing desire to be normal, to cast off her life as an outsider, and be a regular person with all the things regular people have.

Hye-Min and the Box of Conformity

Episode four of The School Nurse Files is where the show suddenly flips into overdrive. And the biggest part of that is the mite-eater Baek Hye-min. As a plague of supernatural bad luck mites descend on the school, Hye-min is called into being to fight them. Hye-min’s world is a set box of exactly 5.38km. They are seen standing at that line watching happy families whizz past with laughing children, unable to follow them out of the set parameters of their existence.

Eun-young identifies with Hye-min for good reasons. Hye-min only exists to serve, to rid the box they live in of the mites that are drawn to the school’s basement. They literally came into being to eat mites and die once they read the age of 20. From a Korean perspective, they have no life after highschool.

Hye-min’s life personifies service and selflessness. So when Hye-min expresses a desire to break free of the constraints in which they are forced to live, it is a sentiment that Eun-young identifies with deeply. But when they say they also cannot walk way from their responsibilities, it is something Eun-young also understands.

“What about the school?” Hye-min asked Eun-young and this is her question as well. What about the school.

Eun-young’s growing obsession with finding a way to help Hye-min to step outside of the role that they have been boxed into is about more than helping somebody. It is about trying to prove to herself that her job fighting Jellies is something that can eventually end. That this is a fight she can win. That there is a life, a normal life, after her battle is done. Something other than just another battle to fight. A life rather than just an existence.

And for Hye-min, it’s about finally having the freedom of self-determination: the ability to determine what they want from their life; to make their own decisions; to gain some autonomy. And in the end, Hye-min quite literally steps outside of their box as a person with a future of their own making, and takes the brave step of dating female classmate, Gadi. Hye-min has gained the ability to live the life they want, rather than just to exist in a box not of their own making.

Safe Happiness and the courage of being yourself

Throughout the show, Eun-young struggles with her sense of isolation and separateness; her outward image of being crazy and weird. To fight Jellies she uses her own emotional energy and finds her resources quickly depleted in a school where emotional repression is at its most severe. These themes – about conformity, happiness, fitting in with the herd and needing time to recharge your emotional energy – underpin the story as it unfolds and a highschool setting is thus a perfect place for it.

At the beginning of each school day the students recite a mantra and then laugh loudly, forcefully, and aggressively. And yes, this whole repeating sequence adds to the show’s continual ability to keep you off balance and position you in this moving surrealist painting. But it also demonstrates clearly and evocatively the school’s attitude to conformity. Even more than the ducks moving randomly through shot as they follow each other in a strict line.

You will be happy, says the school. You will be positive. Whether you want to or not. This is the very nature of adolescent repression; the refusal to let children have an outlet for the parts of themselves that adults find uncomfortable or difficult or ugly. The parts of ourselves we’re told we need to hide. That we’re allowed no outlet for. Our anger, our jealousy, our fears, our lusts, our anxieties, our ambitions and our unhappiness. The strict oppression of emotions that starts in institutions like schools and then continues into repressed and unhappy adults.

The school motto is Laughing Will Bring Good Fortune but its philosophy embodies the cult’s concept of Safe Happiness. Be happy but do it within these parameters. Be an unchallenging level of acceptable happy at all times.

Any philosophy such as this leads inevitably to bullying. Not just because those who are comfortably within the group work to keep everyone else in line, but also because they need a sanctioned outlet for all those emotions they’ve repressed. Step outside of the box and get slapped down.

Hye-mi had the courage to step fiercely and courageously outside of their box. But in doing so they highlighted how society – not as a concept but as a group of people – try to keep everyone in their place. When they and Gadi announce that they are dating, they find themselves the target of terrible, vicious bullying characterised by awful cruel laughter. And not just from the children but from the adults as well.

We’re reminded again of the school motto being ‘laughing brings good fortune’ and realise that it has a dark side. Because that laughter can be cruel and vicious and judgmental and directed at you if you don’t fit within the parameters that have been laid down for you. Laughter binds a group together but it also excludes.

As a whale jelly floats free and serene above the school in the peaceful night sky, it contrasts with the destructive water monster of repression chained by the Apji Stone in the basement. The bottom-feeding emotion creatures swimming in the pool in that basement might feed on laughter. But that laughter doesn’t have to be due to happiness. It can be due to bullying and conformity instead.

Love me as I am: The Ending of The School Nurse Files

As we head into the denouement of The School Nurse Files, I’m reminded of how much of this show I still didn’t cover. Even in this tome of a review. There were so many little things scattered around the show, so many visual clues that the producers scattered around to help us through. The show is truly beautiful; the acting excellent, the editing and music almost perfect.

However, as much of a rollicking ride as The School Nurse Files was, it was rushed. Even those of us who loved the drama with a passion would preferred another two episodes. And yet what the show managed to do in the six it had was extraordinary. This was Eun-young’s show from beginning to end and unlike a lot of female leads she got a complete arc. She was not just our protagonist; she was our hero. And a flawed one who got an appropriate hero’s journey.

As I’ve already discussed, The School Nurse Files had strong themes about the siren call of conformity, fitting-in, being a part of the herd and whether you can have the courage to embrace the parts of yourself that make you different. Not just from people around you but from what society tells you you’re supposed to be.

When Eun-young burned out and found herself physically, mentally and emotionally unable to access her gift anymore, we watch her sink into normality like a hot bath and it’s a completely understandable response to the endless emotional onslaught. MacKenzie is ultimately right here (about the problem, not about the solution). The school is too much for her to handle by herself. But what Eun-young needs to learn is that even though she is unique, even though she is weird, even though she is aggressively different, this does not mean that she has to be alone. She does not need to be normal to have friends or love or acceptance. She can have those things as she is. But first she has to accept and love herself.

For me the final episode was about Eun-young dealing with her own feelings about being different, crazy and ‘weird’. When she ran around the school collecting the mites for Hye-min she was helping them to fulfil their responsibilities so they could go through with the surgery and embrace ordinary without guilt. The reason Eun-young went back to the school was to try to do the same thing for herself – deal with the pond once and for all so she could embrace ordinary without guilt.

But unlike Hye-min, Eun-young’s task is eternal. The emotional needs of others is eternal. Watching children grow up and helping them become adults is not a set defined task, it’s an ongoing process. I can’t say for sure what Eun-young saw when she looked into the pond and had her panic attack. But it says something profound that what came out of it was a giant heart.

All those repressed emotions, all her repressed emotions. The ones that led her to repress her own abilities, to clamp down on the parts of herself that were too different, too weird. All her love, all her own feelings, all the things she kept down to devote herself to endless service. All of it was released. To me, the giant heart gummy was her heart. What she let out was her own feelings, giving herself permission to be different, to be weird and accepting the responsibility of caring for people for the rest of her life.

And – with In-pyo there to grab her and give her his support in that moment – the realisation that she would not be doing it alone. So if I had to come up with a second meaning of The School Nurse Files it would be this – Put on your own oxygen mask first. Just because you live a life of service does not mean you have to give up all the things you want for yourself.

And most of all, love yourself for who you are and all that you are. If you do, someone will love all that you are too. After all, it’s better to be weird than ordinary.

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[…] 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!) […]

BubbleTeaIcedAmericano
BubbleTeaIcedAmericano
9 months ago

This post is making me appreciate the show so much more!

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
9 months ago

Oh thank you! So glad it helped you appreciate this little gem of a show more.

phl1rxd
9 months ago

Great review LT! I did watch this and I remember asking myself after it was over “Wow – than that is different.” 🤣😆 That does not mean I did not enjoy it – I did. The concept was so out of the box and original. That alone deserves points in its favor but it also hit upon a few scenarios that resonated with me. For one, that emotions and thoughts are visceral and have consequences. I give it props for being different and embracing its differences. Thank you for the lovely review.

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
9 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

I like that – emotions and thoughts (especially in adolescence) are visceral and have consequences. Both for the individual and as a group. Thanks so much for reading and for commenting!

Peony
9 months ago

Dear LT, thanks for that beautiful article, which made me instantly convinced that I should watch School Nurse Files. Not an easy feat, I’m said to be quite picky 😅
I have multitude of thoughts and articulation isn’t coming to me, so I’m gonna put ’em all in point form as they form in my head lol.
1. Damn I had forgotten how at-home I can feel in kdrama atmosphere, no matter what the era or settings are. It’s a heady rush. Also how they don’t waste any time getting straight to the point right away.
2. This feels like Magical Realism but not really, doesn’t it? And I’m thrilled to find out this, for I didn’t figure it out right away from your review for some reason despite it being one of my favorite techniques. Probably because I have never seen it outside books, let alone expecting it in my kdrama, just like how the doctors just chose to interpret the fact that Hye-min didn’t have belly button as it being micro, because how could a person not? Lmao We all are willfully blind one way or another, aren’t we? Happens to the best of us I guess 🤣
3. Whatever technique it may be, I loved loved loved how the author and the scriptwriter (because writing a 6 hr script out of that book couldn’t have been an easy feat unless they both had more or less similar vision) wielded it to tell this deeper, subtler, meaningful story in an in-your-face manner(which was very welcomed and not obnoxious), so that we cannot turn that willfully blind eye on it anymore. Show is quirky and silly and melancholic and dark at the same time. It’s an effortless paradoxical exceution. Even the simplest line like “chew before you swallow” had meaning, I got teary eyed at the students noraebang scene, and there was a soft smile on me when Hye-min said “Now I have a belly button!”
4. At the end of it all, as a viewer I felt little less lonely and little more useful than I usually am, and that’s what matters right?
5. At one point the drew of it was so much, I considered trying my hand at writing magical realism :). Hmm, maybe I could ease into it by writing a School Nurse Files inspired The Untamed fanfic? Haha
6. If you would trust me to rec you a book, LT, please go find and read “Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar”, it’s smol and will take you no time to finish it. Don’t look it up, I suggest you let yourself be pleasantly surprised (hopefully)
Honorary mention- Como Agua Para Chocolate (book), it’s nothing similar, but I loved loved it for the seamless incorporation of Magical Realism. It’s steamy and lovely (Just trying to convince you….did it work?😉)
If you read them or have read already, share your thoughts with me!
7. The one regret I have was show was too…uh, visual for my mom so she couldn’t stand watching it for too long? Mom and I have same tastes and she would’ve appreciated it greatly if she were to read this, but her brain shut-down when the metaphorical subtle-but-in-your-face ness was in the form of drama instead of letting her imagination come up with whatever her sanity could handle lol. I mean I was taken aback at first, let alone her far more old-fashioned head.
8. This feels like that rare type of show where you could interpret it any way you want and you would still be correct, and noone can argue otherwise.(I mean it’s the same for any other drama because art is subjective and all, but I mean more than usual. A lot more.) You can call it sci-fi if that’s how the logic in you wants to believe, it can be all metaphorical to the last jelly if you like it that way. For me, it existed between metaphor and reality, halfway in the amazing magical realism. Show does make you feel befuddled at best and stupid at worst if you try to analyze it too much and fail at it. To me, the show wasn’t meant to be understood not picked-apart and examined, but just look at the entire big picture all at once and just accept the weirdness for what is is, and….ultimately see the scary, ugly underbelly of this earth we live in, for what it is.
9. So from through the lens I chose to wear for this show, the final ep’s issue felt like it suddenly started to explain everything, and then not enough. I didn’t want it to explain anything to begin with, but…..carry on with just doing its thing. *waves hand around
Thanks again, LT! Watching this was a surreal, fond experience, like meeting an old friend again.
(P.s.- A weird part of me is unsatisfied about not getting to see the two troublemaker bbfs’ reaction upon realizing their armpit hair are dragonfly-knotted 🤣)

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
9 months ago
Reply to  Peony

Thanks so much, Peony! And for leaving such an epic comment.

The magical realism allusion is an interesting one, especially because you’re right – it’s kind of magical realism but also not magical realism. And I do love magical realism so possibly that’s one of the reasons I loved this show so much. During the past few years, Korea has definitely gotten better at surrealism, which is something they used to be almost universally terrible at. But, you know, your comment (like egads’) makes me think my piece didn’t entirely capture the waves hand around at the wonder of it element of watching the show. And also that I want it to just keep on doing its thing. I’d happily watch another three seasons of her fighting Jellies while holding her adorable boyfriend’s hand.

I’m so glad my review inspired you to watch it and also that your watch was a success. The more cheerleaders for this weird beautiful little show the better.

And thanks for the recs! While I’ve seen the film Like Water for Chocolate, I’ve never read the book. And the Sideways Stories sounds good too. I await your SNF/Untamed fan fic with interest.

Peony
9 months ago
Reply to  Lee Tennant

“I’d happily watch another three seasons of her fighting Jellies while holding her adorable boyfriend’s hand.”
Exactly. I kinda feel like a part of the reason why I was upset with how the finale started to (or tried) to explain everything is that, with Magical Realism you don’t explain stuff, but rather carry on with whatever it was doing before it dropped the curtain.
And I was mad that this finalised the fact that it wasn’t entirely that, rendering me even more unable to gloat; “Haha see? Told ya it’s Magical Realism!” 🤣🤣🤣😅
In a way, I was mad because the show didn’t conform to my preconceived notions/ideals wasn’t I. Isn’t that so very ironical, considering how the biggest message about the show is about non-conformity?🤦‍♀️

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
9 months ago
Reply to  Peony

Now you’ve got me pondering at what point this would have tipped over into magical realism and why exactly it wasn’t entirely that. I’m hoping it represents a uniquely Korean form of surrealism and that we’ll therefore get more like it.

Peony
9 months ago
Reply to  Lee Tennant

I think it’s because while the related characters treated the magical aspect as their normality(for the most part), they also tried to explain the logic which just didn’t held up nor was appealing as it would in a regular sci-fi, supernatural show, and included lines like; “Only I could see them”, “You are one of us/We are an organisation”….which I simply felt like lines that didn’t belong in this story. But then again, as I’m writing this I can see what I’m saying is quite biased, for I’m still partially trying to fit this square-shaped show into my traingle-shaped idea of Magical Realism like I said above.🤣
You got me good show, that you did. You succesfully told a story about how bias human minds are and how we can only try but not entirely be free from it, and now I’m hyper-aware whenever I’m being biased🤣🤣🤣

.
Yes, LT. To say it’s a unique mixture of surrealism and magical realism would be the most accurate, and I sure am hoping Korea could make this into a new brand, their own thing. We’ll be here to gobble it up, gladly😍.

Erin Osen
Erin Osen
10 months ago

Amen 😁 !!

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
10 months ago
Reply to  Erin Osen

Thank you!

reaper525
reaper525
10 months ago

I didn’t watch this drama bc it is too metaphorical for me.
But I really appreciate how you explained all those metaphors and the drama in itself.
It was a quite interesting read. Very well written.
And I really like your … let’s call it final statement. ^^

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
10 months ago
Reply to  reaper525

Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting even if you weren’t drawn to watch the drama.
Yes, the show’s message about accepting yourself and celebrating diversity was a lovely one.
“It’s better to be weird than ordinary”.
I wish someone had said this to me when I was a teenager.

reaper525
reaper525
10 months ago
Reply to  Lee Tennant

I always start thinking why people say: “I wish someone had said this to me when I was a teenager.”
Did everyone try to fit in and be “normal”. That is a interesting thought.
Because I never thought in my life “I have to fit in and be somebody that is mainstream”. So I am always asking myself what is going on in peoples heads.

Prashil Prakash
Prashil Prakash
10 months ago

It’s a beautiful show what can I say.

You’ll come out with more questions than answers though and that’s totally fine.

Watch it for being something of it’s own.
No tropes. No promises.
Just Jellies and ass kicking Jung Yumi.

✌️

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
10 months ago

Nicely put and thanks for leaving a comment!
And yes the show’s lack of tropes and cliches made it a refreshing watch. As you say, it’s a truly beautiful show.

Vivie
Vivie
10 months ago

Dame Holly, thank you for an amazingly insightful review. I was in two minds to watch this and your review has just pushed me over to the Yes side.

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
10 months ago
Reply to  Vivie

Thank you, Vivie! Glad my review pushed someone else to pick this up. I hope you enjoy it even half as much as I did. It’s definitely one of my favourite shows.

CaribbeanLady
CaribbeanLady
10 months ago

You have convinced me to check this out!

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
10 months ago
Reply to  CaribbeanLady

Awesome news! I’m glad my review has inspired people to give the show a try. I hope it works for you as it worked for me – in all its acid-trip glory.

egads
10 months ago

There’s so much packed into this little drama, but as you have pointed out the sheer joyous expression of and reveling in the power of being your true weird self is the best part. And that the drama itself is unapologetically weird just makes it even better. I love this, and it SNF is my favorite drama of 2020.

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
10 months ago
Reply to  egads

And you know, egads, as hard as I tried, I’m not sure my words were up to capturing the sheer joy, the glee, of the show and how much it celebrated its weirdness and just letting your freak flag fly (as it were). It’s also my favourite drama of 2020 and I wish I’d manage to capture the feeling of that a little better.

Natalia
Natalia
10 months ago

Hello Dame Holly, after reading this I may give this show a shot after all!

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
10 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

Oh that’s so good to hear! More viewers for the School Nurse Files, yay! I hope you love it in all its surreal, bizarre glory.

kfangurl
Admin
10 months ago

I wasn’t exaggerating when I said you’re a metaphor whisperer extraordinaire, LT! This is SO good!!! 🤩🤩🤩 I wish I had your ability to appreciate metaphors.. even with my best attempt to see this show through a metaphorical lens, I didn’t see the same things you did. Now that you’ve pointed it out, I can’t unsee it; this show really IS about non-conformity! And – D’OH! – Henry totally is a symbol of Eun Young’s thankless burden; how did I miss that? 😅 Clearly, I have much to learn from you, my friend. THANK YOU again, for writing this! I feel like I grew smarter from reading your thoughts! ❤️

Lee Tennant
Lee Tennant
10 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Aww, thanks so much KFG and thanks once again for hosting my ‘alternative lens’.
You’re the best! ❤️