"Monster Hunter" shows are always a delight. Whether it's extraterrestrial beings in The X-Files or literal deities on Supernatural, anything that puts otherworldly beings into our daily life is sure to be thrilling. This was proven true by the Duffer brothers' hit series Stranger Things, which combined the monster invasion plot with teen drama. While the wait for Stranger Things Season 4 drags on, get your fix with this lovable Netflix series that follows the same formula.
The School Nurse Files appears at first to just be your normal K-Drama. It begins in flashback, showing our main character, Ahn Eun-young, as a little girl. She's shown grieving alongside her mom, but it's then revealed her mom is the person she's grieving, and she can see ghosts.
Her powers are vague. She can see ghosts, sometimes, for a while, and she can see creatures from another world she calls "jellies." Now grown up, she works as a school nurse at a high school where jellies have a tendency of showing up. She fights them armed with a magical plastic light-up sword and a plastic bb gun.
It sounds really trite, but nothing about this show is as expected. Instead of a twee "girl hunts scary monsters" story, what instead unfolds is a frankly terrifying tale of lost love, dark basements, and suicide. Don't let the colorful jellies fool you. This series is TV-MA, as evidenced by the lustful jellies who make an appearance in the first episode. These are actually a reference to the series' source material, the novel School Nurse Ahn Eun-young.
While Eun-young is the protagonist, a surprising amount of the series is focused on her students. Each story revolves around one aspect affecting high schoolers presently, like heartbreak, academic pressure, and social issues.
The titular School Nurse doesn't fix all these problems alone. She's joined by Hong In-Pyo, a Chinese teacher and the grandson of the school's founder. Because of his birthright, he has a forcefield around him only Eun-young can see, so together they can venture deep into the school's deep history.
In between all the various student plots, there's a much darker overarching story, one full of conspiracy, magic, and mythology. It's just like Stranger Things' Upside Down plot, just with more gelatinous monsters and fewer murders.
This series makes the perfect weekend binge, with only 6 episodes in its only season. Though be warned, the episodes end halfway through the plot, sucking you into watching the next one. It's a clever method, and makes the entire series feel like one long continuous movie rather than 6 discrete episodes.
The finale is an absolute slam dunk, taking all the threads brought into the story so far and weaving them all together, revealing nothing we've seen so far is what we thought, and bringing the fate of the school itself at risk. The show feels like a fever dream, but one you'll want to revisit again and again.
The School Nurse Files is now streaming on Netflix.