I have finished 3 episodes of the Taiwanese drama Pi Li MIT
and, rather shockingly, I am addicted and in love.
It is very much not the kind of drama I normally go for - the genre is mystery/horror, the romance (while adorable) is strictly secondary, and the structure reminds me of that of Veronica Mars
- each episode wraps up its own individual mystery but there is an overarching season-long plot. If it feels like any drama, then a jdrama is what it reminds me off - understated colors, understated (especially for a twdrama) emotions, a certain quirkiness one only sees in jdramas, etc. It would be a bit of a weird concept for an American show but I can even see it as one.
The story is set in Sheng Yin, an elite high school/university which makes the kind of elite school which the F4 went to, with its bullying and crazies, seem mightily benign. (Eitoku High School never had serial killers running around, even at its worst). The school is run by the iron-willed, and startlingly inappropriately-named Teacher Angela. Angela is only interested in promoting elites, fairness or justice be damned, and when you mix in a bunch of over-entitled with a bunch of over-achievers and add in the pressure-cooker that is Angela's methods, no wonder some student or other is always seeming to snap. In the three episodes the school has had more kidnappings, attempted murders, and god-knows-what, than a John Grisham novel.
Luckily for the school, it has Pi Li MIT - a team dedicated to solving the crimes (clearly calling the cops is not a done thing). Established by Teacher Cherry, who is eccentric and awesome - sort of like Yankumi if with somewhat weaker fighting skills, the team presently has four members. I am going to refer to them by their code names, it's easier.
The protagonist of the story is 007
(not for James Bond, for Teacher Cherry's last cell-phone digits). The story starts when 007 transfers to Sheng Yin. He is the only son of a famous detective and novelist - he is very smart, rather detached, and with a chip on his shoulder - the only reason he is at this school is because the Police Academy (for yet unspecified reasons) refused to take him. He wants nothing to do with what he views as a band of lunatics but he gets drawn in because crimes keep happening. He suffers from sudden and debilitating dizziness spells but don't worry, it's not a drama terminal illness :PLucifer
is the blacklisted (i.e. troublemaker) female student who is obsessed with detective novels (both reading and writing thereof) and is a fangirl for 007's detective father. She'd rather see a corpse than a romantic movie, is obsessed with fortune cookie fortunes and finding clues, is an incurable optimist, completely undaunted, and has decided she and 007 have a special destiny. She is my girlcrush. 187
is the school's playboy. His girlfriends often serve as information sources - and why not, he's got dozens of them. His father is extremely rich so Teacher Angela would love to have him on her elite list but he persists on associating with 'riffraff' and sticking to being on the blacklist. When he was a child he was kidnapped for ransom and almost killed so he has issues related to that. 747
is the resident do-gooder. He is obsessed with heroics - both fictional (Spiderman fan here!) and real-life. He's good-hearted, goofy, and a little dim. I think he has a crush on Lucifer but it's a little too early to tell.
The band of misfits doesn't always get along very well but they always manage to solve the case. Just as well - the school isn't running out of psychos any time soon.
The stories are clever, the characters interesting, and I love the mood and atmosphere of it all. It's shot beautifully and in a very spooky fashion. 007/Lucifer has promising potential to be a cool OTP. Basically, it's excellent.
I think the best way to sample it/decide if it's for you is to check out the caps from the first 3 eps (not spoilery, IMO) behind the cut. That will give you an excellent idea of the vibe.( Creepiest. School. Ever! )
So. What are you waiting for?