Debutante Detective Corps
Seinfeld was a show about nothing. So said its cast and creators. On a surface level, they were right. The unerringly selfish Kramer, Elaine, Jerry, and George did nothing of merit over the course of nine seasons. No character growth, no meaningful development, and no soup for you...you understand. But dig deeper, and the show was about something much bigger. It wasn't just about these four nincompoops trying to amuse themselves to death. It summed up all of modern life's frustrations and trials, our self-indulgences, and our dumb attempts to appear bigger than ourselves. Why else would it still be running in syndication if it truly were about nothing?
If they had really wanted a show about nothing, they would have created Debutante Detective Corps.
In Debutante Detective Corps, five young women worth the entire gross national product of Japan go to the same private school. They aren't just rich and beautiful, however; each has a special skill that makes them wonderful beyond all imagination...um, yeah. Anyway, several career killers have somehow escaped from prison, and the police have been tipped off that the girls are in imminent danger. Being hyper-intelligent 16-year-olds, they obviously know better than the police and get out of their protective services. After all, since they are fabulously wealthy and talented, why shouldn't they team up and become the predators instead of the prey?
ADV Films released Debutante Detective Corps in 1997, which was surprising considering it was only released in Japan in 1996. However, it was a textbook match for the upstart company at that time, fitting perfectly into their lineup of "girls and guns" that was the company's main draw for a long time. Although ADV has changed dramatically since its inception, it wasn't a surprising title from them. It features very cute Barbie-like girls in tight outfits and stuff blowing up...which for some is all that's needed. With its wink-wink attitude proving the program doesn't take itself seriously, all can be forgiven...right?
Unfortunately, Debutante is, as the Bard put it, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. To call these characters cookie-cutter is misleading, since even packaged cookies have a decent flavor. These characters are nothing. Seriously, not a one has a lick of personality discernable from the other four. The girls are all interchangeable. I mean, I understand the lure of bouncy teenage girls, but without even the remotest individuality, there's no point. Add to that a brainless plot, a stupid "twist ending", police dumber than dirt, and killers so dense they couldn't have figured out which end of the gun to hold. It's eye candy for four year olds--or, more likely, eye candy for teenagers with the brains of four year olds.
I didn't actually hate the show. It's irredeemable, but a few jokes get through the mess. The girls' entrances are actually funny. If you're like me, though, the promise of the opening minute or two is slammed so hard by the time the show limply ends that it's almost worse that it starts off OK. If you can stomach the ridiculousness of it all, you could have an absurd giggle at the joyful glee Debutante takes in being so brainless. But that's about it. Wait, there's one other thing...it's mercifully brief. Not including the credits, you're lucky if it's 25 minutes long.
Although you might pick up a chortle, Debutante Detective Corps isn't worth your time or your money. It truly is about absolutely nothing at all. Although I was able to pick up a VHS copy from Right Stuf for only 99 cents, I think I might have gotten ripped off.
Debutante Detective Corps -- fan service, violence -- D+