Signal (2016)

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Ratings: 9.3/10 from 5,835 users
Reviews: 70 users

After finding an old walkie-talkie, Detective Park Hae Yeong manages to connect with Detective Lee Jae Han in the past. Together, with the help of Team Leader Cha So Hyun, they manage to solve South Korea's most famous cold cases and reveal police corruption.

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131 people found this review helpful
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Mar 12, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Just finished this AWESOME drama!! The feelings are still here. I can;t even count how much tears was produced due to this drama. This is definitely a must watch drama. Although some parts of the case may be pretty graphic (according to me) it was still good. This drama definitely wouldn't be how it is without those scenes.

Story: This is by the best story line I have ever seen. All the read more actors are perfect. I felt their pain, their happiness, their frustrations, everything. This drama made me smile, laugh, and cry. Nothing can explain the feelings I had while waiting every week for new episodes.
The writer did such a good job at keeping the suspense always there. The fact that the story has many questions left to answer and is kept for the audience to decipher on what they want to happen is so breathtakingly beautiful. Its just so amazing that the writer and director was able to mesh all that and bring this wonderful work. This drama is definitely by far one of the best detective dramas, or drama overall.

Actors: I love the actors. Every one of them meshed into their character so well, I couldn't even tell they were acting. The child actors just hit my heart so so bad, especially the famous omelet scene. Gotta give it to the boy, I cried so much watching that scene. After this drama, I am definitely having an ahjussi-crush on Jo Jin Woong. The mains of this drama was just the best ones the directors could have gotten. I can't even imagine any one else playing their characters. Kim Hye-soo was also superb. Her acting during the shock scene was words possible. Last but not least, Le Je Hoon was not just eye candy. The emotions he showed touched my heart soo much. I fell for him even more after this drama. Overall, the actors and actresses were TERRIFIC. I wished this drama never ends.

Music: Love the OST. Been jamming with it every day. It's definitely going to be on repeat to relinquish my withdrawals from this drama.

So many questions are left after I finished this drama... Despite that fact, this is still a must watch drama!
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102 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 13, 2016
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 9.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.5
Signal was an amazing drama from start to finish. At first, I thought that this was simply going to be another crime-solving drama where the main character goes around solving mysteries. Boy was I wrong! This drama is so much more than that. Signal was a crime thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout most of the show. I kept checking back to see when the next episode read more was available because I wanted to see what was going to happen next! The time-traveling walkie-talkie definitely added some extra spice to the show. Does the walkie-talkie actually time travel? No it doesn't. Are you curious as to what I'm talking about? Well let's just say you'll just have to watch the show to find out! Trust me it's definitely worth it. Or else the drama wouldn't have a score of 9.2 at the time of me writing this review. Continue reading if you're unsure still unsure about whether you want to watch this show or not.

Story: [9.5/10] One thing that this drama does well is it takes very common story elements and turn it into something special. Have you ever seen a crime-solving drama? I have seen many myself. None has impressed me as much as this one. This show stands out from other crime-solving shows because it involves two people from different times attempting to work together to solve the same crime. There where a lot of flashbacks and events from the past that were used to help the characters in the present solve the different crimes. I must admit that initially I thought that this was not something that would have worked well with this type of show. However, in the end, the director and writers manage to mesh all of these elements together to create a great show such as Signal.

Although there were several things that kept me from giving the show a 10. One of the reasons that I didn't give the show a 10 has to do with the walkie-talkie. I wanted to know more about the walkie-talkie. I was a little disappointed by the end because I had some questions about the walkie-talkie that were never answered. I don't want to bring up the actual question because it may spoil a little of the show for you if you haven't already seen it. Just know that the walkie-talkie plays a very big part in the show and that I'm annoyed because they didn't answer my question haha.

Perhaps another weakness of the show is that it can be confusing at times. As I mentioned, there are a lot of flashbacks, and moments where we see events from the past. It often got confusing because the show would sometimes jump back and forth between past and present. On the flip side of all this, the show also had its' own strengths when jumping back and forth between the past and present. The writers of Signal did a very good job in setting up the different time jumps. As I would often find myself only confused for about 5-10 seconds before saying oh this is what is going on and I see why there was this flashback/time jump etc. In a way, I was never really confused at all because my confusion went away since the show itself answered most if not all of the questions I may have had about what was going on. This is a good thing because most shows don't do this. Other shows will often just leave you to wonder what the heck is going on the whole time.

Overall this show also kept a very good pace. It never felt like it went to fast or that it was dragging on.for too long. I applaud the director and writers for coming up with such a great story. They did a very great job in turning simple plot elements into a very sophisticated story. They didn't exactly invent a new genre or anything (or did they?). One thing is for sure though. They sure know how to tell a darn good story!

Acting: [10/10] All of the actors and actresses did a very commendable job during this whole drama. There were times where I was completely drawn in by the acting. In fact I cried at least two times during this whole drama. Let me just tell you now. I don't cry very often when watching shows. I rarely ever cry while watching sad dramas, let alone a crime thriller! This can mean one of several things. The first possible meaning is that the actors did a very good job acting. The second is that the story was very well told and that we were meant to cry at that part. I'm inclined to believe that it was a mixture of both. There where also several child actors and actresses in this show as well. Although they were all mostly pretty young, their acting only helped to improve this drama.

Music: [9/10] The music was very well made. If there was a suspenseful moment, suspenseful music that fit the scene came with at the right moment. All in all, the music helped enhance certain moments of the show depending on where it was needed. The OST to this show was nothing to scoff at either. Was it a ground-breaking OST that I will listen to for years to come? No, not really. However, it's definitely something that I will put into my playlist in the future.

Overall I definitely suggest you watch the show if you already haven't. You won't regret it! Objectively I can't give this show all 10s because it definitely wasn't completely perfect. However, subjectively it was one of the most well written Korean drama that I've ever seen.

Thank you for reading my first ever review on MDL! I hope you enjoyed it!
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Make a Recommendation More recs (25)Recommendations

Both dramas are the same type, there is suspense in every episode. The partners is a male and a female officer.

Main cases is serial killer and watching each episode truly keeps you on edge.
Recommended by Mikoto
Both dramas have a similar with how they portray those "time skips". Both deal with a detective who has a connection to the future. In Signal via a transponder, with Tunnel via a Tunnel. Both are crime/investigation kdramas.
Both male leads have had once a love interest who was played by the same actress.
Recommended by zuojenn

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Comments (1498)

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    Kshitij 5 days ago

    "Detectives from the present and a detective from the past communicate via walkie-talkie to solve long-time unsolved cases whose statute of limitations have already expired." Okay, yes, it is a little bit stupid but give its pilot a shot. I'm pretty sure you'll love it. There are few things which remains unexplained, like how does that walkie-talkie works and stuff. It is a bit stupid to see how little the present is affected when the past is changed but that's all. It is an excellent detective series coming from the standards of K-Drama. The story will really pique your interest, even some of the cases have been inspired by infamous serial killings in the history of South Korea. The actors have actually lived their characters, the contrast shown in the past and present is wonderful, and the screenplay is one of the best I've seen. Complete series with 16 episodes, do give it a try.

  • Reply
    Naty 12 days ago


  • Reply
    Moza 15 days ago

    Signal season 2 please....

  • Reply
    Nikideema 15 days ago


  • Reply

    You know what I love about this drama? Two things. A. The cops do their job and do it WELL and the profiler does his job and does it WELL. What a concept. Usually the cops are ultra dumb and the profiler ultra smart this was a nice balance. Both were clearly needed. Also main guy had a problem with cops and instead of terrorizing a town like how SOME people like to do he decides to get into the police force and tries to be better than what was given to him. Wow what a concept. Anyway really great show and totally recommend!

    • Reply
      Hessa 20 days ago

      Including a real group is really unnecessary, this would cause fights, so please remove the group's name. Your point was really good until I saw the group's name.

    • Reply
      KatySarang_TGeyes 20 days ago

      Personally I think it's pretty clear who I'm referencing whether I name it or not. But because MDL isn't about politics I'll delete it.

  • Reply
    ineedtreatment 24 days ago
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    sanna 25 days ago - edited

    I liked it okay... but I certainly didn't think it was anything special. Entertaining enough to watch, sure, but not that amazing overall.

    • Reply
      mei-255 16 days ago

      I agreee

    • Reply
      Ruyi 8 days ago

      AGREE!! I didn't understand how/why it became one of the top shows! I'm not arguing...I'm just confused? Well, everyone has different opinions. :)))

  • Reply
    Jinsoo 26 days ago

    I finally got around to watching this because of Tunnel and Lee Je Hoon. 3eps so far and I like it.

  • Reply
    TheraTD Mar 25, 2017 - edited

    A 'Sad romance' tag should be included!!

    Lee Jae Han character, sigh, left an unforgettable impression.

  • Reply
    maychowsky Mar 22, 2017

    hmm i dont get why people find this overrated. For me, this is the best crime drama i ever see.

  • Reply
    Kim Mar 18, 2017 - edited

    Don't get the hype

  • Reply
    Myauntmary Mar 16, 2017 - edited

    I don't get why this is ranked number1. The plot is too far fetched.

  • Reply
    Annalisse Mar 13, 2017 - edited

    Maybe I wasn't in the right head space when I watched this, it just didn't move me. I'll admit that there were times I suddenly perked up in interest but it never really grabbed me & I don't know why. I did appreciate it, if that makes any sense. It's a solid crime drama I'd recommend to anyone interested, just not for me.

  • Reply
    nighrtwing Mar 12, 2017

    This drama is so good that it make other korean series feel stupidly average and badly produced. I'll be waiting for the second season as it seems there is no any reasonable replacement to this. Excellent.

  • Reply
    Twyx Mar 10, 2017

    What a wonderful drama. You all should watch it. Great plot and great actors, absolutely. Great great great!!!


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Jan 22, 2016 to Mar 12, 2016
  • Aired On:

    Friday, Saturday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    1 hr. 15 min.


  • Score:

    9.3 (scored by 5,835 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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