Signal (2016)

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Ratings: 9.3/10 from 6,846 users
Reviews: 76 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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145 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
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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109 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 (33)Recommendations

they're both about time travel or connection with the past and or the future
Recommended by sasa
Both drama are somewhat similar and have a great plot ....if u like signal highly recommend to watch "stranger/secret forest"
Recommended by NNP

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Comments (1571)

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  • Reply
    Tae Feb 12, 2017

    I loved it! It made me an even bigger fan of lee je hoon. <3

  • Reply
    Aya Feb 10, 2017

    I usually don't rewatch dramas but this one is an exception

  • Reply
    sickofme Feb 10, 2017

    the best drama ever watched by me, gonna rewatch this soon

  • Reply
    undinea Feb 9, 2017
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Awesome Feb 8, 2017

    Doesn't get better than this...

  • Reply
    Fatima Feb 7, 2017 - edited

    It isa real loss that the OSTs of this drama aren't subbed!

    • Reply
      Hessa Feb 8, 2017

      They are subbed on Viki!

  • Reply
    LeiJiChoi Feb 6, 2017 - edited

    A week long crime/thriller drama streak can't cope with my year long yearning for a drama as good as this. Not even God's Quiz can fill up that void. Must I consider that new Criminal Minds series? gaaah....stress.

    • Reply
      nastou19 Feb 6, 2017 - edited

      I don't know about Criminal Minds but I'll suggest the cdrama When A Snail Falls in Love. At one point, I thought I might end up liking it better than Signal, my all-time favourite. But the ending could have been better, romantically speaking. Still, as fas as the investigation is concerned, it was very interesting. (I made a review about this drama if you wish to read it.)

    • Reply
      LeiJiChoi Feb 11, 2017

      Not sure if I'll dig a crime drama with romance. I love Signal because it has none of it. Criminal Minds was the same. Despite the occasional change with cast, it was worth watching until the last season. However, Bones was an exception. There was romance but it was only a supporting side story. Anyway, thanks for the reco though, if I ever have a change of mood. I might consider it. 고맙습니다.

    • Reply
      JuiceJuicidy Feb 21, 2017

      I second the "When A Snail Falls In Love" rec. There was barely any romance in it, despite its name. You can tell that the leads care for each other, but there is only one slightly romantic scene in it and that is at the very very end of the last episode.

    • Reply
      emma Mar 22, 2017

      You might enjoy the Japanese remake of Cold Case!

    • Reply
      tvxqjung May 14, 2017

      I call second on Japanese remake of Cold Case! The atmosphere given by that show is similar to Signal

  • Reply

    I will watch it if it has Romance Tag ! -_-

    • Reply
      LonelyOfficeLady Feb 7, 2017

      It has some of romance in it. Its just not the focus of the story. I even thought it would become a love triangle hahaha

  • Reply
    Kat Feb 5, 2017

    One of the best shows I've ever seen.

  • Reply
    DejikoUnicorn Feb 3, 2017

    I miss it so muuuuch

  • Reply
    mamamIYA Feb 1, 2017 - edited


    At episode 11, when 2015 comes, Park Hae Young and Cha Soo Hyun found the killer but afterwards Lee Jae Han also found the culprit back in 1997? Why is it that before the transmission events happened that Lee Jae Han cant find the killer yet when they catch it back in 2015, he did and Park Hae Young didnt even give him any clue since he doesnt want to change the past anymore.

    Can you clear this up to me?

    • Reply
      KangHae Feb 4, 2017
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      mamamIYA Feb 6, 2017
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      KangHae Feb 7, 2017

      Yes it makes sense! ^^

  • Reply
    PabboStell Jan 31, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      Halsyeon Feb 8, 2017

      I read a post where the writer was thinking of making a season two so maybe stuff will be cleared up then.

  • Reply
    EmaChan Jan 31, 2017 - edited

    Those who rated this drama 1/10 are just trying to ruin the overal rate of the show ?
    Do they really think that signal desreve 1/10?
    Strange ..

    • Reply
      emylan Feb 2, 2017

      Weirdos are everywhere XD!

    • Reply
      LonelyOfficeLady Feb 7, 2017 - edited

      Poeple want to dethrone it from Number 1 I assume. Signal is just an overall great series, it deserves the top spot. Sometimes fans could get overly dedicated :3 haha

  • Reply
    Kizzofdeath Jan 31, 2017
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Herison Jan 28, 2017 - edited

    9.3 ~wow
    this is really good?

    • Reply
      emylan Jan 29, 2017

      Yeah, reaally really good, I just started it yerserday and i'm already addicted to it.. I didn't finish it yet but the episodes i've watched so far were really worth my time.

    • Reply
      Iamadramalover Jan 30, 2017

      I am on episode 12 and I can say that it is that good, definitely a drama that should be recommended

    • Reply
      sickofme Jan 30, 2017

      watched it within 3 days, the best drama I've ever seen


  • 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 6,846 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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