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
    Hisato Jan 25, 2017 - edited

    Great drama, overrated as hell though.

    • Reply
      Hisato Jan 26, 2017

      It's just a matter of preference but k-drama are heavier to watch for me. I prefer lighthearted stories. :)

    • Reply
      Imane Feb 27, 2017

      Seriously overrated? Compared to what?

    • Reply
      Hisato Feb 28, 2017

      Compared to everything, that's the point of ratings right?
      It was fine, certainly not worth 9.3, some parts were too long, a bit boring, too heavy blabla you name it. 9.3 is something near perfection, Signal isn't.

    • Reply
      Imane Feb 28, 2017

      Signal is near perfection, that's why it reached this rating that no other show on MDL ever had and kept it for one complete year. If it was really overrated, it would show in the discussions and the notes. Too long and too heavy (it was never boring) are valid arguments, but they don't diminish for one bit the quality of the ensemble. Everyone is free to have his opinion, i'm writing this for the people who are looking for to watch this drama and read the reviews and comments before making a decision..

    • Reply
      Hisato Feb 28, 2017 - edited

      That's completely subjective though. And there are a few comments saying what I said, in MDL at least, some people even dropped it.
      However, true issue with MDL's ratings is that everything is hella overrated.
      Generally, people use 6 - 10 scale and not 0 - 10 so it's somewhat biased.
      Can't trust the community when I see drama such as liar game or bloody monday rated above 8.
      Even MAL's ratings are better...

  • Reply
    zuojenn Jan 18, 2017

    bing watched it
    one awesome awesome awesome series! I was hooked from the first episode on, not even sleep or hunger could win against Signal.
    Now it left one gigantic hole ...... season 2.... please be released soon

  • Reply
    Sukkie Jan 15, 2017

    wow it took me so long to end this... I think because of all the great reviews I had too high expectation so I was a bit disappointed and it was not that great as I thought it will be. But still it was a good drama and very emotional and stressful sometimes.
    I liked the acting very much and compliment to the make up artist. Park Hae Yeong and Cha Soo Hyeon really looked 20 years younger in the past :o so impressive!

  • Reply
    Brooke Jan 13, 2017 - edited

    Months and months have passed by and my life is still empty without Signal.

    • Reply
      kejbees Jan 15, 2017

      I've heard Voice is a good replacement for Signal definitely a good first episode~!

    • Reply
      Brooke Jan 15, 2017

      Really good to know that. I'm waiting for it to be on DramaFever.

  • Reply
    mrwyoo Jan 12, 2017

    LORD I FINISHED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STRESSSSS, but imma gonna wait in patience for season 2. YOU, ME in the future, send me a transmission. Jin Jo Woong was great as always.

  • Reply
    Simona Jan 10, 2017

    Can't believe this drama introduced me to Lee Je Hoon. Holy crap, the guy's freaking talented. I saw him in 'Just Friends?' after, and then obsessively put everything of his on my to-watch list. I still can't believe how good he is; he doesn't act, he BECOMES the characters. He's super good looking too...

  • Reply
    mrwyoo Jan 9, 2017 - edited

    after watching for a couple minutes first ep and I had a Boku dake ga inai machi dejavu moment

  • Reply
    Inessa974 Jan 9, 2017

    Best crime drama of 2016! Loved it! Looking forward to a season 2. :D

  • Reply
    ivip Jan 7, 2017

    Fantastic series! Start it now! Can't wait for season 2!

  • Reply
    Ruyi Jan 5, 2017 - edited

    is the movie better or the drama better? (i know the ratings are different but.... I want to know people's opinions :))

    • Reply
      ArtoriasAbysswalker Jan 6, 2017

      The movie is absoluteley amazing. One of the best to come out of Korea in the last two decades. It is also bleak and heavy themed, dealing with far less romanticised notions of justice and duty than the series. Having said that, the series is also great, for many different reasons, and spans far out the famous investigation depicted in the movie. They are related merely because at one point the series takes on that particular case (the Gyunggi serial killings). I would honestly recommend you watch both, as they are different yet both very enjoyable. The movie for tone and artistic sensibilites, the series for the compelling development of its plot, and both of them for their great ensemble casts.

    • Reply
      Hessa Jan 8, 2017

      The movie is not related at all with this drama. They both talk about a serial murder case, that is all.

    • Reply
      ArtoriasAbysswalker Jan 8, 2017

      And that is exactly what I was trying to convey.

  • Reply
    Ruyi Jan 5, 2017 - edited

    I dropped this after watching the first episode.... is that normal? I mean, I skipped a lot because it was boring..... I'm 14 ( I'm telling you my age because I think... maybe the age is the reason why I don't like it very much??)

    • Reply
      94cy Jan 5, 2017 - edited

      Haha yes it's normal. I think I've read a few comments where some people didn't like the first episode, but trust me, it gets better and you'll be hooked. I don't think it has to do with your age but maybe your preference of genre? Do you like watching thriller/mystery or do you prefer rom/com? 'Cause even people who don't typically enjoy watching thriller/mystery enjoyed Signal! I'd say it's definitely worth another try. Watch a few more episodes and see if you like it. :-) In my opinion, it's really hard to stop watching since the cases are somewhat interconnected and it completely piques your curiosity.

    • Reply
      Ruyi Jan 5, 2017

      OK! I'll try watching it again since I have lots of time right now and many dramas are ending!! Also, thanks for replying! :)

    • Reply
      94cy Jan 5, 2017

      No problem, let me know how it goes! :) Don't worry if you don't like it though, it might just not be your cup of tea but yes, try a few more episodes first before deciding haha.

  • Reply
    Mary28 Jan 4, 2017 - edited

    I hate when dramas are so hyped up, but maybe this one is for good reasons. I can't wait to start:)

    • Reply
      nastou19 Jan 4, 2017 - edited

      Don't worry, just check the stats, I'd be surprised if you don't give it at least an 8 ;) You won't get bored and it might even end up being among your favorites.

  • Reply
    SuperDrama101ohyea Jan 4, 2017

    This show was okay, not too exciting and very predictable, i saw a movie once like this, it was great and surprising, maybe thats why i don't feel it

  • Reply
    Suicidal_Hermit Jan 1, 2017 - edited

    Was good but disappointing at the same time. The disappointment is from it ending too soon and felt like it wasn't finished. Ending wasn't bad but they leave you with some major blue balls. If there isn't a season 2 it won't get that extra .5 from me! 9.5/10

  • Reply
    saycheese Dec 30, 2016 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      soracantabile Jan 1, 2017

      totally agree!!! maybe I expected too much seeing people's reviews and recommendations, but I don't think it's that good. I mean, it's good, but not as awesome as I thought it will be.

    • Reply
      saycheese Jan 2, 2017

      Same here!! I literally see a lot of comments from people on many articles or in comment section of other dramas on how genius this show is. Then i came here and most comments raised my expectations too high

    • Reply
      soracantabile Jan 2, 2017
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      saycheese Jan 2, 2017 - edited
      Reveal Spoiler »


  • 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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