Tunnel (2017)

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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 2,736 users
Reviews: 17 users

In 1986, Park Gwang Ho works as an excellent and enthusiastic detective. His life changes when he’s pursuing leads in a serial homicide case and then passes through a time portal, which transports him to present day Seoul. He meets a new partner Kim Sun Jae, an elite detective who happens to be a bit eccentric, but is one highly skilled investigator. The detective duo will also find help in psychology professor, read moreShin Jae Yi.
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24 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 21, 2017
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 7.5
I'll be honest - I picked up this drama because I'm an OCN fangirl, and I'll do the same for the one after it. I was unfamiliar with the leading actors, and was unsure after the first episode. Alas, I stuck through and I'm glad I did.

If you've watched "Signal" (if you haven't - what are you doing?!), you might think that the premise sounds a bit familiar, though the dramas read more don't have that much in common. In my opinion, "Signal" was a better crafted drama with less plot-holes/the-police-is-too-dumb moments, however "Tunnel" is still a drama that deserves a chance.

One of the things that stood out to me in this one was the main female lead, something that I've disliked with OCN's dramas are their stupid and useless female characters (though, to be honest the rest of kdramaland is no better), however, Shin Jae Yi has been the exception for me. Sharp, smart, and unrelenting, she was a great female character that held my attention alongside the male duo.

This drama's weakness comes towards the end, just like "Voice", it began to fizzle out, with too many police stupidities and too many instances of Park Kwang Ho, the main character, just yelling "bastard" over and over. It was hard for me to get through episode fourteen but I'm glad I did. The ending wasn't as sharp as it could've been, and it wasn't unique like how I would've wanted it (but I do like sad and torturous endings), but it was a heart-warming one.

"Tunnel" is not a perfect drama but it's a good addition to the ever-growing crime genre in Korean dramas. I recommend giving it a try, but be ready to be at the edge of your seat each episode, and be warned that you'll probably spend sixteen hours in front of your screen because it's hard to stop watching one you start.
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18 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 23, 2017
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
While most people claimed they lost interest in the second half of the series, I found the first half very plain and the second half better – which led me to give it an 8/10 overall when it could've been as low as a 6/10 up until episode 7.

Now, don't get me wrong. Each episode from 1 to 7 wasn't bad; they just didn't add up into a good 7-hour experience read more for me. They were good one-by-one. If you have seen American series (police or crime series in particular), you'll know how they start an episode with one case and ends it within that episode, and nothing from that episode will affect the next episode at all. As soon as our main detective Park Kwang Ho arrives in 2016, Tunnel plays that card.

For character introduction purposes, not touching on the main plot for a short while is totally okay. However, the length of 7 episodes of doing that is painfully long – 44% in and there's still no progress whatsoever. That point kept bugging me all the way. Apart from that, the main characters are good at their job, so the one-case-one-episode is averagely fun on its own.

I believe that the story picks up around episode 8. From then on until episode 12, the pace of the drama suddenly changes in a good way. These are the most exciting and suspenseful 4 episodes in my opinion. There is a surprising amount of improvements from character development to story revelations. The last phase of the drama, episode 13-16, cools down a lot, but it still keeps playing with the main story. For me, it was fine. By the end of the series, I was more satisfied than I thought when I went through the first half.


It's still too bad that after all those satisfying second half, I still don't see the point of making this a time-traveling drama. Of course, the "tunnel" and the time-traveling play a part in this story. I just think that they could've made use of this theme much more – or dropped that idea completely.

The main character who time-travels lacks a lot of "oldies" qualities I expected to see from its premise. By this I mean that he could've possessed old-school yet surprisingly useful methods that help with the modern crime-solving process, or rather appear really countrified that he looks funny. Instead, he adapts to the modern world so well. If this wasn't a time-travel drama and this character was a detective from the present time, it'll still work just fine. It feels almost as if the writers are using this "time-traveling" trigger word just to call for attention.

At the same time, Tunnel cannot escape a lot of clichés in making their characters and criminals, and even situations. A lot of things were revealed by words rather than actions. Many mysteries are solved in a blink of an eye after dragging them for so long. It's like when things build up to a certain degree and you're almost excited, the next moment it becomes "Oh... That's it?"

The cast and their acting really save the entire show. They're extremely great in every given situation, although again, you'll have to get to the second half of the show to see so. I rated their acting a 10/10 although some small side characters are so-so because they don't have much impact anyway.

The background music and sound effect cues aren't awkward, so I gave it a 7/10, but they mostly just went through my ears instead lingering around for more impact. This is the genre that doesn't need emotional OSTs to play at heartbreaking moments anyway. I still wished I ended it with one or two songs to keep listening to. I ended up with none.


Final thoughts: I wouldn't suggest my friends to watch this for the time-traveling. I would suggest them to watch simply because it's a good crime drama with good acting. I liked it – don't get me wrong after I point out all those cons. I didn't regret watching this show. Also, I barely rewatch dramas, and a crime drama can be either too predictable or too gruesome to rewatch, so I gave that part a low score.

Overall, it's a 8/10 for me because it does only 75~80% of what it initially promised to do. This score is not to be compared with other dramas, especially the ones that are not from this genre.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (10)Recommendations

Both dramas involve a person "traveling through time" in a way.
I'm not sure if Reunited Worlds has anything to do with time-traveling yet but it could.
Recommended by Halsyeon
they're both about time travel or connection with the past and or the future
Recommended by sasa

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Comments (987)

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  • Reply
    WildAhgase 6 days ago - edited

    Can someone tell me if it has some romance? Or it's only about fiction

  • Reply
    Sudapop 8 days ago
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Iffah 11 days ago

    I miss this so so much :(
    Watch this guys, it's honestly amazing

  • Reply
    Tothebeautifulme 11 days ago

    Ok so the first half of the drama is excellent and well written but I think that the write kindve lost his touch during the second half, especially the last couple of eps where things were so obvious and things that should have been done in the drama weren't. Personally for me what stood out the most was Shin Jae Yi and Kim Seon Jae and YES the have chemistry <3. Aside from this I really loved Shin Jae yi's character, finally a smart, intelligent, unwavering and courageous female lead! Her acting and expressions were on point. Same goes for Kim Seon Jae. Overall 9/10 would recommend.

  • Reply
    MrBanana 13 days ago

    I miss Seon Jae & Gwang Ho... =(

  • Reply
    Tothebeautifulme 18 days ago - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Cool 18 days ago

    this drama was not bad but just too bad that it happen right after the undisputed signal

  • Reply
    sickofme 25 days ago

    gosh I miss this drama so much

  • Reply
    cardoorguy 28 days ago

    I just finished this and i miss it so much, I wanna re-watch it already, but whenever i try to re-watch something i can't get past the first episode because i find it boring that i already know what's gonna happen. :(

  • Reply
    Nancy Jul 18, 2017


  • Reply
    Iffah Jul 12, 2017

    i miss this so much :(

  • Reply
    MrBanana Jul 11, 2017

    I also miss Tunnel... I miss the characters... =(

  • Reply
    Wednes Jul 9, 2017

    Here because I suddenly miss Sun Jae after seeing him in other dramas <3

  • Reply
    green_tokki Jul 9, 2017

    I thought I would lose interest by ep 10 when everything was revealed but this drama held its ground. This is definitely one of the great ones of 2017 from casting , acting, pacing, directing and story.

  • Reply
    M31 Jul 4, 2017 - edited

    Very engaging and enjoyable -- loved every episode! Sharp dialog with humor and heart. The lead was fantastic and so believable as a 50-something guy in a 20-something body! Loved his simple and sweet nature.

    The female lead started out quite intelligent and I was liking her uniqueness, but later, the writer had her do the I'll-do-stupid-things-and-almost-get-killed loop one too many times, that had me rolling my eyes. But the rest of the story redeemed itself so well that this plot contrivance could be ignored.

    The hint of romance was just right for this genre. Highly recommend this drama!

    • Reply
      Althalus Jul 11, 2017

      she did the "I'll-do-stupid-things-and-almost-get-killed" thing once...


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Mar 25, 2017 to May 21, 2017
  • Aired On:

    Saturday, Sunday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    60 min.


  • Score:

    8.8 (scored by 2,736 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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