Tunnel (2017)

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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 2,119 users
Reviews: 15 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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20 people found this review helpful
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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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15 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 (7)Recommendations

Both are crime dramas. Both are science-fiction. In Tunnel the main guy is looking for his kid. In Duel the main guy is searching for his missing daughter. However the two have completely different storylines. Tunnel has the time traveling aspect and Duel has the clone aspect.
Recommended by ChaErica
Voice is a fantastic police drama. The same chanel that Tunnel.
If you like adrenaline and police mystery with much suspense, I indicate watch Voice.
You will like it from start to finish.
Recommended by Jeh

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Comments (967)

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  • Reply
    Shay 6 days ago - edited
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      Narco 5 days ago
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      Shay 4 days ago

      yup thanks! I posted this comment before I finished the series haha.

  • Reply
    Jeni 7 days ago - edited

    where can I watch this???I've been searching for tho drama and I can't find it anywhere. plz help me TTvTT

    • Reply
      Jeni 7 days ago

      thank you sooo much:') now I can finally watch this T.T

  • Reply
    sonya 9 days ago - edited

    For those who've soon both, what's more recommendalle, this or Defendant?

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    MarjieJoseJavier 11 days ago - edited
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    Nancy 14 days ago

    After tunnel I recommend new time travel -the best hit on going drama....highly recommended

  • Reply
    hmfacial 14 days ago - edited

    I wish they had a short follow-up episode in the current time. I loved the drama and just enjoyed it for the story without worrying too much about how illogical the time travel aspect was. I was so glad to see Choi Jin Hyuk in a drama. I've missed him and am glad he's back.

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      Shay 5 days ago
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    RejaulHoque 17 days ago - edited

    Even though the crime story was good but the time travel aspect of this drama was really pointless. I didn't understand why he had to time travel in first place it made no sense and than going back and fourth having no repercussions in the future was illogical. At the very least they could have shown a time line at the end showing how things changed from 1986-2017. Other than the time travel it was a good crime drama with a really hateful villain.

    • Reply
      RejaulHoque 15 days ago

      There has to be an explanation why he was able to time travel through that tunnel, its not like you walk through a tunnel and go in future.

    • Reply
      geurae 11 days ago

      It could be left a "mystery" and i could cope with that, but yeah i really wish there was an explanation of why him and why that killer even with a superstitious explanation would be fine. i came down to the conclusion that these two men were lovers in their past lives that were reborn with their fate connected in this life. ROFL u get my frustration

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      Shay 5 days ago - edited
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      Shay 5 days ago - edited

      @geurae LOOOOOOOOOL

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      geurae 5 days ago

      @Shay - my favorite OTP actually LOOOOL

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    Red 18 days ago

    I can't believe I finished it.. one of my favorite Korean dramas TTvTT love it

  • Reply
    Iffah 18 days ago

    YESSS 8.9 WOO

  • Reply
    MrBanana 19 days ago

    Congratulations to Tunnel for reaching 8.9, it truly deserves it!

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    KeytimeLove 20 days ago
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    taezz 21 days ago - edited

    One of the best criminal dramas! I recommended this drama to all my friends XD

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    Narco 22 days ago
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    Jia 23 days ago

    Okay, so I finished it and while I still think the story was kind of obvious this drama played me too well - now it might be hormones or the drama or a weird combination that made me cry but thanks, OCN, for always ruining me emotionally.
    I really loved both Choi Jin Hyuk and Yoon Hyun Min in this drama but pretty much the whole cast was amazing imo.
    What did I learn in this drama? I should trust my instinct. When I feel like a character is creepy they usually turn out to be creepy for real.

    After all a solid drama in my opinion. I see people comparing it to Signal a lot but as I did not watch Signal yet I judged this drama solely by itself which makes it a solid 9 or 9.5 for me.

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    Sali_bali 23 days ago

    even it is my favorite OCN I'm not impressed.... Choi Jin Hyuk , damn he is so good looking and handsome but not for OCN crime dramas sorry....and after the "Signal" this drama with almost same theme was too weak for me.


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

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

    Saturday, Sunday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    60 min.


  • Score:

    8.9 (scored by 2,119 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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