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Signal

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  • Score: 9.2 (scored by 7,645 users)
  • Ranked: #3
  • Popularity: #74
  • Members: 17,072
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inclespirit
150 people found this review helpful
Mar 13, 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 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 just...no 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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CrusadingAngel
113 people found this review helpful
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 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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xXabsintheXx
16 people found this review helpful
Mar 21, 2016
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I was pondering whether to write a review to this wonderful drama or not. But in the end I don't think I could find closure if I don't write something about it.

There is this thing with a 10 point rating. Some give it very easily, some almost never give 10 points. As for me, it's like this: If a drama is successfully absorbing me into its universe and everything just seems to be perfect to me, then it reached a point where it's worth receiving my whole dedication. It doesn't matter if others say, there are flaws in it, whether it's true or not. I just don't see them anymore as I am part of that new world where there are no 'story-faults' and such things.

Signal was successful in every matter.

Story.
First episode and it just pushes you right in the middle of the event. You get immediately drawn to the characters, the suspense and the story. You don't have time to take a deep breath, instead you completely hold it. And when you think it's over and you can take some minutes to rest, the next incident is already starting and you just get sucked in again. If you're lucky, you get some minutes to reminisce about and take in what just happened. But as the story continues, the suspense intensifies and breaks loose in a shocking finale.

Characters.
They like to play with your emotions. Ups and downs, but most of all excitement and anxiousness. Plenty of. The acting was on point, it captivates you. There is this female cop you're dealing with. And there's the present version and a past version of her. They are completely different as the older version has matured and became stronger. You just see the growth. And there's this guy. You see him and you want to help him. You see his conviction and his struggle. You just want to be by his side, so he won't be the lonely hunter in a forest full of wolves. And then there's this boy. He's so full of himself and full of hate for others and the world. But he gets a chance and a view from another angle. And he takes it. And don't forget this villian. You don't know about him right away but you soon grow to hate him like no other. Extremely. Wholeheartedly.

Music.
Every minute, every scene, every moment. It just fits. It just gives you this special feeling about the story and its meaning. And then there's this nostalgic feeling to it. You can't even discribe it. It just takes you back in time and like you're reminiscing about your own past, it carries this wistful desire to actually go back, live again and maybe change something.

Background.
To get to know that many cases are real-time cases makes the drama even heavier and impacting. Sometimes you think writers create scary non-realistic monsters. But truth be told, our world, our reality creates the most fearsome monsters you just wouldn't believe them to exist among us.

Message.
Whether there is one or not. Everyone has to decide that for themselves. But the drama depicts some really interesting and worth thinking about questions. Most of all: What would you do if you could change the past?

Deserved 10 points.

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fourheadjen
16 people found this review helpful
Mar 13, 2016
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Just finished the last episode of this drama and I immediately had to make a blog post. This drama is ineffable. It is the pinnacle of everything I expect from a drama, and it blew my expectations to tell you the truth. The genres coalesce in this drama, and I went through a literal catharsis watching episode 15 in particular. Now, I'm going to dissect this drama...

Crime: The 3-4 cases this series is based on are REAL COLD CASES. These kidnappers, murderers, and rapists are on the loose to this day. It sickens me but I really like how they did those cases justice. There is so much commentary on current society about police and corruption. Our society, despite its progress, is still muddled with corruption and Lee Jae Han was definitely a shining beacon in this drama, demonstrating how our justice system should really be. Anyway, the writing for these cases was spot on.

Mystery: I find the cases well paced; they were timed with enough suspense but weren't stretched out. I initially thought this series would only focus on one case but I really appreciated that it was a mix of cases that in reality were all connected. This series was really unpredictable in how the cases would be solved & who would survive or die (as the past can change and those who died could still live and vice versa). I was on my toes dying to know what would happen til the very last minute of this drama.

Time-Travel: THIS WAS EXECUTED SO WELL. I love the complexity of the time-travel and how a subtle change in the past can amplify in the future; it was realistic for an unrealistic concept. The writers handled the shifts in the past and present so well & I couldn't even follow at points (which I think is a very good quality, if a drama can outsmart me haha). Definitely made this drama stand out! One thing I'd say is that if I was Hae Young on the walkie-talkie, I'd cram so much info in that minute they talked haha. The time-travel (if you can really call it that) was also perfect because you got a balance of present day and 80's dramas (which people desire like in Reply 1984. Reply 1988, etc.). You get very two very different vibes in the same drama which really caters to different interests.

Romance: This is so subtle. Don't go into this drama expecting a romance because you really won't get anything. It's just a little heartwarming seeing scenes where the main female lead pines over Jae Han. You get to see the care they have for each other. This definitely made the drama a little lighter from its heavy subject matter but I still respect how the romance was put on the side. This drama really needed to focus on the cases and the justice needed to be served which it did!

Characters/Acting: I honestly have nothing but praise for the actors. Cha Soo Hyun in particular. This character was stunning; the complexity of the character arc and the contrast of her past self and present self were acted perfectly by Kim Hye Soo. Her acting as a victim was great as well. The main lead, Park Hae Young, I also really enjoyed. He's relatable and real, and he can act! I really appreciate how this drama wasn't about having a flower boy lead; I could really focus on the character! And Lee Jae Han stole my heart really. He's such a strong spirit with bright morals; he definitely shone in the drama and had really great, passionate monologues. Awesome acting from the main leads! And Kim Bum Joo... what a despicable character. Well done, I guess. And there's another character, Ahn Chi Soo, who has a really complex character arc throughout the series... I just appreciate the depth each character has... amazing job writers!

Plot/Writing: As I've alluded to before, this series is well paced. I find everything unpredictable and nothing dragged. Nothing was too confusing and the series had an appropriate amount of flashbacks. This drama didn't have any typical kdrama plot devices and the writers definitely aren't scared to wring your heartstrings a little... I cried 6 times in an episode! Everything in the story is so intricately woven, I can't help but wonder if they planned all of this since episode 1. No episode was subpar compared to the rest; each episode got better and better which is truly rare. I just can't get enough.

OST: Very subtle OST that fits the theme of this drama. It's very heartwarming and like one of a "family" drama I guess. It sounds like home to me.

Overall, I am so in love with this drama. The ending definitely was open-ended so I am desperate for a season 2. My only fear is that it might not live up to season 1. Give this drama a go, I promise it won't disappoint!

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bernaxt
17 people found this review helpful
Mar 13, 2016
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
Simply brilliant.

Never have I ever watched a Korean drama that left me speechless and at loss for words the way Signal did. The drama never conformed on the cliches and the archetypes ever since the beginning. At first, I was wary. Yes, I was. Because those drama cliches we've grown to love and hate always brings a feeling of familiarity, often times, just mixed with different elements and spices; but still familiar. I've grown to accept that it's always going to be like that in the world of dramas. So, Signal put me off-guard, got me out of my comfort zone, and let me explore a wonderful drama that I don't know if I will ever experience again. If there's ever one thing that I did right, it would be that night I stumbled upon Signal's 1st episode. I don't need to execute superlative adjectives that would describe Signal because the opinions of absolutely everyone is going to be the same. Whatever good thing you hear about it, I will always agree to it.

Whenever I finished watching an amazing drama, I would feel empty and yearning for more. However, for Signal, it left me feeling proud; holding my head high, just how Lee Jae-han would want.

To put it simply, Signal set the bar higher than it could ever be. A game changer, that's what Signal is.

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YankieDoodle
4 people found this review helpful
May 10, 2017
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 10
One of the best K-drama's you will ever come across in the non-romantic genre!
And the sad part is that it is totally underrated!
Romantic, flowery K-dramas are what we mostly look for and would like to watch. But this is a MUST watch even if you think crime solving K-dramas are not something you will enjoy. The story is out of the world! there are soooo many twist and turns in the drama yet you will never find yourself confused or bored. Kudos to the writer for such a brilliant script that is totally one of a kind. Acting on point! Editing perfect!
And the high point of this drama was the ending...it is an open ending...but for the first time i loved that they kept the ending open cause once you watch the drama you will understand that it was a very smart thing to do by the writers....that way they kept the feel of the drama and also the viewers can eagerly wait for a sequel...and MAN there should be a sequel!!!
Special mention to the OST~~~~Its worth playing in loop!

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MariKim
4 people found this review helpful
Feb 14, 2017
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
Summary: This is a must watch, every episode was like it was straight from a cinema. This show is hyped and rightfully so, I have yet to see another crime/investigation drama like this one. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and surprisingly the writers, producers, and actors kept that suspense throughout the whole show.

+/- Plot:
The plot went from thick and thin, and I mean that in a good way. They didn't leave you too confused from the get go, but they would subtly unfold different factors so that you could come up with your own theories not only on the investigations but the actual backstory too. I loved how each of the crimes were told in a different way, some cases from the start you knew who the culprit was, but others left you guessing. But it wasn't the investigations that left me satisfied with this drama's storyline and production, but the actual backstory that linked all the characters together. As we slowly started uncovering the corruption I couldn't even handle! I was actually bawling my eyes out from anger at one point and I couldn't even stop it.
I loved how they producers perfectly weaved the present with the past, at no point was ever confused.

+/- Acting/Cast:
All of the actors really did an amazing job at telling their characters' stories. I was deeply moved by all of them. I have to say though that Jo Jin Woong really stole the show. What made me love his character all the more was how dedicated he was as a detective, friend, etc. He was so upright and true to morals, no matter who was persuading him to do the wrong thing, and that's what I admired so much about him. He really was extraordinarily charming.
Lee Je Hoon portrayed his character fairly well too, I really felt the anguish with him during the times we found out the wrongs committed against him and his family. I will say that in the first episode or two I was a little annoyed with him, not sure if it was his uppity character or a little exaggeration on his part, but it took me a couple episodes to warm up to him. But once the fondness developed, I began to really enjoy his acting and portrayal of his character.
Kim Hye Soo's character was a little off putting to me for some reason. I think it was how much they contrasted her throughout the show, I was just a little unsure of her throughout the whole thing. In the present she's a complete badass, but then that's contrasted with her character of the past with the 'flashbacks'. And we see her in a completely different light, timid, innocent, and kind of dumb. I mean, I really liked her present portrayal which is probably why I was a little disappointed in how much her character differed. I guess it's just that I wanted her to be the strong woman character that's so rarely seen in dramas, but in the end I guess everyone has a weakness.

+/- Music:
I loved how they chose to remake some old 80's songs for their soundtrack, I thought it was a really nice addition and touch to the whole show. It exposed me to a lot of songs that I would have never otherwise known about. They also put in the suspense tracks at the right points, got my blood pressure up and left my palms sweating even!

Rewatch Value: I would definitely rewatch this drama, the storyline hands down is amazing and the cast worked really well together. I think it would still have the same suspense factor that it had the first time I watched it.

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Charming92
13 people found this review helpful
Mar 13, 2016
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.5
The fact that I consider myself a crime series hater, and not only I watched this but I gave it a 10, certainly says tons about how good this is before I write anything else. Signal is a flawless piece of work, it is magical, it is exquisite, wonderful, brilliant, and majestic, it is arguably a masterpiece. It is foolproof written, flawlessly executed, heavenly acted, and not I am not even exaggerating…

STORY
The show revolves around a cold case police team. One of the members finds an old school walkie talkie and somehow, through it, he contacts the detective that was originally involved with them, but failed to solve. However (plot twist), this detective lives in the past, in a different timeline thus the show’s main premise is the what-is-know-as-the Butterfly Effect (= when you change the past, the future changes as a result). I know it sounds messy, and fake, and possibly stupid for people not fan of this genre, but trust me when I say, it is flawlessly executed! Together the two of them start solving several cold cases.

Every 2-3 episodes we get a new case to solve, but, this isn’t your average police procedural show. All the cases were somehow connected to the 3 main characters, and all of them were somehow linked to each other. All the cases are amazing and shocking, and they will keep you at the edge of your seat! There really wasn't a dull moment throughout all the (quite huge) episodes, while the suspence levels were always kept to high rate, making you grind your teeth about what's next and also giving you an ominus feelings about whats to happen.

The main message this show wanted to express, apparently, is the corruption of the task police force, and generally the corruption of people in high places. The drama constantly talks about corrupted cops, and what people would do to climb that society ladder as fast as possible. It generally felt like a huge *Screw You* to every person using unethical means to achieve a goal,and passes the message that they need to be punished. At the same time, it gives wonderful and meaningful life advice, about the significance of being a decent and lawful person and also the notion that you will achieve whatever goal you have set if you try hard enough!

Romance is present here, but it is kept in a minor level, don't come in this expecting to watch romance. Still I thoroughly enjoyed the vague chemistry between the characters.

ACTING
The acting was unbealievably good, possibly the most well-deserved 10/10 i have never given to a kdrama.

Lee Je Hoon. An amazing an emotional performance by this wonderful actor. His acting was tip-top by the first moment of the first episode and stays up there throughout the show! He expressed a diverse range of feelings perfectly, he was strong, he was emotional, he was interesting, he was smart, he was everything you need your main lead to be without being unrealistic or fake.

Jo Jin Woong. Words aren't enough, luscious and exquisite performance. A very strong character, kinda rough on the edges, but with a wonderful, lawful soul, a true, true hero, you will love! The actor did total justice to the character expressing every single emotion of frustration, anger, hope and everything that came along with them!

Kim Hye Soo. As someone who loves female actresses, i love shows that have a lot of them. KHS, in a show about the police which obviously was filled with males, managed to have the strongest character i have ever seen, i never felt the need to watch another actress perform. She was more than exquisite, she enhanced the drama with her acting, she was sensuous, she was sweet when she needed to, she was tough when she had to, she was emotional, and great doing everything! She exceeded my expectations. I loved the way she portrayed her younger and older self, very realistic!

At this point, i do feel the need to applaud every supporting and guest actor that appeared on this, because everyone was amazing and kept up the excitement of the show, and lived up to the main cast's brilliant acting. Congratulations!

RECOMMEND/REWATCH
Signal is one of those shows that HAS to be watched by everyone. It is a show that has no real flaws, it is a show that can be enjoyed by everyone no matter their preferences. In my list of the must watch kdramas this is #1. Even if you don't like this genre, or the fantasy concept sets you off, don't turn a blind eye to this drama, no, this is a VERY well spent 16 hours. Signal is one of the most memorable tv shows i have ever watched! Definately recommended to everyone!
Even if i am not a fan of rewatching tv series, signal definately earns the rewatch ticket for me. It is my personal belief that a 2nd rewatch would help understanding and digesting what it depicted even better. Definately worth watching!

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FranF
9 people found this review helpful
Mar 31, 2016
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.5
What to say about Signal besides the fact that the drama is perfect?

2016 and TvN started with the right foot, Signal is amazing, well written, acted, the developments even though some of them would break my heart sometimes, made complete sense. The mystery would leave me at the edge of my seat every time, but the feeling of wanting more was always there when they completed a case. I stopped watching on episode 6 and started again when the drama was complete, I cried my eyes out, but those were the best 10 hours of my life.
The 3 leads made my heart break so many times with how good they were, their desire for justice and the truth made me respect the characters so much more, those are the kind of people I would want working in law enforcement. If Jo Jin Woong's acting is always like this, he has a new fan, Lee Jae Han is unforgettable.

A special remark on Kang Cha Ni (Park Sun Woo), I already loved the actor for his work in "Can you hear my heart?", but here he proved just how good he is, since the first time he appeared I cheered for him, but OMG, I cried so much for him, for his family, angry tears for those cops, those students, I never thought I would say this, but my heart actually hurt for everything that happened, he's one of those young actors that I have to keep an eye on.

I just didn't put 10 on the rewatch value, because I hardly go back to watch a 16 episodes drama, maybe one hour and a half movie, but not a drama, but that's me. Overall, Signal is perfect and a must watch kind of drama.

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DragonAlien
15 people found this review helpful
Mar 14, 2016
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0
This is probably the best well done crime mystery Korean drama ever. From the beginning till the end. And probably one of the fewest dramas that actually gets better and better by each episode and not the other way around which is the case with more than 93% of dramas. Personally I loved it from the first episode and was invested by each week more and more until I didn't have what to invest no more cause drama just captured and took my whole heart and soul somewhere in the middle.
What is the most important thing about this drama and from my point of view are its characters and their development. Considering it was announced to be more like thriller, murders, real crimes and more in style of OCN, I honestly didn't expect that human and touching side. But that's the real thing and the biggest advantage of Signal. It managed to affect us, to emotionally put us on hardest tests, to break our hearts over and over again and leave us with so many life lessons and deepness that it'll take a while till we get back to normal. ;)
I loved the main story and plot yet it was nothing authentic or unique; I loved the settings, colours and atmosphere of this drama yet I've seen much darker and similar dramas from that aspect; I loved how they solved the cases and by each episode something new and unknown appears and yet I've seen something similar too. But all that which was good and well done with characters like these, that I still haven't seen and that comes from someone who watched over 700 dramas. :P

Three main characters were..I'm thinking which word to use to describe those characters and actors who portrayed them. I'd say PERFECT. LITERALLY. That word came to my mind cause nothing less simply can not tell how outstanding they were. First of all characters- I loved all three of them in a different way but equally. Little by little they crawled under my skin, engraved in my heart and soul and occupied my mind for a lifetime. Cha Soo Hyun with her past self- so heartwarming, clumsy, brave, naive and so cute and present self- so tortured, devastated, cold and never giving up in search for detective Lee; Park Hae Yeong who was till the end the same guy who wanted the truth, justice, solving murders and finding culprits and giving the bad guys what they deserve, I find him so pitiful cause he felt guilty for everything that happened and you could see how that guilt was tearing him apart, he tore me apart too, I felt every single one of his emotions, his anger, his grief, his disappointment, his determination to save those closed to him; and Detective Lee Jae Han- I think this teddy bear has captured so many women's heart all over the world. I mean it would be weird if he hasn't won cause man is the best and most admirable detective ever written in history of dramaland, the one who went till the end for the price of losing his own life, the one who never wanted to give up, the one who fought against the most powerful ones in the country, the one who believed in justice and truth, the one who never lost hope, even when he maybe looked that way, he still was moving forward. I could never describe him close enough cause his actions, his mind and heart have to be seen and experienced, Jae Han is simply a man with only virtues and with one big huge good heart. I loved his dorky side, his clumsiness in romantic development, his relationship and interactions with Soo Hyun, his ultimate bromance and powerful bond with Hae Yeong, I simply fell too much in love with those three people.

And the actors, how they portrayed their roles it was terrific and incredible. I truly didn't think that they'll bring so many tears to appear in my eyes, so many heart- wrenching emotions, so many strong feelings of sadness, laughing, grief, devastation, desire to just see them alive and fine in the end. Kim Hye Soo, a wonderful and beautiful actress who made her character to come to life, who gave fully enjoyable performance and who in last couple of episode killed me with her raw, honest deepest feelings; Lee Je Hoon, the one whom I loved from way before and here he only confirmed why I love him that much, his natural way of acting, his unique voice, his beautiful profile and nose (I had to mention that too :P), beside him Hae Yeong was a real person whom I could easily meet on the street, he did an amazing and fantastic job in portraying his character, he ripped my soul few times in drama for sure; And veteran brilliant actor Jo Jin Woong who previously won me as Moo Hyul in TWDR, well I can say with certainty that his performance definitely made me like this, that I won't be able to watch some new drama with same excitement as before, I cried, I yelled, I laughed, I wanted to kill those bastards who tried to hurt him and I died, all of these states and conditions I've passed and experienced only because of him and his portrayal of Detective Lee, magnificent and poignant portrayal indeed. ?

Music was the second best thing here alongside the actors. Actually music was one of those best things cause everything was actually so great about this drama. I'm a real music fan and music is very very important to me and truthfully Signal has the best OST ever. (beside ost's from some historical dramas), Kim Yuna's The Road climbed to my top songs and it captured me and imprinted in my soul like no other song, I find it very heartbreaking, emotional, full of pure feelings with such nostalgic and melancholic vibes, so beautiful.

There were some minor things that bothered me and stopped me from giving a 10 (like walkie-talkie, explanation about the very end and why detective Lee done what he's done in the end, too much of coincidences..) but really those weren't things that were huge and some big flaws, just something that came to my mind. The best thing is the script and how amazingly writers didn't mess up the story and they explained all so well, I didn't have any confusion or some big questions, so remarkable.

What else is there to say about Signal? I already told even more but just couldn't write less, that is how much this drama effected me and how much this drama means to me. Most certainly the best drama of 2016., the best Korean crime drama and one of the very best dramas from Asia. I won't ever forget this drama, its characters, actors who played them, music and I don't think in the near future some similar drama to this one will appear. Nor I want that. I want for this one to be unique, original and the one who will have that special place inside of my heart that no other drama could ever take it.
Just watch it. Watch it and see it for yourself, see why all of us think this is a wonderful drama despite how someone will rate it 8,9 or 10, the bottom line is that we all loved it. And it was worth it.

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SathishBalaji
3 people found this review helpful
Sep 13, 2016
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.5
This is probably the best K-drama I've seen so far. Best plot,cast,music,screenplay,direction and what not!!?? The chills it gives during each and every scene is so deep that the feeling is still lingering in my heart. Each and every time you expect one and what happens is completely out of your thinking. The bond between Lee Jae Han and Park Hae Young is so beautifully portrayed. Not too much into love, but still the scenes which depicts the bond between Lee Jae Han and Cha Soo Hyun is lovely! The way the director deals with the 4 cases taken for the support is also too good. Even though its a peak thriller, it makes you smile at times!! If you think you are the one who craves for a spine chilling thriller, Signal is for you!!

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Bladey
3 people found this review helpful
Oct 25, 2017
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
Hardly any drama has the right combination of everything. This one has. From story, through casting to music - everything worked liked magic.  A very intelligently crafted story set up like a procedural  but works on so many more levels, creating  a comprehensive  arresting, emotional story with pitch perfect writing, flow and great characters. I am somewhat reminded of the movie "Frequency"...except I think writing and story flow  in Signal are   a lot more meaningful, impactful and interesting, whereas Frequency tended to fall flat, down into  writing that left a lot to be desired.  This drama has been pure pleasure to watch because it's such a story-rich experience!  Not a single boring moment, always high tension or absorbing emotions,  characters I care for and root for... An exceptional k-drama that has all the right elements, combines them in the right way..... dramas like this are one in a million, really.

It's a procedural, and not only technically...there are investigations of murders going on...famous cases, fictionalised. The protagonists  belong to a unit  dealing with  cold cases, whose statue of limitations expired. So naturally, they have to dig into the past. ..and the story is presented both in the past and the present so we get two different stories but intextricably linked to one another,  influenced by one another.. ..the cases seem separate at first...but then certain  leads start pointing to the overarching story,  whose main character is Lee Jae Han. He's a detective who as of the present day,  has not been in service for some time. He binds past and present.  We follow his story in the past, unravel the nystery behind him.  and he definitely is the heart of the story, a link, a bridge that ties characters and events together. It's his story, in a sense. Thus, the story goes way beyond  any regular procedural.   There are investigations...investigations into the past...and then there is a character that is both a clue to that past and the main protagonist of his own story.   Together with him, the young detective played by Lee Je Hoon and his team leader,  we  consider the impact of meddling with  events and how our decisions cause other things to change... we see  impact of those things on characters' memories and emotions....the sense of desperation  that comes with wanting to change things and a sense of desperation that  comes about when you discover what is involved in change and sometimes how win and loss  strike each other out.  There are abandoned places, unsolved riddles, - the overall mood of this drama is pitch perfect too. And we travel together with the protagonists to unravel nysteries that  confuse and surprise them, that are of personal significance to them and thus emotional.   It's chilling and exciting - great experience.  But most dramas that are just "thrilling" get old very fast. For a drama to be a keeper, there needs to be more, some substance. This one has it.   I really don't like any regular procedural - i find  them too boring, too sentationalist and just too generic, they tend to lack the things i want from dramas.  But this drama takes some part of that genre and fuses it intelligently with other things and as a result we have something trully unique. TvN dramas have long been my favourites...and here they prove it again. This is a drama with a quality far surpassing other dramas.

 Then, there are rich personal backstories of the protagonists, who are all beautifully acted and whose stories are tightly related to one another....intertwined.   Great cast, I really want to see dramas with as talented  and well chosen cast as this one had..they made the characters very relatable, interesting and sympathetic.  Lee Jae Han stands out for several reasons...he is the link to the past and the  heart that binds other main protagonists to him and to one another in a meaningful way.. And he has quickly become one of my most beloved dramaland characters ever. He's very persevering, determined and has so much sympathy for people around him.  There are strong themes of loyalty, of friendship,  through the radio transmission and even a  strong devotion between lee jae han and his "rookie".
Lee Je hoon's character is a brilliant, curious  profiler and Kim Hye Soo a rookie-turned team leader.  Both have strong ties to Lee Jae Han.. Kim Hye Soon;s side adds a personal and emotional perspective on Lee Jae Han himself, whereas Park Hae Young has leads to past cases.. many events in the drama have a profund impact on him and he does go through a change of his own.  He and Lee Jae Han teach each other a lot and develop a unique friendship. The personal stories of all characters add emotional dimension to the cases. Unlike regular procedurals , this one weaves a strong  overarching story that is bound by  Lee Jae Han.

The writing quality is pitch perfect for me...there isn't anything crudely cartoonish, there is great flow that easily absorbed me, that characters are interesting and I care for them very much.  The thing is there is a coherent, emotional story that adds depth and dimension to everything else.. I really rather liked the antagonists too, particularly one of them who seemed conflicted and it showed in his expressions.  The characters are  written and acted out in a way that strongly resonated with me and made love then,

Although the ending is open-ended, i believe this drama does NOT need a sequel. A sequel could just ruin it with something really lame.  Future is uncertain...characters have a chance to make the most of that future - that's what the ending suggests. There is hope...as long as there is will....and as long as there is will, there is a way! Never give up  on things that matter and for characters in this dramas, what matters is  things set right and saving precious people, if possible...and not giving up on things.  I'm very satisdied on all counts with this drama. Very, incredibly satisfying story.

Music is just great too, very moody, with several very haunting instrumentals.  I love this! This drama is one rare case that I am happy to give a 10. Absolutely deserving. I am giving it a high rewatch value precisely because not the mystery counts as such but  characters, implications and connections between them and for that,   there are plenty moments to revisit for sure.

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