Signal Korean Drama Review

In 2017, was when I watched my 1st Korean drama… A Girls Who Sees Smells aka The Sensory Couple! It which was soon followed by Boys Over Flowers and Princess Hours.

But the program that really pulled and kept me interested in Korean dramas is the 2016 Korean drama Signal….which will be the made focus of this review…

Like I’ve mentioned, I first watched this back in 2017, and I was really intrigued by the show especially by the main plot revolving around a mysterious walkie talkie allows a detective in the year 1989 to communicate with a cold case profiler from 2015…

Anyways, this drama is the kind of drama I don’t mind watching again because it is one of my favorite k-dramas. And since 2017, I watch it every year!

Thus, because it is my favorite drama that I recommend to you all, I want to make sure I give all of my thoughts on this…especially since this will be my 1st & last  Korean drama review for the month of August!!! And 1st Kdrama Review for September!

Basically “Signal”-ing the end and the beginning…

Such a corny pun…

Anyway…. been a long time coming and finally presenting…

Signal Korean Drama Review

Disclaimer: Pictures of the show, cast are not mine. And just add, info on the cast I got from Wikipedia, MyDramaList and Asian wiki.✌️

By the way, if you are interesting in watching this drama Signal, you can watch it on Netflix. And warning, this show not for kids. It is not gory but the themes are quite disturbing or scary.

First off… please don’t take what I say seriously… just with a grain of salt, like with music. I do not have a professional degree in film, literature and television… But I do LOVE movies, books and tv shows, most especially if they capture my interest somehow.

And…

Despite the lack of degree, I will still do this Korean Drama review as a Tv show lover and a Korean TV series lover…. And just to clarify too, I apologize for any run-ons or any grammatical errors… But I will definitely be honest about my thoughts and feelings in this review.

To begin with the review, I will start with the main cast of Signal…Lee Je-hoon, Kim Hye-soo and Cho Jin-woong…

Lee Je-hoon is a South Korean actor. He started his career in indie films, then went on to appear in commercial films like 2011’s The Front Line, 2012’s Architecture 101 and 2013’s My Paparotti , and television series like 2012’a Fashion King, 2014’s Secret Door, 2016’s Signal, 2017’s Tomorrow, With You and 2018’s Where Stars Land.

In Signal, Lee Je-hoon is Park Hae-young. He is the profiler who finds the walkie-talkie by accident and uses it to solve cold cases.

Kim Hye-soo is a South Korean actress. She is best known for her roles in the films 2016’s Tazza: The High Rollers, 2012’s The Thieves, 2015’s Coin Locker Girl and 2016’s  Familyhood as well as television series 2016’s Signal and 2020’s Hyena. She is well known for her versatility and acting range.

In Signal, Kim Hye-soo is Cha Soo-hyun. She is the once a timid rookie and the first woman police officer in the department, she leads the “Long Term Cold Case team”

Cho Jin Woong is a South Korean actor. He is best known for his roles as Sejong’s loyal bodyguard in 2011’s Deep Rooted Tree, a mobster in 2012’s Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time, and a mysterious villain in 2014’s  A Hard Day. He also gained recognition and praise for his performance as a detective in the television series 2016’s Signal.

In Signal, Cho Jin Woong is Lee Jae-han. He is the somewhat clumsy and socially inept but incorruptible police officer from the past who establishes a rapport with Park.

Now I will discuss a bit about Signal

Basically Signal is a drama about a mysterious walkie talkie allows a detective in the year 1989 to communicate with a cold case profiler from 2015…

Thus, with the power of fore and hindsight the two not only solve crimes but prevent them from ever taking place.

Anyways, the 2015 criminal profiler is Park Hae Young. He happens to come across a mysterious walkie-talkie he picks up.  And with it, and after talking the detective on through the walkie-talkie, he solves a kidnapping case that is about a falsely accused who apparently disappeared after the crime…

That detective through the walkie talkie, is Detective Lee Jae-Han and helps Park Hae-young solves many other cold cases that have remained unsolved for years, while helping Lee Jae-Han help solve some cases in the past.

Anyways the success of the kidnapping with the aid of the walkie-tie is what triggers the formation of a long-term cold case team, led by Detective Cha Soo-Hyun, who has been searching her long-lost mentor Lee Jae-Han for the past 15 years.

Anyways while Detective Lee Jae-Han and helps Park Hae-young solves many other cold cases that have remained unsolved for years,  and Park Hae-young helps Lee Jae-Han solve some cases in the past…

Grave unintended consequences occurs…

Adding that…the mysterious walkie-talkie that connects the past and present has limited capabilities…

Thus, the three detectives must fight against time to solve crimes and save themselves from the unparalleled events that occur due to their actions.

Thus, this is the true start of all the happenings in the story…

Moving on now to my actual review which is honestly will be much shorter than the recap of the beginning of the story and mentions of the characters…

But anyways…

The main plot of Signal revolves around a mysterious walkie talkie allows a detective in the year 1989 to communicate with a cold case profiler from 2015…

Just from that, I was intrigued and hooked!

And as I watched the drama unfold, I honestly thought the storyline was interesting and very captivating.

Each case the criminal profiler and past detective worked to solve through their connection with the walkie-talkie was interesting, intense and dynamic!

And I read that a few of the crimes that had been depicted in the drama are actually based on real crimes!

Like the 1st case with is the kidnapping turned murder one was based on an incident that happened in 1997. Like in the drama, the kidnapper was a woman but in real-life it is not only a woman who was the criminal, she was also pregnant! And another real case that was depicted in the drama was in the 2nd case in the 2nd episode, and it is based on one of the most famous serial killings in Korean history called the Hwaseong Serial Murders. And finally, the rape in the fictional city of Inju in Signal was actually based on a 2004 gang rape case in Miryang where several middle school and highschool girls were gang-raped by 41 men and the victims were blamed instean and the parents of the offenders say that the victim’s behavior caused the crime… In the drama it instead focuse on the rape victim’s pain and show how the offenders receive light sentences despite committing a crime…

There is one case that I found the most fascinating and the story so sad… and I believe it is Episode 9 to 11… Warning major spoiler, but hopefully this will catch interest and watch the drama…

Anyways in Episode 9 to 11. There is a serial killer, who chokes depressed women to death with a plastic bag over the head and disposes them in a rice bag…

Anyways, I don’t condone what he’s done cause he is still a killer, but I can’t I help but pity him in sense… He became a killer who believes he is saving women from depression because of deranged mother. In a sense he is killing his mom over and over again because he thinks he is saving her from her depression and sickness….making him into “Angel of Death”. Because when he was a child, his mother was still in custody of him despite her “illness”…but she does not really take care of him because she abused him. His mom abused him by making sure he is always clean and literally drilled that into him,  stuffing him in suitcase when she feels he is being bad.  The only time he was ever happy was when he saved a kitten or puppy and brought it home but his mom killed it when he was away getting food for it.  Because of his mom, he has become a loner with OCD, claustrophobia and taking medication for depression. But he stopped taking medication when his mom died and thus her passing triggered him into killing women who show signs of depression like his mom.  His MO as I mention earlier was choking them to death with a plastic bag over their head and disposes the bodies in a rice bag and then dumps them in alleys.  He’d supposedly stopped after a cop, nearly became a victim, but he did not stop killing, he just changed the dump site… Then one day a quiet but also depressed girl came along… He was intrigued by her but still kills her. And he disposes her differently, as she was wrapped in a blanket. He became confused and not really the same after killing this woman.

Anyways like I said I do NOT condone what the killer done but I pity this killer Episode 9 to 11, he had such a painful and traumatic childhood…a trauma that lasted into adulthood until his mom death. I pity him that he just he doesn’t realize that he was more than intrigued by her. Like one of the main leads, the criminal profiler, I agree that the killer wasn’t taught human emotions so he couldn’t understand his confusion / feelings over the victim he was intrigued by after he killed her, thus leading him to fact that he could kill anymore which was his reason for killing which led to him trying to kill himself. By the way, I am not romanticizing this theme of killer-intriguing victim scenario and I felt that the drama isn’t romanticizing this theme either because like the criminal profiler in the drama, what I am mainly trying point which is slightly hinted is the matter of mental illness. If this killer had the right help when he was younger… maybe…just maybe…he would have been saved and not become killer and there would not be any victims. Because as the criminal profiler pointed out, some are monsters at birth while others become monsters because of other humans. And this is where this supernatural story of Signal comes into play… Because of how the case was solved in the present with the criminal profiler, the past detective was able to nab the killer, since realistically the killer is already in adulthood when the case was being conducted in the past and obviously the killer was not saved from his mom…Anyways the past detective nabbed the killer just right away his fellow detective  nearly became a victim,  resulting in the other victims not becoming victims…including the victim the killer is intrigued by…

Anyways once again not romanticizing the scenario of killer-intriguing victim because the main  theme for this case is not everyone is born as a monster, some monsters are made. Like this Angel of Death- like Choking Killer, he was main due to what others have done to him…well his abusive mom done to him. He was a victim turned perpretrator. While on the other hand, the perpetrator of the Child Kidnapping Turned Murder in episode and the rich dude murderer rapist in the later episodes…these perpetrators are definitely born monsters! Basically they were both selfish and greedy people who don’t care if they cause harm to others in order to get want they want, too keep entitled positions or to make sure their image isnt ruined…

I will not expound any more than that, but if you are intrigued by the case I mentioned and the ones I hinted…you got to watch the drama!

Anyways moving on…

Whether real to real…  

Monsters born or made…

Not sure if there were any plot holes but I honestly believe that the writers of Signal did any amazing job.  I really enjoyed it and I totally felt the presence and feelings of the characters, and I like how each character has a deeper story or background to them.

I thought it was interesting how each case the present criminal profiler and the past detective solve with the use of the walkie-talkie seemed to be connected somehow!

I also found it fascinating that not only does the cases they solve connect with eachother, they also connect with the past detective as the detective in charge of solving the case in the past!

Also the past detective met the criminal profiler in the past, with a slight connection in a past case…which I will not expound anymore than this…cause you got to watch the drama to find out!

The cast was totally amazing! Especially the main cast of Lee Je-hoon, Kim Hye-soo and Cho Jin-woong… They are like a dream team and their acting was superb!

As a whole and in their roles, I thought that they did an awesome job and I felt for the characters they played. What first captured my interest in this Korean drama was the main cast! Cause they are amazing actors!

Another is the main antagonist being played by Jang Hyun-sang! He is awesome actor and I adored him when he and kids appeared in the reality variety show The Return of Superman, where celebritiy dad babysit their children by themselves for 48 hours after sending their wives on a 2 day vacation!

Anyways…amazing talented cast!

I will not expound anymore in this review…so you if you guys are interested, go check this drama out! Be warned though that this drama is  not for kids!

Also, just to sneak in…

I think that it sucks that VIKI took this awesome show from its lineup…

But…

Thank you NETFLIX for adding this to series to your lineup! This an awesome show, in my opinion 💗🤗💗

Also I heard rumors that Season 2 is in the works!

I honestly hope so, cause the drama ended on a cliff-hanger, hinting on a possibility for a season 2. And I hope the original main cast comes back if the rumors of Signal Season 2 is in fact true!

Anyways if you made it up to here… Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review on Signal. Hopefully, this review builds your curiosity in checking out Signal! I highly recommend!

Btw, there is also a Japanese adaptation of this drama and it is on Viki. Please go and check it out too! I am planning to watch it and make a review of it as well!

And if you are interested in my content, please subscribe to and follow here on my website. I will start making even more reviews here soon on #books #anime #movies #tvshows #cds etc. Most especially on future KPOP artists’ album reviews and possibly MV interpretation/ review as well.

And please check out and follow me on my Instagram LadyAzulMoon

Anyways til my next post…

STAY SAFE! STAY HOME AND STAY HEALTHY! As well as Respect each other! Cause the virus doesn’t discriminate!

God Bless you and your loved ones always! Let’s all pray for the best and for as cure for not only the Corona virus but all diseases as well!

#Korean #KoreanShows #KoreanTV #Crime #Thriller #TVshow #TV #Television #mindgames #suspense #thrill #supernatural

#SignalKOREANDRAMA #KoreanDrama

#LeeJehoon #KimHyesoo #ChoJinwoong

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