At least a couple times a year, I discover a kdrama that completely absorbs my entire being. The first was Boys Over Flowers, the best drama to dive head first in. Sure there are lots of romantic dramas, but I have a soft spot for crime dramas. Maybe it's because I've been reading crime novels since middle school. It seems to me that crime dramas don't get as much recognition as others. You're All Surrounded, Pride and Prejudice, Hidden Identity - just to name a few. All great shows with riveting story lines and bomb soundtracks. This show found me. I had just finished rewatching EXO Next Door (i have problems I have know) then stepped out of the room to change over the laundry, when I came back Dramafever had already begun playing this bad boy.
Signal. Lieutenant Park Hae Young (Lee Je Hoon) is a jaded profiler who hates other cops. Detective Lee Jae Han (Cho Jin Woong) is a hard working cop who died 15 years earlier. Connected by a broken walkie talkie that only works for one minute every so often, could these unsolved crimes be stopped before they started? Can the future be changed?
The drama is based off real unsolved murders, such as the Gyeonggi Serial murders, which occurred from September 15, 1986 to April 3, 1991. Ten women of various ages and socioeconomic groups were found bound, raped, and murdered. These murders are considered to be the most infamous in the history of modern South Korea, likened to the Zodiac Killer in the United States. The stark realism in this drama despite its extraordinary premise is what really drives it home for me. These are imperfect people who are suffering, struggling each day with their scars. The killers aren't just monsters, they're humans. This world feels so much like ours, with corruption and broken hearts yet there is hope.
Lee Je Hoon plays Lieutenant Park Hae Young who lives in the present, 2015. There was a lot of rumbling online about his acting, saying he's too stiff and uses archaic phrasing but I think it fits his character perfectly. Park Hae Young is brilliant, Sherlock level brilliant, but inside he's completely destroyed by the death of his brother. With his high intellect, he's a gifted, socially awkward and charges on without a second thought of what others think of him. He hates cops and honestly, he has every reason to.
Cho Jin Woong as Detective Lee Jae Han. If there was a detective working on my case, I'd want him. Lee Jae Han is a total bad ass, determined, unyielding, refuses to give up until he's found the truth. We meet him in the year 2000 during a kidnapping case of a young girl when he first contacts Park Hae Young at 11 pm. Then we're back with him in 1989 during the Gyeonggi Serial Murders, watching him grow from a shy young man (who looks like he's in his thirties) to a sullen man of the law (looking exactly the same). While the transmissions have only been occurring for Park Hae Young over the span of a couple weeks maybe months, for Lee Jae Han, it's been going on for over twenty years. After the year 2000, he went missing. Someone give this man an Oscar! Or the Korean equivalent! This man has a gift for acting!
Our kick ass main female lead is Kim Hye Soo as Detective Cha Soo Hyun, the quiet but tough squad leader of the cold case squad. In 2015, she is tough as nails but in the early 1990s she is the first female detective in the Violent Crimes unit with a mother who loves dressing her in pink. The relationship between her and Lee Jae Han is so touching. He's a jerk but sweet in his own way, forcing her to be tough and to stand up for herself. It's no wonder she still has feelings for him and for every call of a discovered male body, she rushes to the Medical Examiner to see if it's him.
Well this card turned out to be a hundred times longer than I expected. So I'll stop now. I just want to fully recommend this drama. It is one of the best ones I've ever seen. And if you're worried about waiting for new episodes, the last two episodes air this Friday and Saturday. If anyone has seen it, what did you think? Who else spazzes out over KDramas?? Let me know!