Jan 16, 2017

[K-Drama Review] Signal

Signal is definitely the best of 2016. The sixteen hours or so I spent watching it is definitely worth it. The rave about it on blog reviews are seriously overwhelming so I decided to watch half of Signal on work nights (and even sneak a peek during a conference. lol) and binge-watch the remaining half on a weekend. It caused abnormal sleeping pattern this week, larger than normal eye bags and moody attitude at work but damn was it worth it. I don't regret any second of it. In a year of generally poor choices in terms of Korean dramas I watched in their entirety, Signal saved the year for me. (well, technically I just finished watching it and it's now 2017. heh) I was ready to take a break from Korean dramas but Signal brought back my love for it enough to get myself back to blogging. Oh yeah!

Signal is a story of three police officers whose lives are intertwined by a walkie-talkie that let a detective from the past and a profiler from the future communicate with each other in order to solve cold cases. These communications through the walkie-talkie led them to investigate high profile cases that involved people close to them which raised the stake and delighted us, the viewers, with an action-packed adventure that leave us wanting for more as the end credits rolled.

There are so many things that I liked about Signal and these are among the few:

The Award-Worthy Story

The story was solid. It is consistent from beginning to end and utilized every minute of every episode to tell a compelling story. I have watched my fair share of dramas that toyed with time and at some point the story slowly became so complicated resulting to a head-scratching ending but Signal is well written with attention to details that even though it is fast-paced you can't miss even the smallest change in the events that was altered as the team challenged time. Signal is coherent from that opening scene in the playground up to the last scene in the hospital. It is well deserved that Signal was awarded Best Drama at the 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards.

The Awesome Hero

I love you, Jo Jin Woong ahjusshi! Another good thing that came out after watching Signal is my discovery of Jo Jin Woong ahjusshi and his awesomeness. He is not one of those flower boy type that I liked and I tend to gravitate towards actors that are within my age group that I expected I'll turn towards Lee Je Hoon but Jo Jin Woong blew me away with his fantastic performance in Signal. Jo Jin Woong brought heart to the character with his intense portrayal of Detective Lee Jae Han. I have seen characters that are great on paper but became a waste once handed to the wrong actor but Jo Jin Woong was perfect for the role. I got so invested in the story because I want him to win over the bad guys. Jo Jin Woong is definitely the hero of this drama. It's like that time in Reply 1997 when Sung Dong Il won over my heart and I'm looking forward to watching Jo Jin Woong in yet another awesome role.

The Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

Watching Signal is a satisfying experience for me both mentally and emotionally. I have watched a lot of dramas in more than ten years and this drama is among the few that has engaged my brain and my heart like I am also a member of the cold case team and a colleague of Detective Lee Jae Han. I went along with them as they pieced together the evidences for each crime, felt that sense of accomplishment as they solved it and felt heartbroken when they couldn't stop a person from getting killed even though they tried their best to prevent it. I feared for their lives as they went up against  powerful people and also felt gratified when they one-upped their boss and those backing him. Like, hell yeah, asshole! It was like I was also there in Violent Crimes Section office as Detective Lee Jae Han and Cha Soo Hyun's relationship blossomed from that awkward scene in the night duty room up to their first date. My heart skipped a beat when each one of our leads died and came back alive and cried my eyes out when our leads were confronted with some harsh truth. Signal is a piece of art that made me go through a roller coaster ride but I would gladly take that ride anytime if it meant I would be rewarded with a drama of this caliber.

Lastly, I had fun watching Signal because I can relate to it in more ways than I can divulge in a blog post. For one thing that February 12, 1999 scene in the office where Cha Soo Hyun is interrogating a con-man while her colleagues are eavesdropping is so accurate I can't even. Lol. But seriously, I always believe that fiction should at least teach us a lesson in real life and even though the concept of a walkie-talkie that can link the past and present to solve crimes is pretty far-fetch in real life, one thing that Signal taught me is that things could change if one does not give up. That having the sheer willpower to move and get things done regardless of how hard and difficult the task at hand can make a difference.

Thanks for saving my 2016, Signal!

PS: Please come back with another awesome drama, writernim!

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