Signal

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The best drama of 2016, for now. And eh?? It's been only 3 months into 2016.

The K-drama gods have really been watching over K-drama land eh? I don't remember a specific period when the good dramas all came out together. *back to me fangirl-ing over Descendants of the Sun now*

I had just finished Signal yesterday, and that drama just blew my mind off. It was perfect, from start to finish. If my memory serves me well, my first tvN drama was actually Answer Me 1997, which I really super duper loved. Since then, I've always associated Korean cable dramas with high standard of script-writing and a less conventional way of filming. Signal felt really like a movie (my dad even asked if I was watching a movie LOL); the colour tone used actually helped me decipher which time period the characters were in.

I know that the cases in Signal are actually based on real-life cold cases in Korea which never ever got solved, even till this day, but when I watched it, I couldn't believe that such cases actually did happen in Korea because Korea struck me as a very safe country. I found the idea of how a modern-day detective actually helped to solve the cold cases via help from a dead person (to be precise, a detective who was murdered 15 years ago) from a walkie-talkie. But when you change history, there is definitely a price to pay, and the characters in Signal had learned it the hard and painful way.

Kim Eun-hee is famous for writing crime thrillers, and I have always enjoyed her dramas very much, especially Sign (the ending was ruined though, which was quite a waste) and Ghost. But I must say that Signal really topped it all. I loved the supernatural element to it; I loved how history was changed, sometimes for the better, at other times it came with a terrible price. And the acting in there was so raw and organic that I really felt for the characters, especially their anguish, frustrations and helplessness.

My favourite character in Signal would be Lee Jae-han (the murdered detective), acted by Jo Jin-woong. I had watched Jo Jin-woong in Tree with Deep Roots (TWDR) before, another kick-ass drama which culminated in me living in Korea for a third of 2014. He played the loyal bodyguard of King Sejong in there, and I really found the interactions between him and the King very brotherly and homely. Sometimes he would be like a naggy mother-in-law, reminding the King what to do ad what not to do; at other times, he was the fearless warrior who was ready to lay down his life for his sovereign. Besides Han Seok-kyu's marvellous portrayal of King Sejong in TWDR (for which he rightly won the Daesang), Jo Jin-woong also left a deep impression on me.

Back to Signal, Jo Jin-woong's performance really blew me away. It was on the same level and intensity as Han Seok-kyu in TWDR and Lee Sung-min in Misaeng (which is another phenomenal drama by tvN, also directed by Signal's director; a very "real" drama about worklife - definite must-watch), and what a joy he was to watch. Of course, it did help that the cast all had chemistry together, and that the directing and script-writing quality was really top-notch. But this guy should surely get a Daesang at the upcoming Baeksang awards, no?

As I've mentioned earlier, this drama was perfect from start to finish. There were talks of a season 2, and the ending of this drama was done really well. It ended in a way that had done the show justice, and yet it also left an open-ending which allows the story to carry on should there really be a season 2. The ending killed two birds with one stone, and for this, I'm really in awe of Kim Eun-hee for managing to up come with such an ending.

Signal? Yes.

It's definitely one of the best dramas I've watched in my life.

A definite must-watch.