Tag: 2016 Dramas

Review: Signal

Posted March 30, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Signal

Starring: Lee Je Hoon, Kim Hye Soo, Jo Jin Woong
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Drama, Suspense, Time Travel
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Mood Browse

Fifteen years ago, a young girl was kidnapped on the way from school, and Park Hae Yeong, who was an elementary school student at that time, witnessed the crime. A few days later, the girl was found dead, and the police were not able to find the culprit. As time went by, Hae Yeong started distrusting the police.

Fifteen years later, Hae Yeong is now a police officer and criminal profiler. One day, he finds a walkie-talkie that allows him to get in contact with Detective Lee Jae Han who is in the past. Police officers Hae Yeong, Jae Han, and Cha So Hyun then set out on a journey to solve cold cases.
I found this drama while I was browsing through Netflix. I’ve seen the woman actress in this show around so I stopped to check the summary out. I was sold after reading the summary but I didn’t immediately start it. I’m a little annoyed with myself that I waited for a while to get to it but I’m glad that I watched it because from beginning to end, I was invested in all of it.

There were parts that were pretty slow in terms of engaging me (the viewer) but overall, this was a really interesting drama that did a good job of telling Park Hae Yeong’s life story.

Let’s break this show down, shall we?
Main Lead: Park Hae Yeong
Actor: Lee Je Hoon
Social Media: Website | Instagram

Park Hae Yeong is the victim of a wrongful arrest though he wasn’t the actual person that was arrested. His older brother was accused of rape and was let down by the entire local police department because of course, his older brother was innocent but because their family wasn’t as rich as the real culprit, Park Hae Yeong’s older brother paid for a crime that wasn’t his. Park Sun Woo (Hae Yeong’s older brother) was one of the good guys. He was a great older brother to Hae Yeong and he cared about his family, his friends, and his future. He was helping Hae Yeong bring his grades up and in the process of helping a girl study as well.

What happens to Sun Woo makes a huge impression on Hae Yeong and as Hae Yeong pieces his own investigation into his brother’s case when he’s older and a cold case profiler, things really heat up. He discovers a walkie-talkie that communicates with an officer from the past. A detective that could possibly help him find out what really happened to his brother. Maybe if they worked together, they can right some wrongs and get some things right. Hae Yeong’s story is a huge part of the show and I thought Lee Je Hoon’s portrayal of Park Hae Yeong was probably my favorite part of this show. Lee Je Hoon has some serious acting chops and I felt everything he felt throughout this entire show. Hae Yeong’s story is an emotional one and though I didn’t get the ending that I wanted for him, I was still satisfied and would LOVE a second season.

I really enjoyed the character growth from child to man for Park Hae Yeong. He had every reason to turn to gangs and a life of crime with his experience with cops and yet he grew into a man of the law with a clear conscience of what was right and wrong. Did he always get things right? Not at all. But he learned from every experience and used the experiences to be a better person.
Main Lead: Cha Soo Hyun
Actor: Kim Hye Soo

Cha Soo Hyun was the first female police officer in her department and though she seems aloof and completely reserved, she is fair and a good senior to Park Hae Yeong. Professionally, she tried to do what was right even when it was hard. Personally, there were times when I wanted to smack this woman upside her head. Did I understand where she was coming from when she would pop off in the middle of a case because Park Hae Yeong seemed to know an awful lot about the only man she’s ever loved that disappeared years ago? Of course! Did I want her to put her feelings away and get the bad guys before grilling Hae Yeong? YES!

Even with all of that madness, I still really liked her character and I thought Kim Hye Soo really did Cha Soo Hyun’s character justice. She acted her tail off and it’s really hard to do that when you’re playing an aloof and cold character that isn’t really any of that. I liked how smart she was and how loyal she was. She was good at a lot of things and seeing her as both a fresh rookie cop who was unsure of herself, her worth as a police officer, and then a strong and fiercely determined detective was fantastic. She played both parts well and I was rooting for her to find her man throughout the entire show.
Main Lead: Lee Jae Han
Actor: Jo Jin Woong

Holy cow did I like this guy. Lee Jae Han was such a compelling character that fought the good fight even when he had every cause not to believe the weirdo on the other line of the walkie-talkie. Seeing him fight against his very own bosses to bring justice to those wronged by the police force, the exact police force that is supposed to protect the victims made me love him to pieces.

His story was another emotional one because his personal life took a back seat to his professional one and it was hard on everyone around him. From his father to the woman he was starting to like and his friends, he missed out on a lot trying to right the wrongs that just kept right on coming to his front door. I wanted so much to see this guy in the end and we were left with a big ol’ question mark with everything but even without a solid ending with a solid wrap-up of all the things, I still really enjoyed learning about Lee Jae Han. My heart for him when he tried to get to Sun Woo before it was too late, freaking body falling apart but getting to Sun Woo was more important than his stab wound and that was just one of the many reasons that I loved this guy. He didn’t know how to give up and when he didn’t get things right, he was so remorseful that it hurt my heart and made me cheer for him and Hae Yeong even more. Gah, so good.
The Cast
There are a lot of familiar faces that make up the rest of the cast of Signal and I enjoyed seeing them all again. These two guys are probably my favorite familiar faces and the most memorable of the bunch, outside of the villains. I also really liked the guy that played Park Sung Woo. As I said, there are a lot of familiar faces and that’s probably my favorite thing about k-dramas. There are side characters that pop up in every single k-drama and it’s always a treat to see a cast with great chemistry. This wasn’t the kind of show that showcases strong friendships but we got a strong team that really comes together as the show progresses and I was here for Hae Yeong and Soo Hyun’s team.
The Story
So Signal is about a detective from 1989 and a cold case profiler in 2015 working together through a magical walkie-talkie to solve and prevent crimes from happening. Solving them in 2015 helps prevent them in 1989 and through trial and error, Lee Jae Han, the detective from 1989, and Park Hae Yeong, the cold case profiler from 2015 figure out what went wrong and how to fix them in their own times. The concept behind the show is was initially drew me to watching it and I’m glad that I did because the actors really brought this story to life. It totally made sense to me that there was a magical walkie-talkie helping a man from the 80’s help a man from 2015 solve crime and beat the bad guys.

I also thought that the cases that they worked on together were interesting. From the kidnapping case to the rape case, to every other case, each story really stood out and had me thinking about them long after I turned the final episode off. These characters really go through it personally and professionally and they had to overcome so much to get to that end. There were times where I had to walk away from the TV because what was happening was too much for me and my blood pressure but I will say that the villains played their roles really well in this one because I hated their asses so much.

Overall, there were moments when certain characters and cases made my blood boil but I’m glad that I stuck with this show because it was a solid suspense drama and the time through walkie-talkie business was one of the highlights of the show for me. I love the friendship that blossomed between Lee Jae Han and Park Hae Yeong. I thought the way that their friendship grew and grew with each case that they worked on was just so stinkin’ great.
The OST
Final Rating

4 out of 5

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Review: Descendants of the Sun

Posted September 10, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews, TV Shows | 0 Comments

Male Lead: Song Joong Ki
Female Lead: Song Hye Kyo
Also Starring: Jin Goo, Kim Ji Won, Onew, Kim Min Seok, Lee Seung Joon, Hyun Kyu Ni, Lee Yi Kyung, David McInnis, Kang Shin Il, Jo Jae Yoon, Jun Soo Jin, Kim Byung Chul, Seo Jeong Yeon, Jasper Cho, Ji Seung Hyun, Park Hwan Hee, Ahn Bo Hyun, Park Hoon
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Romance
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Hulu
Recommended By: B Nice
Who I Watched it For: Song Joong Ki

Some relationships are fated, despite the challenges of time and place.

Yoo Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki), the leader of a Special Forces unit, meets trauma surgeon Kang Mo Yeon (Song Hye Kyo) in a hospital emergency room after Shi Jin and his second-in-command, Seo Dae Young (Jin Goo), chase down a thief on their day off.

Shi Jin is immediately smitten with Mo Yeon, and he asks her out on a date. But Shi Jin keeps getting called to duty when he is with Mo Yeon, and the two also realize that they have conflicting views about human life (he will kill to protect his country and she has to save lives at all costs). They decide to break off their budding relationship as a result.

Dae Young also tries to break off his relationship with Army doctor Yoon Myeong Ju (Kim Ji Won) because her father, Lt. General Yoon (Kang Shin Il), thinks Shi Jin is a better match for his daughter.

Shi Jin and Dae Young are then deployed to the fictional war-torn country of Urk on a long-term assignment of helping the United Nations keep peace in the area. After repeatedly being passed over for a promotion because of her lack of connections, Mo Yeon gives up performing surgeries, loosening her principles somewhat to become a celebrity TV doctor and caring for VIP patients at the hospital. But when she refuses the sexual advances of the hospital chairman, Mo Yeon is picked to lead a medical team to staff a clinic in Urk! There, Mo Yeon unexpectedly reconnects with Shi Jin.

“Descendants of the Sun” is a 2016 South Korean drama series directed by Lee Eung Bok. The entire series was pre-produced prior to airing, which is a departure from how Korean dramas are typically produced. The stars and production team spent one month in Greece to film much of the series’ storyline. The drama also is the first project for Song Joong Ki after finishing his mandatory two-year military service.
I watched this show at the recommendation of my friend, B Nice and then I found out that she didn’t even watch it but heard it was good, haha. I still watched it though and though the overall romance was a good one, I struggled with connecting with what was going on and the female lead. I also thought that the male lead was a bit over the top at times but he didn’t annoy me the way that the doctor heroine did.


This show is about two people, who meet and before their romance can take off, the hero does. She’s a doctor and he’s in the military so it’s hard for them to get together because either she’s getting called into surgery or he’s getting called onto missions in faraway places that he can’t even tell her about. So there are some struggles, obviously. They also find out that they have different views on things and then there are more struggles so they call off their budding romance before it grows into anything deeper. They go their separate ways but are brought back together when Mo Yeon is assigned to lead a medical team to run a clinic in Urk, where Shin Jin is stationed. When the two reconnect, sparks fly and the story really picks up.


There’s also a secondary romance between Shin Jin’s buddy Dae Young and an army doctor, Yoon Myeong Ju that is filled with a whole lot of drama. Dae Young’s not the partner that Meyong Ju’s father would have chosen for her and he is very vocal about it. So vocal, in fact, that he consistently abuses his powers at work (he’s one of the higher-ups in the military) to move Dae Young around to make sure that he can’t be with his daughter. Dae Young, of course, doesn’t say any of this to Yoon Myeong Ju, he just goes wherever he’s sent and puts up with the abuse from her father. He kept getting pulled in different directions and his life was thrown upside down at every turn because of his girlfriend so that was some special kind of drama in itself and it drove me just as crazy as the main romance.

I will say that both sets of couples have chemistry in spades. I completely bought everything they were trying to sell and this was my introduction to all of these actors so I was impressed that they can make me feel every single emotion under the sun. I went from happy, to pissed off, to sad, back to happy, back to pissed off, back to sad for all 16 episodes but there was a whole lot of humor from the other characters sprinkled in that my overall experience with this show wasn’t all pissed off.

I’m glad that I watched this show even though it wasn’t my favorite. It introduced me to a bunch of actors I’d like to see in other shows and movies so I’m glad about that. However, this show is made up of a whole lot of stuff that pissed me off that I can’t rate it higher than 3.25 out of 5 stars. I had high hopes that things would turn around but in episode 15, the heroine and the hero were still pissing me off that by then, it was too late for me to absolutely love them. Still, this was a solid drama.

Listen to the OST
Final Rating

3.25 out of 5

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