5 Reasons Signal is the perfect gateway series to hook your friends and family on K-dramas
Signal started off with a strong premiere week, grabbing solid ratings in Korea and earning rave reviews from DramaFever viewers. As I watched the premiere, I was shocked when my husband and his best friend (not exactly the typical K-drama demographic) wandered into the room for a moment and ended up watching the entire second episode with me! If you're like me and are always on the lookout for a way to hook your non-drama watching friends and family members, Signal is a perfect place to start. Here's why:
1. The fast pace
Generally speaking, whenever I try to lure my friends into drama watching, I have to start by insisting that they watch at least two episodes in one sitting. Unlike American shows where the action starts in the first scene, drama pilots often move at a slower pace, using the first episode to introduce characters and the second episode to set up the central conflict. That's not the case with Signal. Even with all of the character introductions, it felt like one of the most fast-paced drama premieres I've ever seen. The first episode feels like a mini-movie, and it ends with just enough of a cliff hanger to drive you directly into the next episode.
2. The stellar cast
Signal was highly anticipated cable dramas for Korean audiences, and it's due in large measure to the talented cast. If you're looking for rock-solid acting from veterans who know what they're doing, this show has it in spades. The combination of longtime film actress Kim Hye Soo and actor Jo Jin Woong is tough to beat. If you need a little bit of eye candy to interest your fellow drama watcher, Lee Je Hoon is certainly easy on the eyes, but he also has a long list of acting credits that prove he's more than just a pretty face. I love how his slightly nerdy and socially unaware character isn't your typical K-drama male lead.
3. The intriguing premise
Because of the fast-paced premiere, it's not really a spoiler to say that the series revolves around police in the past and the present who communicate via two-way radio. While that may sound like the movie Frequency, the setup of the radio interaction raises some unique and intriguing time travel-type type paradoxes, and I, for one, can't wait to see how it all plays out. The end of episode 2 already had me twisting my brain into a pretzel!
4. The emotional range
What's clear from the first two episodes is that Signal isn't just a thriller. The characters all have their own backstories, and the show is already tugging at my heartstrings. Lest you think the series is all heavy doom and gloom, however, there are just enough humorous moments to lighten the series without seeming silly. If you have friends or family members who believe K-dramas are only fluffy romantic comedies or soapy melodramas, this is your chance to prove them wrong!
While we're talking about emotions, can I just give a shoutout to the OST? The music in this thing is insanely wonderful, and the opening credits made me want to cry before I even knew what was happening.
5. The award-winning team
If you're going to watch a simulcast with a friend, you want to make sure the quality doesn't drop off halfway through the series. Fortunately, we're in capable hands with this one! Kim Won Suk won Best Director at the Baeksang Arts Awards for his last series, the massive hit Misaeng. Writer Kim Eun Hee is no slouch, either, penning other popular thrillers like Three Days and Sign.
Are you watching Signal? Were you as enraptured with the premiere week as I was? What was your favorite part? If you're not watching yet, grab a friend or family member and get started now!