Top 5 Crime Series That You’ll Love

If there’s a genre of K-Drama that you can’t go wrong with is crime-based series. They will have you on the edge of the seat wondering what’s about to happen. Under the genre you can find a lot of themes, from cold cases to emergency 112 call centers. Each and every one of them brings something new to the table making it enjoyable even when you have never watched a Korean crime series before. 

What stands out the most on this Top 5?

Besides having great cases, they truly offer heartfelt relationships between the cast. Counting down to the first, I’ll show you how amazing these series are.

5. Tunnel

This 2017 OCN drama starring Choi Jin Hyuk, Yoon Hyun Min and Lee Yoo Young aired from March 25 to May 21.

The series follows the story of Park Kwang Ho, who works as a detective in the violent crimes unit of Hwayang Police station. He is tracking a dangerous serial killer in 1986 that puts in danger even the life of his own daughter. Pursuing the leads of the case, he chases the suspect through a tunnel which transports him to the present 2017.

Here he meets new partners Kim Sun Jae, who is an eccentric detective but outstanding at his job and Shin Jae Yi, a criminal psychology professor. After finding out the killer is still at large and being completely out of his element, he relies on his team to unravel this serial case. 

The series is a rollercoaster of emotions where the least person expected turns out to be the serial killer.

Watch the trailer here.

4. Vagabond

This 2019 SBS drama starring Lee Seung-Gi, Bae Suzy and Shin Sung Rok aired from September 20 to November 23.

Cha Dal Geon, a stunt man who dreams to become a famous actor is convinced someone sabotaged the flight where his nephew died. He became restless as he single handedly raised him after his older brother passed away. Triggered by the large-scale cover-up of the incident, he sets his mind to discover the truth. As he flies to Morocco to investigate the case he meets Go Hae Ri, the eldest daughter of a marine who had died during an operation. She’s an NIS agent. 

Their lives intertwine as they discover a tangled web of corruption behind the plane crash. The storyline is really unpredictable and filmed in different foreign locations. It touches the topics of betrayal, conspiracy and, as always, romance.

The director was in the works for a second season but there hasn’t been any updates regarding this.


Watch the trailer here.

3. He is Psychometric

This 2019 tvN drama starring Park Jinyoung, Shin Ye Eun, Kim Kwon and Kim Da eSom aired from March 11 to April 30.

Lee Ahn is first presented as a mischievous teenager who has the power of psychometry, an ability to read a person or an object’s past through physical contact, which he acquired after the death of his parents in a fire when he was little. This ability works with everyone but Sung Mo, his foster guardian and his savior in the past who became a prestigious prosecutor.

In school he meets Yoon Jae In, a model student who tries her best to hide her painful secrets. They have interactions in this part of their lives, but it’s not until years later that they decide to investigate the fire that took place in the complex Lee Ahn lived. Together with Sung Mo and his colleague, investigator Eun Ji Soo, they team up to solve the case that has been haunting the lives of Ahn, Sung Mo, and Jae In. The case mainly revolves around the life of Sung Mo, his mother and father who were the main cause of fire. 

Throughout the plot we can understand each character’s feelings and behaviors regarding the fire. Interesting topics you can expect from the series are: PTSD, apathy, antisocial personality disorders, Stockholm syndrome, etc.

Watch the trailer here.

2. Voice

This 2017 OCN drama starring Jang Hyuk and Lee Ha Na aired from January 14 to March 12.

Moo Jin Hyuk is an ace detective whose world falls apart when a serial killer kills his wife. Kang Kwon Joo is a top graduate of the police academy who starts work as a 112 call center operator. She takes the emergency call from Jin Hyuk’s wife and ends up overhearing the killing of her own father, a police sergeant.

After the incident, she goes to the United States to further her studies in voice profiling and returns to Korea years later to head up a 112 call center and establish the special Golden Time Task Force. Jin Hyuk is coerced into this special unit, as he’s become a wreck since the death of his wife. The team is made up also of Shim Dae Shik, master computer hacker Oh Hyun Ho and multilinguist Park Eun Soo. Working together, they respond quickly to all sorts of high-risk emergencies while tracking down the serial killer responsible for the loss of their loved ones.

This series became such a hit for the channel they made two more seasons. It also shows the true side of dwelling the death of people dear to one’s heart. Fun fact: the series started with a television content rating of 15+ and had to raise it to 19+ due to the strong images it presented.

Watch the trailer here.

1. Signal

This 2016 tvN drama starring Lee Je Hoon, Kim Hye Soo and Jo Jin Woong aired from January 22 to March 12.

Park Hae Young is a police lieutenant who, despite his mistrust of cops stemming from a traumatic event from his childhood, became an expert criminal profiler. When he was young, his friend was kidnapped and later found dead. Hae Young saw a woman pick her up to school, but the police didn’t believe it and stated that a man took her instead. The case remains unsolved to this day. 

Now working at the same police station where he went as a child, Hae Young walks out of the station one day and hears a sound of a radio. He finds a walkie-talkie with the voice of police detective Lee Jae Han talking to him. The catch here is Jae Han is talking from the past, as he is investigating the murder of Hae Young’s friend. Cha Soo Hyun was a rookie during Jae Han’s time but now is an experienced police detective looking for his sunbae. Hae Young alongside Soo Hyun solve cold cases with the help of Jae Han, communicating to the past through the walkie-talkie that activates at a certain hour of the day.

Not going to lie, I’m a little biased towards this series. It has an amazing storyline, great script and a supporting cast you’ll surely fall in love with (shoutout to Sun Woo). Out of his fantasy plot, the series is based on a real-life crime spree that took place between 1986 and 1991 where 10 women were raped and murdered in the same geographic area in South Korea.

Watch the trailer here.

All of the series above marked the korean public (and me) in different ways. The five of them show variety in their main theme and its sub-themes. If you start any of the series mentioned above, I can assure you you’ll be a different person after the ending of it!

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