K-Drama Review: “Kairos” Strongly Grips With Engrossing Narrative and Incredible Portrayals

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Kairos is underrated, nonetheless, it proved to be one of the best thriller K-dramas in 2020 you should definitely not miss out!

This Shin Sung Rok and Lee Se Young starrer truly raises the bar high for thriller action series. Upon first glance, Kairos may be your usual time-crossing drama, but unless you have actually tried watching it, your standards for this genre of K-drama will absolutely get high.



TITLE: Kairos
THEMES: Thiller, Action, Drama
BROADCAST DATE: 26 October 2020 – 22 December
MAIN LEADS: Shin Sung Rok, Lee Se Young, Ahn Bo Hyun, Nam Gyu Ri, Kang Seungyoon
HIGHLIGHTS: Clearly-Written Script | Excellent Acting Performances
RELATED DRAMA: Signal | Alice | The King: Eternal Monarch

Quick Plot Roundup

Kairos tells the story of an immensely successful construction company executive Kim Seo Jin (Shin Sung Rok). He possessed all things that most people envy — the power, wealth and happy family.

However, his whole world came crashing down when his daughter Da Bin suddenly went missing. In an extremely desperate search for her, he embarks into a mysterious contact with Han Ae Ri (Lee Se Young), a woman living one month past his timeline.

Although bewildered at first, he convinced Ae Ri to find his daughter. But things became worse when Ae Ri’s mother went missing as well. Because Seo Jin lives in September while Ae Ri is in August, they are only able to talk on the phone one minute each day at exactly 10:33 pm.

As the enigma rises, their main problem points towards only one subject, and they are in a grueling pursuit to solve that mystery.



Clearly-Written Script

Right off the bat, Kairos has captivated my full attention. Everything is just clean and well-made. Plot-wise, there so much to process from the beginning, but its quite surprising that with so much details laid, it’s not confusing at all.

The drama grips through its quick pace and early revelations. Since plenty of information has already been served, I got nervous with the story going derail. But it even surpassed my expectations. Every scenes are important and served its major purpose in the end.

At the end of every episode, there is either a huge or minor twist that made viewers look forward to the succeeding chapters. The plot is surprisingly well-mapped. It clearly commit its trajectory to the character development. Like peeling the onion, the characters gain more information about the incident as they deeply delve into the investigation slowly. All of their actions and decisions make sense.

It taught us lessons about time; to cherish every moments with our loved ones, do not dwell with the past nor get impatient with the future. The drama has more than a lot to offer than we can imagine. Those messages also involves the most valuable things in life; family, friendships, and romantic relationships — telling us to embrace the time we had with our loved ones.


Excellent Acting Performances

Hands down to the cast — they have given more than justice to their respective roles. The actors’ performances pierces through the heart and even blow away our minds. They’re amazing!

Shin Sung Rok

Shin Sung Rok really nailed his role as Kim Seo Jin, who lost his family and everything that he treasured in life. From feelings of desperation, grief, euphoria, rage, and fear, his character went through a lot because of his daughter, collapsing marriage and truth about his father’s death. Strikingly, the actor portrayed his character on a compelling note.

Lee Se Young

I just had to say this, but Lee Se Young deserves an award for her acting here! Her eyes speaks a thousand words, and I cannot stress enough how outstanding her portrayal is to Han Ae Ri. My heart sank whenever she’s crying out of despair because of her missing mother. Overall, Lee Se Young had remarkably executed her role on an immensely powerful level.

Ahn Bo Hyun

Ahn Bo Hyun and Nam Gyu Ri both did well in portraying the villain role. I am highly impressed with Ahn Bo Hyun’s acting in Itaewon Class as the antagonist. And once again, he lived to up my expectations, even more exceeding that.

Nam Gyu Ri

The last drama I saw Nam Gyu Ri is during her special appearance in My Secret, Terrius. I am not quite acquainted with how she acts but her performance in this drama is notable. There’s something foreboding about his aura whenever she acts, which made her the perfect fit for the role.

Kang Seung Yoon

Capping off the list of the top-notch performers for this drama is Kang Seung Yoon from the K-pop boy group WINNER. I am glad that he’s got another acting project after Prison Playbook and having television exposure, because he really do deserves the spotlight.

There’s something about him that made him stand out. His acting is natural and not stiff. He radiates that big energy whenever he’s acting where you can actually feel raw emotions appropriately. I am hoping to see him having the main role someday.

Series Afterthoughts

From effective character portrayals, smartly-written script, and fluid pacing, Kairos is definitely worth your time. It’s that drama wherein you’ll be thanking yourself upon watching it. And if you still haven’t given it a chance, just know that you’re missing out a lot. But, it’s never too late!

When I first finished it, my initial reaction was “this is it!”. This can never not be in my list of the most unforgettable K-dramas, because honestly, it has tick all the boxes of what you are, and should be looking for in a thriller show. It has, if not everything, the elements a good thriller drama should possess.

Considering the series features time travelling, the characters did not actually travel through time, but remain in their respective timeline, which is a fresh concept. The story line was coherent and is not stagnant, which most time travel dramas these days fail to deal with.

Also, the distinction between the past and the future are undoubtedly clear, that’s why it was easy to differentiate both. Changing timeline into another in just a split second can be confusing and tricky, but the drama had flawlessly accomplished it.


One thing that truly made Kairos stood out is its consistency. Every scenes contribute to the overall essence of the plot. Throughout its entire run, all of the crucial details remain intact with the root problem and did not lose its grip.

Although the drama dealt with a highly-complex theme, there were no confusing moments at all. The changing of events in the future which depends on a certain change in the past was clearly depicted.

Also, I love how the characters wisely deal with their predicament. They are actually trying to find the answers and looking for every way possible to solve the problems at hand. There were no single poorly-written character, which is commendable.

Because of the extreme cliffhangers after every episodes, this drama is perfect for binge-watching. For people who wants an adrenaline rush, Kairos perfectly fits your preference.


Streaming Site: Viu

Photos/ Videos: MBC

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