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

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

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

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

  • 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


Kairos Series Quick Recap

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 — power, wealth, and a 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 for 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.

Kairos Series Highlights

Clearly-Written Script

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

The drama grips through its quick pace and early revelations. Since plenty of information has already been served, getting nervous about the story going derail is expected. But it even surpassed expectations. Every scene is 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 commits its trajectory to 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 moment with our loved ones, not dwell on the past nor get impatient with the future. The drama has more than a lot to offer than we can imagine. Those messages also involve 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 pierce 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, his collapsing marriage, and the truth about his father’s death. Strikingly, the actor portrayed his character on a compelling note.

Lee Se Young

We just had to say this, but Lee Se Young deserves an award for her acting here! Her eyes speak a thousand words, and I cannot stress enough how outstanding her portrayal is to Han Ae Ri. We lost count of how many times our hearts 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. For those following his career, being highly impressed with Ahn Bo Hyun’s acting in Itaewon Class as the antagonist is a sure thing. And once again, he lived up to expectations, even more exceeding it in Kairos.

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 who deserves the spotlight given to him in the series

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.

Kairos Series Musings

From effective character portrayals, a 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 on a lot. But, it’s never too late!

When I first finished it, my initial reaction was “this is it!”. This cannot be on my list of the most unforgettable K-dramas, because honestly, it has ticked 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 traveling, the characters did not actually travel through time but remain in their respective timeline, which is a fresh concept. The storyline was coherent and not stagnant, which most time travel dramas these days fail to deal with.

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

One thing that truly made Kairos stood out is its consistency. Every scene contributes 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 was no single poorly-written character, which is commendable.

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


Photos: MBC Drama