Kairos Korean Drama - Shin Sung Rok and Lee Se Young

Kairos is a fantasy thriller about a man (Shin Sung Rok) who is devastated when his daughter is kidnapped that connects with a woman (Lee Se Young) over the phone who is living one month in the past and is searching for her missing mother.

Shin Sung Rok is Kim Seo Jin. He is a successful business man at a construction company with a wife and daughter. His life is turned upside down though when his daughter is kidnapped, and he will stop at nothing to save her.

Lee Se Young plays Han Ae Ri. She is part time worker at a convenience store who takes care of her ill mother. Her life also takes a terrible turn when her mother disappears. Help comes from an unexpected place when she discovers she is able to connect with a man one month in her future by phone.

Rounding out the main cast is Nam Gyu Ri as Kang Hyun Chae who is Seo Jin’s wife and Ahn Bo Hyun as Seo Do Gyun who works closely with Seo Jin at his company.

Kairos Korean Drama - Shin Sung Rok and Lee Se Young

We get a time centered suspense drama with a big mystery to solve with Kairos. Anything time related deserves a peek from me. Rather than physical time travel, Kairos takes the route of communicating across time as Seo Jin and Ae Ri are one month apart and speak over the phone. The timelines move forward at the same speed, so there is a limited amount of time to change things in the past.

We get some truly fantastic acting in Kairos. I’m a fan of Shin Sung Rok. Though he’s more known for his villainous roles, he has had several outings of the more humorous variety and as a proper rom-com lead. We get to see him step into more of a hero lead role in Kairos as he rushes to save his family.

Shin Sung Rok was gripping in his performance. The raw emotion he portrayed at the loss of his daughter was painful to see. And that intensity continues all of the way through as he is really put through so much and experiences some incredible character growth.

I also really like Lee Se Young, and she too gave a compelling performance as the struggling woman trying to find her mother. She’s smart and tough while also being kind and relatable. She puts in a lot of effort locate her mother and help Seo Jin. The mother and daughter relationship here was great to see.

I enjoyed seeing Seo Jin and Ae Ri help each other in their times of difficulty. Although they are limited in their ability to connect only over the phone for much of the story, they make the most of their short and intense conversations. Their lives also become increasingly intertwined which furthers the connection.

The pacing of the drama is excellent as it moves swiftly forward with constant plot developments. We get plenty of twists and turns on this journey. There is some bad character decision making here and there, but for the most part, the main characters are smart. They come up with solid plans to try and right their situation and solve the mystery.

Now, me personally, I loved the first half of the drama where I was very engaged and felt the suspense as Seo Jin and Hae Ri frantically tried to save their loved ones amidst a a big mystery concerning everything that was happening.

The second half was still good, but it did lose some steam for me. About halfway through the drama, one particular plot development initiated the change followed by the story becoming more predictable.


We had some big build up to Seo Jin discovering his wife and daughter were still alive that quickly sent him from happy to distraught as he realized they were with Do Gyun. Then Hyun Chae, Do Gyun, and company proceeded to try and kill him. But Hae Ri is able to change things in the past by preventing Da Bin’s kidnapping which changes everything, although not in the best way for her.

The act of her catching up to the beginning of Seo Jin’s timeline and the initial crisis being resolved took away a lot of the mystery and in turn some of the suspense for me. There were still plenty of thrills to be had and layers of mystery to dig into, but it just never rivaled the first half of the drama.


Despite, the second half losing some steam, Kairos is a very well done time focused suspense drama. It gives us a well-written story that handles the time elements extremely well. Lots of mystery and thrills combined with nice pacing and constant plot developments. The acting was also wonderful. This is a great entry in both the time and suspense genres, and I think fans of either of those will enjoy this one.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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15 responses to “Kairos Korean Drama Review”

  1. Snow Flower Avatar
    Snow Flower

    Good drama, great review!

    1. Kay Avatar

      Thank you Snow Flower! Yes, it was a really good watch 🙂

  2. Kate Avatar

    Nice review 🙂

    1. Kay Avatar

      Thank you Kate 🙂

  3. D Avatar

    I wanted to check this out. And I thought you’d give it a higher rating than 7.5. I’m now curious to what happened half way through that made you lose a bit of interest (I didn’t read the spoilers). I will check it out. 🙂

    1. Kay Avatar

      Haha, it’s good you skipped the spoilers. You should definitely check it out though D. I don’t think most people were too bothered by the plot development that I was, especially since it was still a good drama afterwards. So hopefully, you won’t mind it either 🙂

      1. D Avatar

        Thanks Kay. I hope so too. 🙂

  4. kfangurl Avatar

    I recently watched half of E1, but didn’t find myself in the mood.. it just felt quite stressful, waiting for the other shoe to drop. 😝 But, I’ve heard very good things about this one, so I’m rather surprised to hear that the second half isn’t as gripping as the first. Maybe I don’t feel so bad now, about not being in the mood..! 😆

    1. Kay Avatar

      It’s definitely good to be in the mood for a drama like this. It’s quite suspenseful with a dose of melo all the way through. And it is very good. I personally didn’t find the second half as gripping because I liked the main plot in the first half so much which changes up a bit in the second half. Most people didn’t seem too bothered by it though, so maybe save it for a rainy day when you’re more in the mood for the suspense genre 🙂

      1. kfangurl Avatar

        Suspenseful with a dose of melo – thanks for that, it helps with managing expectations, and you know I’m all about that! 😉

        1. Kay Avatar

          You’re welcome! I’m the same way. It usually helps immensely to get that right lens on to get maximum enjoyment from a drama 🙂

  5. snow Avatar

    Yay that you liked it!
    I was okay with the reveals because I was still excited about how the leads will overcome the problem while still knowing the reasons behind everything.

    1. Kay Avatar

      Yes, it was a really great drama 🙂 Very well put together with amazing actors. It’s good that you maintained the excitement all the way through. Even though second half lost some steam for me, it was still really good, and I enjoyed it all 🙂

  6. […] The first half is the most thrilling while the second half loses some steam and becomes a bit more predictable, but Kairos is a very well done time focused suspense drama. It gives us a well-written story that handles the time elements extremely well. This is a great entry in both the time and suspense genres, and I think fans of either of those will enjoy this one. (Kairos Review) […]

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