While You Were Sleeping Korean Drama Review

While You Were Sleeping is about a woman (Suzy) who has visions through her dreams of terrible things that will happen to people in the future and a prosecutor (Lee Jong Suk) who tries to prevent them from happening.

While You Were Sleeping is a drama that I was really looking forward to as it comes from the writer of some truly amazing dramas such as Pinocchio and I Hear Your Voice.  Thankfully, I was very pleased with the drama as a whole. It nails that mix of rom-com-thriller that I so love by giving us an intriguing story with romance, laughs, and tension. It also delivers well crafted characters that are likable and full of depth.

Suzy plays Nam Hong Joo. Her visions of the future she receives through her dreams have added some complications to her life. It’s tough knowing the future and being unable to prevent it. But that begins to change with the help of Jae Chan. Suzy was so enjoyable as Hong Joo. She’s such a bright character that really warmed my heart.

Lee Jong Suk is Jung Jae Chan, a rookie prosecutor. He finds himself tangled up with Hong Joo because of the dream visions. I seriously loved Lee Jong Suk in this role! Jae Chan has such an interesting personality that moves between being quite serious and downright quirky.

It was so fun getting to see Lee Jong Suk really explore his humorous side. He makes some great faces and his character had so many fun quirks that left me grinning all the time. Such a wonderful role for him!

Jung Hae In as Han Woo Tak, a police officer. He ends up helping Jae Chan and Hong Joo and develops such a lovely friendship with them. Woo Tak is such a sweet and selfless man who is always more than willing to jump in and help when needed.

We then have Lee Sang Yeob as our villainous lawyer Lee Yoo Bum. He’s such a sleazy guy who will do anything for money and to keep himself out of trouble. There’s really not much to like about him.

Lee Sang Yeob nailed this role, but I would have liked to have seen his character more fleshed out. We just don’t get much backstory for him or go to in depth with his personality and motivations. But overall, still an interesting character.

I’m so relieved this drama ended up being good! I always try to keep my expectations in check, but it’s definitely hard when it comes from a favorite writer and stars two actors that I really love, Lee Jong Suk and Suzy.

The overall premise of Hong Joo seeing visions was very interesting. It developed a bit of a mystery as Jae Chan joins in to help prevent these visions. Others are also brought into the fold to add to the mystery as well creating some lovely friendships. It was a bit on the episodic side, especially as the drama progressed, but the overarching story and the characters were so good that it more than made up for it.

There is something to keep in mind though. Something I should point out is how the fantasy element is handled. I’ve long been aware that many kdramas use fantasy elements as more of a starting point and don’t get too deep with them. Many times these dramas never really answer the how or the why as to how the fantasy elements work.

And just as in some of this writers previous dramas, that is also the case in While You Were Sleeping. We do get some basic explanations concerning the dream visions, but nothing too deep. This isn’t something I having any issues with as it’s something I’ve actually always enjoyed about kdramas. The fantasy elements are meant to enhance the story rather than overwhelm it.

A lot of western shows do the opposite and put a lot of focus on the intricacies of how things work. But kdramas keep their focus on the characters and story with the fantasy stuff being more of a side note. I personally really enjoy this, but it is good to give a heads up for those who might be disappointed that a grander explanation isn’t available.

I really adored Jae Chan and Hong Joo as a couple. They are super cute together and give us plenty of adorable couple moments. They are also both genuinely good people that put others before themselves, and they develop such a supportive relationship with each other. I really enjoyed the thoughtful conversations between the pair and watching the romance blossom.


This duo sure does get into a whole lot of life and death situations though! It’s one thing after another for these two. But I greatly enjoyed the excitement it added to the drama as well as the ample opportunities for bonding these situations provided. Lee Jong Suk and Suzy really nailed their roles and had such sweet and fun chemistry.

I mostly found While You Were Sleeping to be a very comfortable drama. It did provide plenty of tension filled scenarios to keep things exciting, but it was the characters, the relationships, and our wonderful couple that truly shined for me in this story.

My Rating: 8/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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21 Responses to While You Were Sleeping Korean Drama Review

  1. raistlin0903 says:

    Well, as you know I’m currently in the middle of Pinocchio, and in a strange twist of fate, this drama is actually available to me, despite being rather new.
    I already had this one on my to watch list, and I’m glad to read this drama seems to mostly deliver the good stuff. As for the things you are describing about the fantasy elements, I have absolutely no problems with that either. As long as the series is fun to watch, I don’t mind that at all. Another terrific review! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kay says:

      That’s because it was a highly anticipated drama before and during airing 🙂 But yes, definitely a good and solid drama. If you like Pinocchio, this one has a similar feel. And I enjoyed how the fantasy elements were handled. I don’t need any big explanation either as long as it adds something interesting to the drama 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is one of the dramas that I loved this year! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you liked it too! I agree about he fantasy element. I was actually glad it wasn’t focused on too much. That said, once the show ended I did spend an abnormal amount of time thinking about how it all worked. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Fred says:

    Classic Park Hye Run drama. She NEVER disappoints. I’m still contemplating on whether I will include this in my list of perfect dramas or not. It is either a 9.5 or a 10.

    Here are my perfect dramas:
    1. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
    2. Kill Me, Heal Me
    3. Fated To Love You
    4. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
    5-10 (in no specific order): City Hunter, Pinocchio, Shopping King Louie, Healer, I Hear Your Voice

    As you can see, if I add this drama my list will then have 3 Park Hye Runs and 3 Lee Jong Suks. LOL. I just love how her dramas’ stories are so well-written and well-executed. It’s just amazing! She gives the viewer seemingly random puzzle pieces that wonderfully paint a beautiful picture in the end. She makes dramas almost like Christopher Nolan makes movies plus the Kdrama romance.

    I previously considered Goblin’s first episode to be the best. Now I give that credit to this drama. That first episode was so beautiful, epic, grand, amazing, perfect! It wonderfully set the stage for what was to come. It could even be a stand-alone movie. When I saw it the first and the second time, I couldn’t explain my feelings. It was that feeling a person would feel when they see something so beautiful and perfect! Wow!

    I have so much to say, Kay. But I will stop here. It might become too long. HAHAHA.

    Anyhow, I’m planning to re-watch my Top 3 and maybe a few others. Hopefully there will be new interesting dramas in your reviews after I finish re-watching them. 🙂 But I won’t include that #4 drama. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I hate that I can’t move on from it while also unable to re-watch it because I will just hurt myself. HAHA. My Spotify and Youtube history for the past few weeks is filled with ‘Scarlet Heart’ and ‘Hae Soo, Wang So’. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I’m so glad you decided to go back to While You Were Sleeping and finish it 🙂 I have the exact same thoughts about Park Hye Ryun. She has done some of my favorite dramas too. They always give you a solid story as well as fantastic and layered characters. And as far as I’m concerned, Lee Jong Suk can just keep being her leading man! lol He fits her characters so well.

      And yes, the first ep in While You Were Sleeping is absolutely wonderful. It’s one of those that pulls you right in and is so memorable. I’m already anticipating Park Hye Ryun’s next drama. It will probably be another year, but I’ll be waiting!

      I hope you enjoy your top 3 re-watches. I hope to find some good dramas to review too. I’m not in a slump, but several of my last dramas were very mediocre. I only loved one out of the last 4. I keep watching dramas in genres that I know I don’t love though, so it’s mostly my fault, lol. Here’s hoping I find some amazing dramas soon!


      • Fred says:

        Yup. Your last review was a 6. 😦
        Hope you get lucky and find a new 10 – so I can also watch it. HAHA.

        After giving it a bit of thought, I decided this drama is a 9.5 for me. I was subconsciously forcing myself to make it a 10 because it is a Park Hye Run drama. But it was still amazing. Almost perfect.

        And I also really like Lee Jong Suk’s characters in Park Hye Run dramas. Though there might be bumps along the way, he is a good person all throughout. Not the bad boy-turned-good because of a girl type. HAHA.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          Yep, Park Hye Ryun’s characters are just perfect for Lee Jong Suk. I feel like this could be the last one they do together…at least for quite a while since they have done 3. Which is disappointing because I love him so much in her dramas. But hopefully she will find another great guy to lead her next drama.

          Haha, I definitely have those experiences where part me just wants to give it a 10 for whatever reason. But I always take time to think on it and reflect. So I end up actually not giving out that many 10’s. But yes, let’s both find some great dramas to watch!


          • Fred says:

            Yup, that would be disappointing. She can keep Bae Suzy. Her acting is okay now. I also like her. And if she changes the leading man, I nominate Park Bo Gum to be the replacement. Though I think I liked him best when he was a serial killer in I Remember You. HAHA.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Kay says:

              I would love to see a Park Bo Gum and Suzy pairing! I also think he would do really well in a Park Hye Ryun drama. Of course at this point, he just needs to go ahead and pick something. It’s been too long since Moonlight, lol


  8. Rei says:

    can those two be paired up again in another drama? i really ship those two🥺

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rahulraj097 says:

    Hi , thought this drama would be rated 9 . It had a fantastic OST too . The fantasy part was not well explained , But , I wasn’t bored at any time watching this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      It didn’t quite make a 9 for me, but I still really enjoyed it. The story, characters, production, and OST were fantastic. It was a great drama for sure 🙂


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