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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