datWhile You Were SleepingReview.

Despite what people said about Suzy’s performance in “Uncontrollably Fond,” I was not deterred from sinking my teeth into this drama. Personally, I’ve experienced multiple déjà vu moments in my life, and these carry more meaning for me because I don’t really dream (or I just don’t remember them), so a story that revolves around people capable of dreaming future events and working hard to prevent them and change the course off the event? Hook, line and sinker!

***ALL TEXT IN RED FONT ARE SPOILERS!***

While You Were Sleeping
While You Were Sleeping (2017 TV series).jpg

Genre
Network SBS
Original Release September 27 – November 16, 2017
Starring
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 32[a]

Plot

I wouldn’t say that the plot was “perfect” in the sense that there were still some spots that I couldn’t quite wrap my head around. For instance, how the heck did Jung Jae Chan start getting the dreams so late in life, when technically Nam Hong Joo saved him and Mr. Choi way back? However, I must say that the story was still quite well written.  Suspense at the right moments, and cutesy-fartsy stuff was under control. Nam Hong Joo (Suzy) dreams of hugging Jae Chan, and whaddaya know — he moves in right next door with his younger brother! However, things don’t turn out very well afterwards, because Hong Joo dreams of herself waking up from a coma in a hospital, only to discover that her mother passed away. Trying to prevent this, she cuts her hair short in a fit of panic. After her mother calms her down and reassures her daughter that she will be more careful, Hong Joo decides to go on a date with Mr. Evil Lawyer/Ex-Prosecutor (Lee Sang-yeob). Mr. Evil Pants asks gentlemanly after their date and offers to drive Hong Joo home with her car, but he ends up killing a person. Being Mr. Evil Pants, he frames the comatose Hong Joo, and when she wakes up from her coma, she realizes that her dream has become reality. Her mother, due to the public’s hatred and demand for Hong Joo to be punished, ends up working multiple jobs to support her comatose daughter while paying back the victim’s family. It clearly doesn’t help grief-stricken Hong Joo, when she gets grueled by detectives and newbie Prosecutor Jung Jae Chan, to the point where she resorts to taking her life by jumping off the hospital’s roof.  HOWEVER, this is all in Jae Chan’s dream. And this is where it all begins. Jae Chan eventually realizes that the dream was becoming a reality, so he actually ends up sacrificing his car by crashing it into Nam Joo’s car to save the man, who is policeman Han Woo Tak.

From that point on, these 3’s lives become intertwined — with their dreams about each other sealing their fates together. Since Nam Joo saved Jae Chan, Jae Chan mainly dreams about Nam Joo. Since Jae Chan saved Woo Tak, Woo Tak mainly dreams about Jae Chan. Since Korean drama characters always have trouble knocking at their door for all 16-hour-long-episodes, we get to see a ton of their dreams and their struggles to prevent unfortunate events from unfolding.

Characters

Jung Jae Chan/Lee Jong-suk

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Did I ever mention that Lee Jong Suk looks like a snake to me? I don’t mean it in a bad way! Just his face kinda looks like one because of his pointy chin and his nose, but he looks like a kind soul still. At this point with Pinnocchio and W, I feel like Jung Jae Chan as a character isj’t all that different from his previous characters. His acting does not disappoint, but I kind of wished that his next character would not be quite the same, so he can show us more of his acting. However, I must say that we do get to see more of his goofy side in this drama in the cute interactions between Jae Chan and his younger brother, Seung Won, in addition to those embarrassing newbie prosecutor antics. Seung Won may be a high schooler, but he acts like the older brother — he just, really, can’t cook.

Nam Hong Joo/Bae Suzy

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Every so lovely Suzy has really improved her acting since Dream High days~ I totally cracked up though, when she displayed her “beauty/grace” when picking up that neck scarf in front of Hyang Mi (Park Jin Joo). Double the laughter when Kim So Hyun pulled the same move in the finale (and she’s growing up so well!). I think the reason why Suzy managed to pull off Nam Hong Joo as a character quite well is because Nam Hong Joo, despite one tough cookie as a reporter, is still a delicate and fragile soul — a damsel in distress. Suzy pulls off glares well, but she also pulls off the damsel face well too. I like Nam Hong Joo’s character because you can’t help but hope that everything works out for her. At every turn, her life seems to be put in danger, but I guess that’s the whole point of a damsel in distress right? I can’t exactly blame her though either, because before Jae Chan came into the picture, Nam Joo was never eable to succeed in preventing/changing the course of events outlined a dream. Now that I think about it, her acting wasn’t amazing, but it was not bad either. I look forward to more growth!

Han Woo Tak/Jung Hae-in

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Is it just me, but I actually confused him with Lee Je Hoon at first…oops. After I did, I kind of realized that this drama was pretty similar to signal in the sense that some peeps are trying to change the future. I was expecting this dude to be chaebol second gen from a triad family or something, but it turns out that his big, bad secret was just that he is colorblind and manage to graduate from the police academy and work in the field without getting caught. I don’t think second-lead syndrome hit me that hard this time around, but certainly, this guy is so cute (I totally approve of his purchase of the penguin). It’s unfortunate that he ended up quitting after testifying in court in the finale to put Mr. Evil pants behind bars, but I wish we got some more insight into how he fares later after graduating from law school and starting as a lawyer. I’m also quite lost as to how this drama was all about dreams, but they end up not really talking about it at the very end. I also felt like it could be very funny if there was more bromance between Jae Chan and Woo Tak…since Woo Tak dreams about Jae Chan…but I guess it was a good thing that the drama didn’t take that turn, since that’s cliché these days.

Conclusion

This drama met expectations. While Suzy’s performance slightly exceeded expectations and I fell in love with some of the performances/stories of other actors/characters (hi, Han Woo Tak, Mr. Choi, & Kim So Hyun’s cameo!), the drama wasn’t as “wow” for me (Goblin was my wow.). BUT it’s still worth a watch! 4.5/5

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