I am obsessed.
Completely obsessed with While You Were Sleeping. I wasn’t interested in watching Korean dramas before but after a lot of insistence from my friend (thanks Sab!) But I finally agreed to watch it, and I fell in love with it.
I binged this show in two days and did NOTHING else. The second day was a Monday but I skipped all my classes to finish this. It completely drew me in and I could not stop watching it.
First of all, I am NOT talking about the movie While You Were Sleeping starring Sandra Bullock, neither is this a Korean adaptation of it. While talking about it to my friends, a few thought I was talking about the movie. So I’m putting this out there.
what is While You Were Sleeping about?
The drama mainly stars Nam Hong-Joo, Jung Jae-Chan and Han Woo-Tak who have dreams of the future. It started with Hong-Joo but later the other two started getting them as well. Throughout the show we see them trying to change the future into a better one.
I got into the show right from the beginning because it starts with Hong-Joo dreaming about hugging this guy she’s never seen before, and then he shows up in real life. The first two episodes get you into the concept of predicting dreams, changing paths and get you attached to the characters.
what I loved about the story
- Since Jae-Chan is a prosecutor, we follow all of the cases he works on. I absolutely LOVED the mystery and thriller aspect it gave to the show. My favourites of it all were the court scenes. They were so intense that it kept me to the edge of my seat, especially in the last few episodes. I didn’t even move when watching the 31st episode* and I felt like I had to work out to get my limbs loosened up.
- The relationships in this drama were BRILLIANT. I adored Hong-Joo’s relationship with her mom right from the start. I also really liked the familial, friendship and work-place dynamics that was shown. Not only did I get invested in the characters individually but I also adored their relationships.
- The small details in the characters’ personalities and habits were really interesting to watch. Especially in Lee Yoo-bum, a lawyer who covers up the crimes of his clients.
- The PERFECT soundtrack. Every time I listen to the songs now, I’m instantly transported back into the scene. In fact, I’m listening to the soundtrack right now. I’m completely and utterly obsessed with the songs. They were perfect for the scenes and accompanied the emotions really well.
- There were also MANY funny scenes which made me laugh out loud. The day-to-day weirdness of characters and embarrassing moments made the characters more realistic.
- It made me cry multiple times. The show gave me so many feels that I just could NOT hold out against the feels. Stories that make you cry are THE BEST.
- Okay so THE ROMANCE WAS HELLA ADORABLE. There was slow relationship growth and cute moments and aww moments and just… the romance was everything. I rooted for the couple right from the start. You can’t not love them.
I also want to mention one scene done towards the end of the show. It showed parallel scenes of two different times and it was done SO BLOODY WELL.
*there are 32 episodes totally
what I didn’t like
Nam Hong-Joo was a very entertaining character to watch. The character played by Suzy is pretty weird, especially in the beginning, which made her endearing. But as the show goes on we see how she tries to change the bad future which she reads, how she tries to keep her morale up when she’s down and how she pushes through the bad dreams.
While I really like Hong-Joo, watching Jung Jae-Chan was the highlight of the show. Lee Jong-Suk plays this character SO DAMN WELL that I was blown away. Jae-Chan is silly, foolish at times and also quite slow in doing his work. But he’s determined to bring justice, dig until he finds the truth and is VERY supportive of everyone. I especially loved watching him as a prosecutor at court. He’s really adorable and I might have a slight crush. Just slightly.
Now, ALLOW ME TO TALK ABOUT MY BAE. Han Woo-Tak was the cutest. We don’t immediately recognize him as a main character but he becomes important pretty soon and I just LOVED watching him. There are many layers to his character which we see as the show goes on, and all of it just made me love him more. During the last few episodes every time he came on screen I made a heart and said “bae”. That’s how much I like him. Jung Hae-In played him superbly.
Now, onto the other really important character played by Lee Sang-Yeob. Lee Yoo-Bum is “the bad guy”. I didn’t like him as a person but I loved his character and the depth to it. Throughout the show we watch him playing on the other side of the law against our main three, being cocky and confident.
As I said before, I loved the tiny details of his character like him rolling bits of paper when he’s thinking, putting aside his watch when consulting with a paying client and scrubbing his hands with soap vigorously when he’s afraid.
Other recurring characters were great, too. The drama had a way of connecting us with every character in focus. I could go on and on talking about the characters of the show but you’d be here all day.
my favourite songs from the soundtrack
After that talk above about While You Were Sleeping having the PERFECT soundtrack, I HAVE to mention some. Once I finished bingeing the show, I was listening to only this soundtrack for weeks with my #1 favourite changing every few days. All the songs are amazing but these are the best out of them.
discussion (INCLUDES SPOILERS)
If you don’t want to get spoiled, click here to skip to the “overall” concluding section.
Now that I’m done with the spoiler-free part of the review, I really want to talk about a few things.
Here are a few things I wish were spoken about or were elaborated:
- Jae-Chan’s dad’s death was spoken about a lot but what about his mom? How did she die? We never really saw her except in one flashback scene and they never told how she died.
- In episode 10 Hong-Joo saved a girl at the university from being badly burned. Just like Woo-Tak still felt as if he’d been hit when he didn’t after Jae-Chan saved him, she also felt as if she was burned even though she wasn’t. Why didn’t she get any dreams about Hong-Joo?
- Did Mr. Choi never get any dreams about Jae-Chan and Hong-Joo in those several years? We all know those two were in a lot of trouble but why didn’t he go to save them any of those times before the fire?
- On the same note, why did Jae-Chan not get any dreams during those 13 years before he met Hong-Joo again? How come they started only when they met again?
- How did the dreams start for Hong-Joo in the first place?
- And now for a very important question: why did Jae-Chan have blond hair when he was younger??????????? That looked SO BAD. He could have just had black hair!
I’ve been thinking about these ever since I finished the show about three weeks back. Let me know in the comments if you have any theories about these!
Also, what about those parallel scenes in episode 31??? The one at the funerals from 13 years back and presently. When Hong-Joo and Jae-Chan cried. It was done so perfectly just to make us bawl like babies?!
Did anyone else also bawl when Hong-Joo cried while Jae-Chan was in the hospital room being recovered? Because I DID. Even though I love Woo-Tak and wished that she chose him just so he’ll be happy, Hong-Joo and Jae-Chan were meant to be. That scene almost killed me. If he died I wouldn’t have recovered for a long time.
I definitely recommend While You Were Sleeping! In fact, I’ve already told quite a few of my friends to watch it (let’s hope they do). Because I loved this drama so much, I got into Kdramas now. Instead of reading books all my free time I’m now binge-watching Kdramas.