Review – While You Were Sleeping
A perfect 10. Same writer that gave us Pinocchio, also a perfect 10 show. This is drama that managed to mix comedy, romance, thrills, and fantasy into one episode after the other of pure entertainment and joy. Lee Jong-Suk plays a young prosecutor who is learning the trade, stumbling hysterically along the way but still admirable due to his strong sense of justice. It was so refreshing to see a young man play a young man for once – naive, goofy, lounging about in a messy home as he sorts out his feelings and career. Bae Suzy plays a reporter who has quit her job because of an ominous dream. She’s carefree and yet complicated, her constant dreams of the future have crippled her ability to bravely face a world she believes she can not change. When Lee Jong-Suk’s character causes one of her premonitions to alter, she realizes the future isn’t as concrete as her dreams might imply and begins to climb out of her shell.
The entire cast is a goldmine of lovable characters with unique personalities and back stories. Each of them gets their moment to shine as this drama unfolds, allowing them all a chance to win your heart. Even the antagonists, in typical K-Drama style, are oddly sympathetic and though you will be cheering for justice, you’ll also feel a little bad for them too. Touchingly sweet moments full of sentiment and genuine affection were sprinkled throughout the show, nicely balanced between the intrigue and humor.
This will probably be my new choice for “First K-Drama” recommendation. I can’t imagine anyone not being charmed and compelled by this amazing story. If you haven’t seen it yet – watch it immediately! It’s currently on Viki.
Overall Rating – 10/10. Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This.
Character Breakdown, Spoilers, Thoughts and More follow…
Full confession. I thought, for about five seconds, this show might be based on the American movie “While You Were Sleeping” – starring Sandra Bullock – which was, actually, equally adorable. But nope. Totally different in every possible way. Both were awesome, but it’s the title of this show that caught my attention.
And the promise of romance. Which was delivered, I might add! This show was exceedingly romantic – refreshingly, sweetly, sincerely romantic. The chemistry between the two leads was immediately apparent – and I couldn’t be happier about it. Lee Jong-Suk, in particular, looked smitten. Absolutely smitten. He’s made me believe he was in love with most of his leading ladies, but there was something extra about this relationship that made it glow in the dark. I think a lot of their chemistry stems from allowing them both to play young people – goofy, fumbling, awkward, young people. Old enough to have started their careers, but still figuring themselves out as adults.
Speaking of adults – there was only one “mom” in this story. Bae Suzy’s character had a supportive, nurturing mother who took in not only Lee Jong-Suk’s character, but his younger brother and another suitor to her daughter, the hunky cop. She fed them all elaborate breakfasts and sent them off with lunchboxes, too. She cared after them when they were injured and filled in without complaint for the absentee parents. I seriously want to be adopted by this woman. Please feed me.
To also fill the place of all these absent (mainly deceased) parents, we also had the “workplace family.”
Our hunky cop (and he was super hunky, I might add) had his partner, who watched over him and fussed like a stressed out auntie. Our young prosecutor had all the older prosecutors to fill the void, as mentors and friends and companions, carefully steering him in the right direction when he got off course and allowing him to stumble, too, cause scraped knees are a part of the learning experience.
There’s so much I could say about this show! But I am reluctant to just rant about it too much as I fear it will spoil the enjoyment for new viewers… so I leave you with some random thoughts….
It’s really, really funny. There is a nice mix of screwball comedy, romantic comedy, work place comedy, family comedy and just general character comedy – it’s all over the board and some of it had me laughing out loud.
The cinematography is gorgeous! The scary scenes intense and thrilling (we, as the audience, are generally shown the murderer early and left to stress over how long it will take our heroes to figure out there is a snake in their midsts- it’s unnerving), the romantic scenes are lush and sweeping, the offices and homes seem real but still nicely framed in the screen. My eyes were in heaven.
You will be worried about these characters – as they are often in dangerous situations and caught up in the criminals’ plots and schemes – or their careers or future’s are on the line. And you will probably cry a bit – cause I did, I admit it. There’s some amazing crying in this show… just… dang… sad things happen, people die, it’s not going to let everyone off the hook with a happy ending.
But don’t forget what the poster promised you….
Cause with all the thrills and chills, tears and beers, there is this beautiful love story… and they’re so freakin’ cute it almost hurts. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say they’ll end up together. Hunky cop didn’t stand a chance… sorry, but you’re not on the poster, buddy. Still, he was a nice addition to the story and never once did he suffer from the generic second lead syndrome… you’ll love him to death, don’t get me wrong, but it’s these two from the beginning to the end:
WATCH IT. Watch it now. Find it! You must.