Most Dramas that make their way to the television tend to have a strong first episode, but not a lot of them manage to keep the same pace going for the middle and end. A lot of Drama even fizzle out during the middle and then come back with a bang towards the end. While You Were Sleeping, however isn’t one of them. It’s a show that managed to keep me interested all the way through the half hour run of thirty two episodes. I doubt I’m going to find another show like this for sometime.
While You Were Sleeping is the story of Hong Joo, a 29 year old journalist who dreams of event in the future, even if she can never quite manage to change them. That is until she meets Jung Jae-chan, a 29 year old Prosecutor who starts sharing the same fate after meeting her. There is another character, a 29 year old Police officer, Han Woo Tak who ends up developing the same ability as them due to reasons.
One of the basic attraction of this show is the fact that it’s a rom-com mixed with supernatural and legal Drama. All of these aspects co-exist without burdening each other. If I’m being honest, I was more sold on the legal stuff and the general relationship between all the characters, but the romance was handled maturely too and the main characters dynamic is such a sweet mixture of funny moments, adorableness, and being each other’s support system. The way the Prosecutors worked around the law also made the Drama interesting, because while it wasn’t anything new, there is always that kaboom moment that follows when holes in the legal system are pointed out. As for the fantasy elements, they were there, the effected a lot of the outcome but it wasn’t an absolute focus. You won’t get more than an basic explanation of how the dreams and time works, but you won’t need it either.
This show’s driving point is essentially the characters. Despite having a well thought out plot, it’s focus has always been the growth of the characters. I liked every one of them so much, the main characters, the recurring ones and even the minor ones. Maybe it’s because of the butterfly effect theme, but all of them had so much impact and tangled in each other’s life in a way which was fascinating to watch. It helped that the cast contended exceptional actors.
Jung Jae-chan (Lee Jong-suk)
One of the thing that was endearing about Jung Jae-Chan was his normalcy. He was just a newly appointed prosecutor with zero work place experience who was too excited for his job. At first he tried to ignore the wrongdoings, but simply because he isn’t a person like that, he ended up meticulously going through every case to make sure he doesn’t mess up, to the point the people around him were exasperated with his kindness. Add to that, his goofball behaviour, foot in mouth moments and his obsession with taking selfies, how could you not fall for the male lead?
Nam Hong-joo (Bae Suzy)
What can I say about Nam Hong Joo? There’s nothing more attractive than strong female lead with actual flaws. Hong Joo dreams of her death every night and still manages to greet everyone with a smile in the morning and yet, she holds grudges, and she can be stubbornly set in her ways. Did I mention how she’s a spitfire journalist? She has a crazy side to her too, but that appears more as an attempt to seem like a normal girl than anything else.
Lee Yoo-bum (Lee Sang-yeob)
As the designated bad guy, he was lackluster. I was tempted to skip his scenes a lot but he’s essential to the story. Yoo bum is a lawyer who would help any kind of criminal as long as he gets paid well. The more he did these things, the more corrupted he felt and yet, he didn’t know how to stop once he started. In some ways, he wasn’t particularly regretful, just someone who felt he was above other criminals and the world owed him something.
Han Woo-tak (Jung Hae-in )
Han Woo Tak had so much complexities to him, said and did things that didn’t always fit his goody two shoe image and yet, at the end of the day, was a genuinely kind person at heart. One of the thing that really about his personality- something that wasn’t emphasized upon- was that he’s smart. He was pretty much the most intelligent character in the in the whole show and a key point in figuring things out. I was attacked by the second lead syndrome due to his performance. He’s pretty much my favourite character here.
In case it isn’t clear from my constant gushing, I really enjoyed the series. It had a solid first episode that already had me invested in the characters before I realized and that attachment only grew stronger with each passing episode. There’s also another character that I felt strongly for but someone I can’t mention because that would be a major hint. So, if you can, check this out.