While You Were Sleeping // Kdrama review

I am obsessed. Completely obsessed. I wasn’t really interested in watching Korean dramas before but after a LOT of insistence from my friend (thanks Sabs!) I finally agreed to watch it, and I fell in love with it.

I binged this show in two days and did NOTHING else. I don’t think I could have even if I tried because 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 the drama all about?

The drama mainly stars Nam Hong-joo, Jung Jae-chan and Han Woo-tak who have dreams of the future. It all started with Hong-Joo but later the other two it as well. Throughout the show we see them trying to change the future to 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 properly 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 show 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.
while you were sleeping.png

Source: Dramas with a side of kimchi

  • The small details paid to the characters’ personalities and habits was really interesting to watch. Especially in Lee Yoo-bum, a lawyer who covers up the crimes of his clients.
  • The PERFECT soundtrack. Just listening to the songs after the show ended gets me into that mood. 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 darn 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. I loved that it was slow paced. There was 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.
DramaKimch-While-You-Were-Sleeping-8-2.png

Source: Dramas with a side of kimchi

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

The Characters

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 you were sleeping hong joo.jpg

Source: Soompi

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 off by it. 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.

while you were sleeping jung jae-chan.jpg

Source: Pinterest

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.

while you were sleeping woo tak

Source: Dramabeans

Now let’s move on to the other really important character who is 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 to 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.

while you were sleeping lee yoo bum

Source: Dramabeans

As for the recurring characters, they were played really well as well. I could go on and on talking about the characters of the show but then you’d here all day reading this post.

My favourite songs from the soundtrack

After that talk above about this show having the PERFECT soundtrack, obviously I have to mention some of the songs which I loved the most. After I finished bingeing the show, for about three weeks I was listening to the soundtrack with my #1 favourite changing every few days. All the songs are amazing but the following are the ones I listened to on repeat sometimes.

The above song is sung by Lee Jong-suk who plays Jung Jae-chan in the show! I actually did not make the connection because I kept calling the actor by the show name and not his real name. But since I watched another show with him in it, I figured I should call him by his real name and only then made the connection. Y’all, this song is SO GOOD.

In fact, Suzy who plays Nam Hong-joo is also a singer and she’s contributed a couple tracks to the show as well.


Discussion (INCLUDES SPOILERS)

If you don’t want to get spoiled, click here to skip to the “overall” concluding section.

Okay so now that I’m done with the spoiler-free part of the review, I really want to talk about a few things.

Especially..

Plot Holes

Here are a few things I wish was spoken about or was elaborated:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. How did the dreams start for Hong-joo in the first place?
  6. 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 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 had died I wouldn’t have recovered for a long time.

Overall

I definitely recommend this show! In fact I’ve already told quite a few of my friends to watch it (let’s hope they do). Because I loved WYWS so much I got into into Kdramas now. Instead of reading books all my free time I’m now binge-watching Kdramas.

Have you watched While You Were Sleeping? If yes, do tell me your theories related to the wonderings I mentioned in the discussion section. If not, have you watched any other Korean dramas? Which did you love the most? Have you seen any other movie/TV show where the characters dream of the future? Let me know everything in the comments!

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51 thoughts on “While You Were Sleeping // Kdrama review

  1. bethanyandbooks says:

    While You Were Sleeping was the first ever K-Drama I watched and I loved it! I agree with everything you said. The characters are best (especially Jae) and the soundtrack is amazing (especially Come to me). This drama is just so close to my heart and I will be watching it again for sure 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sumedha says:

      Agreed! I’m on my sixth one now! But one of them I stopped after episode 5 because I couldn’t like the main character 😅

      Like

  2. thebookprophet says:

    Yasss girl watch the K-Dramas xD I haven’t seen this one yet unfortunately, but I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it and the concept sounds so cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sumedha says:

      It takes three episodes to get into it since they try to explain the concept in the first two episodes. I’m sure you’ll end up loving it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tyv Reed (Ynnah) says:

    OMG! Unfortunately, I haven’t watched this one yet but hopefully I’d get to real soon. I’m also one who loves kdramas and almost anything Korean. My top two kdramas would be Descendants of the Sun and Goblin! Have you watched that? The OST of those two are really, really good too that I kept playing them for a long time. Actually, I still do. Especially, when I’m doing the laundry lol.

    There are also other very, very good dramas that I enjoyed such as The Heirs, Page Turner (this is a short one, 3 episodes I think), SCARLET HEART RYEO (I suggest you ready a box of tissues or two), Doctors and Yong Pal (both revolve around doctors, really cool), Love Story in Harvard, and Weightlifting Kim Bok Joo. There’s also this on-going drama About Time where the character sees the date when a person dies. Haven’t watched it but it seems interesting. It stars Lee Sung Kyung and I love her so. 🙂

    Like

    • Sumedha says:

      okay first of all you’ve watched so many good kdramas so HOW haven’t you seen While You Were Sleeping??

      I have actually seen The Heirs (because Park Shin Hye, Lee Min Ho AND Kim Woo Bin!), Page Turner (for Ji Soo!) and Doctors (for Park Shin Hye and how good was she in this show??).

      Descendants of the Sun is my next kdrama which I’ll watch immediately after my finals are done and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo after that. We’ve got a lot of kdramas in common so WATCH WYWS!

      I’ll come back to this comment when I’m looking for more kdramas, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tyv Reed (Ynnah) says:

        I know, I know. It’s just that I’ve been sooooo busy with uni that I wasn’t really able to get a chance to watch it PLUS there are so many on my list! There’s also Fight For My Way and Strong Woman Do Bong Soon? and Uncontrollably Fond and many, many more. And there’s also English and American series and then my never-ending tbr huhuhuhu I need more time like badly

        Liked by 1 person

  4. raistlin0903 says:

    I was delighted to see a post entered into Jon’s Creator Showcase about a Korean drama. I absolutely love Korean dramas, and am totally addicted to them myself as well. This one is still on my to watch list, and I haven’t yet started with it, but after having read your enormously enthusiastic and terrific post for it, I definitely plan on watching it soon.
    As for your question if I have seen any others? Quite a few: I’m currently nearing the end of Lawless Lawyer and that one is soooooo good. Certainly the best drama I have seen all year so far. Another one you might really enjoy is Black. I absolutely loved the story for that one which had some amazing twists and turns and the chemistry between the two leads is terrific. Others which you might enjoy are Descendants of the Sun, Tunnel and Solomon’s Perjury. There are many others, and I could probably go on talking all day…but this comment is already very long lol.
    Thanks for entering this into the Creator Showcase. Really enjoyed reading it! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sumedha says:

      Hi, thank you for your comment!

      I actually watched Descendants of the Sun recently and I really liked it! It’s OST is almost as good as WYWS. I’ve heard of Lawless Lawyer but it’s not on my list yet. I’ll make sure to check it out, though! And Black sounds good! Is it fantasy? I watched W: Two Worlds and I loved it so much. I’ve been looking for good fantady Kdramas but I haven’t found any. Do you know some?

      Also, I actually haven’t entered this into the Creator Showcase? This is the first time I’m hearing of it? Going to Google it now! 😅

      Liked by 1 person

      • raistlin0903 says:

        Haha, it’s okay. A lot of people are responding to getting tagged, but I’m having the feeling that they don’t actually know anymore what it’s for. The JonsCreatorShowcase is a tag that is hosted by a different blogger each month. (I am this month’s host). It showcases posts from all kinds of different blogs. That doesn’t mean that every posts will get selected though. But..you did respond to getting tagged on twitter (looking at the thread I can’t even see anymore who it was that tagged you, as there are so many people in there right now). I’m getting swamped by posts so it’s hard to keep track of it all lol. At the end of the month there will be a massive post that features the selected bloggers and the post they submitted and after that it moves over to another blogger 😊 So, that’s basically it 😀
        As for your question: there is definitely a fantasy one that you will really enjoy and that is Goblin. It’s one of the highest rated Korean dramas ever, and it was made by the same people behind Descendants of the Sun.
        Also…Black is fantasy as well, and it has a truly great storyline. I think you will absolutely love them both 😀😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sumedha says:

        I just saw the website and it sounds so cool! Oh and someone tagged me for it? Hmm 🤔 ohhhhhhh okay I remember now. I didn’t realize it was for a specific showcase and just one of the bloggers tweet threads to spread positivity and get views 😅 thank you for taking the time to read through my post!

        Also, I’m actually watching Goblin right now. Don’t have much time to binge-watch but I’m enjoying it. It’s just, so far, there’s been way more comedy and humour than fantasy. Humour is good but I went into it expecting a lot more fantasy and plotlines like W. Let’s hope I get time soon to finish Goblin 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • raistlin0903 says:

        Haha, yeah I understand. It’s also why I am having a lot of trouble keeping track of the posts that are being entered for the showcase 😂😂 But it’s okay. There are now currently over 40 posts that have been submitted and this is just the start of the month so far 😊😊
        You are welcome, it was a really cool post and I really enjoyed reading it 😀

        I think you will like Black more than Goblin ( I certainly did) It’s darker than Goblin, and has more fantasy elements as well. Goblin is fun, but it is a lighter show, that has more of a comedy feel to it (although without spoiling things of course, that will change 😊(. I hope you will continue to enjoy Goblin (and time certainly is one of the luxuries I don’t have either lol 😂).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sumedha says:

        Wow, that’s huge! I’m currently reading up on being a host and stuff so I think I might try it once when I can as well! Going to watch your blog to see how you’re doing it because I need to see a working prototype 😂 (studying engineering is bringing the tech terms everywhere into my life lol)

        Liked by 1 person

      • raistlin0903 says:

        Haha, well basically it’s nothing more than promoting the event, reading all the entries and then deciding who will be featured in the final post (and that part is the hardest as so far there have been so many cool entries that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to make those decisions lol 😂😂). I think the biggest problem is time though, as it really costs a lot of time to read all the entries. But then again, it’s a lot of fun to read all these posts, and meeting all kinds of new people, which is pretty much what this tag is for! 😊 Thanks for the follow by the way, and of course nice to meet you 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sumedha says:

        I can’t wait to read all the posts that you feature because when I was just scrolling through the thread a little, I found quite a few good ones. Choosing throughout the month sounds very hard. Good luck! Thanks for the follow back and it’s nice to meet you too 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • raistlin0903 says:

        There are some really good ones in there that is for sure. I am about two thirds through reading everything, but new entries will probably be added in the coming weeks! I’m looking forward to seeing how this will turn out myself 😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

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