KDrama Review: ‘While You Were Sleeping’ Weaves An Imaginative Fantasy-Romance Story
While You Were Sleeping cleverly fuses romance and fantasy in a thrilling courtroom drama that will leave you wanting more.
Title: While You Were Sleeping
Theme: Fantasy, Romance, Legal
Length: 16 Episodes
Broadcast Period: 27 September 2017 – 16 November 2017
What the rest of supernatural themed dramas missed this year, While You Were Sleeping accomplished in full marks consistently.
At some point, I imagined the writer meticulously penning the script with a big board of connecting scenarios similar to how detectives work on criminal cases. The heedful writing contributes to the seamless linking of the mini conflicts up to the eventual climax.
Lee Jong Suk, Bae Suzy and the rest of the gang put up a superb collective performance. It highlights the stable storytelling and unswerving focus to present the inventive picture.
Well Sketched and Utilized Cast
The cast deserves an applause from suiting up to their personas at their very best every time they are captured on screen. The main love couple display an endearing on-screen romantic ride that never misunderstands. Ergo there is no frustrating point related to the love trajectory. It is also soothing how the writing set expectations on how we will grow fond second lead syndrome without promising a scheme to confuse the main love line. I think we will see more of Jung Hae In who played police officer Han Woo Tak in the coming days at Kdramaland, based on his memorable stint as a key player in the story.
This is by far the most laid back performance of Lee Jong Suk, one that I really enjoyed. His character brims with passion and warm heart, yet his clumsy nature neutralizes the picture perfect lead man I have grown tired of in fictional kdrama realm. Turning 360° from her previous weep fest project, Bae Suzy‘s feisty and candid reporter portrayal is reminiscent of her Dream High character. With maturity she gained through the years, her natural take on her role fits in exquisitely with the romance she built with Lee Jong Suk.
The minor characters work on making the most of their screen time in supplying the zest and support as the story traverses the bends and problem resolutions. Kudos to seasoned character actor Kim Won Hae who sprinted amazing renditions in seven dramas under his belt this year alone. Nailing the antagonist position efficiently, Lee Sang Yeob cunningly suits up to a prototype villain who drowns in his own ambivalence as he refuses to understand the concept of remorse. His depiction for the most part challenged the hero of the story in engrossing breaking points before the story leans inevitably towards the “goodness always prevails” card.
Well Narrated Plot
While You Were Sleeping introduces the fantasy twist of interconnected dreams as soon as it starts drawing the interest of the audience. As it moves along, the twist is tweaked in an appealing bind by explaining how the characters sharing linked dreams each have saved each other’s lives, triggering the strange phenomenon. The writer smartly injects the romance to the core metaphysical plot driver while presenting the legal cases from which the narrative flow is derived.
Bringing together the thrills of the legal drama premise and the fated love frosted story is the strength which mobilizes the addictive surge of the drama. Thumbs up to the clear delineation of the heroes versus villain showdown that does not exaggerate. The quick-witted main leads maneuver the tale through their shared visions and are never stubborn to think ahead of the imaginary conflicts thrown at them. They patiently tackle together the maze-like answer to the final conflict.
The parallel frames of the flashbacks and present situations are neatly pictured to provide the continuity of the side setbacks which delves on the back stories of the main cast. The woes presented in the narrative stems from the heroine’s visions of unfortunate events. Together with her lead men, they tackle the resolution of conflicts that mostly involve their lives at stake.
Limited Romantic Moments
When you look back on the story, there’s no question on how it notched a stunningly crafted piece. But the supernatural premise and courtroom drama take most of the driving points. Hence, as much as viewers crave for more sweet scenes for the love couple, the fan service moments are a bit hampered. On a sunny note, Jae Chan and Hong Joo’s romantic promenade is vibrantly designed with ample lip lock scenes to make us swoon along with the palpable depiction of fated love for the couple who realized years later why destiny brought them together when they were young.
While You Were Sleeping proves it deserves the hype it got prior to airing. The polished storytelling reflects why they lead the midweek drama race considering it was pitted against impressive dramas on the same time slot.
It switches from comic highs, courtroom thrills and heart-fluttering moments while treading on the exciting fantasy landscape. If you are up for a binge, this is the perfect Kdrama for you.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Rewatch Value: 9/10
Plus Factors: Quick-witted Writing, Perceptive Cast Portrayal, Endearing Love Couple
Oh No Moments: Limited fan service
Related Dramas: I Hear Your Voice, The Girl Who Sees Smells